Young Avengers Appearances in the MCU So Far
The Young Avengers are Marvel’s modern super hero team. These teenagers are descendants, disciples, and protégés of various original or older Avengers, from Scarlet Witch to Hawkeye and more. With the Multiverse Saga fully underway, it’s only a matter of time until this team assembles on screen.
There have been numerous hints and even a few bonafide debuts of the next generation of Marvel super heroes in Phase 4. When Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania premieres on Feb. 17, Phase 5 of the MCU will officially begin — and Cassie Lang will take one step closer to following in her dad Scott’s giant (tiny?) footsteps.
Let’s break down these appearances so far, and speculate where and how the remaining members will make their MCU debuts.
Cassie Lang (Stature / Stinger)
The daughter of Scott Lang, Cassie Lang is the first Young Avenger to make an MCU debut. She appeared all the way back in 2015 with the first Ant-Man movie, though at the time she was still a child and incapable of donning a super suit. Still, audiences were teased with lines about Cassie wanting to join her father on his missions as a sidekick, and in Avengers: Endgame Cassie is a teenager. In the upcoming Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, she can be seen suiting up alongside Scott and Hope. It appears that their journey into the Quantum Realm is even partially her fault.
Cassie’s comic origin is a fraught one. She suffers from a congenital heart defect as an infant, exposes herself to Pym Particles in her teenage years, and witnesses the brutal death of her father. After Scott’s death, Cassie seeks out Kate Bishop and the Young Avengers, joining them under the alias Stature.
No Small Roles
The Stinger title is used later in Rebirth comics where Scott is alive and makes extremely poor choices, causing Cassie to resent him before she joins up with the Power Broker. This character we have met already in the MCU as the new, villainous side of Sharon Carter.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Cassie will likely get an amalgamated origin for Stature or simply a happier one. Still, there are multiple avenues for the films to choose in her gaining her powers — we can only hope it doesn’t resemble Ant-Man’s untimely demise in the comics.
Kate Bishop (Hawkeye)
Kate Bishop was born into a wealthy family in Manhattan, a borough of New York City. While spying on her father because of his suspicious behavior, Kate is kidnapped by El Matador. She is eventually rescued by the Avengers. Hawkeye, a man without powers but only skill and a desire to do good, becomes her role model. Although she is already unhappy with her family’s financial status, she becomes more disillusioned with their selfishness and goes on to volunteer and donate as much as she can.
The next part of Kate Bishop’s comics origin is when she’s assaulted in Central Park. This prompts Kate to learn combat and self-defense as a coping mechanism. For the Hawkeye TV series, Kate learned archery to emulate her idol rather than due to a traumatic experience. As a child, she witnessed Hawkeye in action during the Battle of New York. His heroics inspire her to learn how to protect herself and her family. Kate’s family does make a significant appearance in the show, especially her mother Eleanor Bishop.
Taking Over as Hawkeye
For comics Kate, her hero’s journey extends beyond a Young Avengers membership. There’s some death, resurrection, Ronin Hawkeye, and the Civil War event before she officially picks up the mantle of Hawkeye. When she does, however, she proves herself a capable leader and Avenger. She and Clint still work together after, and Kate even rescues him when he’s taken by Madam Masque in Madripoor — a location utilized in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — culminating in a full-circle parallel for their relationship.
America Chavez (Miss America)
America Chavez made her live-action debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In the comics, she was orphaned at a young age after being subjected to experiments alongside her little sister Catalina. America’s powers include flying and creating star portals, and her connection to parallel dimensions outside the time and space of the Multiverse grant her unparalleled superhuman strength and other abilities. No wonder she factors in to Doctor Strange’s latest adventure.
Alongside the former Sorcerer Supreme, America contends with Scarlet Witch’s bloodthirsty rampage to find her sons. America’s Multiverse-traveling power makes her a unique being in the MCU — she does not have any variants. This, along with her education at Kamar Taj, could lead to some very interesting on-screen developments.
Tommy Shepherd (Speed) & Billy Kaplan (Asgardian / Wiccan)
Tommy and Billy are Wanda’s wish come true in any universe. In WandaVision, Wanda Maximoff manifests her twin boys into her fake world. In the Marvel comics, Tommy and Billy are the reincarnated versions of Wanda’s sons, though they’re born and raised in entirely different households. Tommy Shepherd is in and out of juvie and, after vaporizing his school, he is imprisoned and experimented on by people intent on turning his super speed — comparable to Quicksilver’s — into a weapon. Tommy eventually joins the Young Avengers with the codename Speed.
His twin brother Billy is a super-powered warlock whose favorite Avenger is Scarlet Witch. When Billy joins the Young Avengers, he fashions himself after Thor to become Asgardian. This eventually changes to Wiccan with Kate Bishop’s suggestion. Billy is also destined to become the Demiurge, an all-powerful cosmic entity who many fear in the same way as Scarlet Witch.
Wanda’s Twins in the MCU
In the MCU, it appears almost certain Tommy and Billy’s future appearance will align with their comic origin. At the end of WandaVision, Scarlet Witch is seen astral projecting as she searches for her destroyed boys. They call out to her, and we cut to black. Her struggle to reunite with her children leads Wanda to embrace the Scarlet Witch’s potential for destruction, as seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Ultimately, her fate, along with her boys, remains uncertain.
Eli Bradley (Patriot)
The Disney+ television series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier explored the story of Isaiah Bradley, a Black man who was used in tests for the Super Soldier Serum that eventually turned Steve Rogers into America’s hero. Isaiah was the only soldier to survive, but was never honored for his sacrifice or service until Sam Wilson learned this secret history.
Eli Bradley, Isaiah’s grandson, appears briefly in the show. He, like his comic counterpart, does not have superhuman abilities. Instead, when he’s enlisted to the Young Avengers in the comics, Eli wears a costume similar to Bucky Barnes’ old uniform and takes the Mutant Growth Hormone to give himself powers.
Out for Blood
Later, when Eli is injured during battle, Steve Rogers gives the young man a blood transfusion. With the combined blood from Steve and Isaiah, Eli becomes a true Super Soldier. Together, Kate Bishop and Eli, now going by Patriot, lead the Young Avengers. In the MCU, with both of these young heroes taking center stage, they likely will be the trusted leaders of the next big Marvel team. Isaiah Bradley will return in Captain America: New World Order, so there’s a chance Eli will be involved as well.
Kid Loki (Ikol)
This young Loki variant from the Loki series wears a costume almost identical to the Loki that appears in the Young Avengers comics. The history of this young God of Mischief is complicated but, in the simplest terms, he’s a reborn Loki that is completely different from his older and deceased counterpart. He absorbs the echo of his elder self — called Ikol — after the elder Loki kills his younger self, after they both express their desire to change into better beings. In the Loki show, Kid Loki is another timeline variant who was pruned by the TVA and sent to the Void, and his backstory beyond murdering Thor isn’t revealed. Perhaps we can assume it’s similar to that of Ikol’s.
Loki’s schemes in the Young Avengers comics are to control the Demiurge — Billy Kaplan. But like all of Loki’s plans, things go awry and, in the end, he actually ends up caring about his team. In the MCU, it’s pretty unclear what happened to the remaining Loki variants after He Who Remains’ death. We’ll see when or if at all Kid Loki returns to our screens.
Nathaniel Richards (Iron Lad / Kang)
Nathaniel Richards, rumored relative of Doctor Doom, is a genius from the 30th century. Nathaniel hasn’t technically appeared in the MCU, but his future self sort of has; He Who Remains from the Disney+ Loki series is a variant of Kang the Conquerer, who Nathaniel will eventually become. With all the new fractured timelines and newly emergent, highly volatile Kang variants, it’s likely Nathaniel will stick somewhat close to his Marvel comics origin and flee his future self.
As with most time travel stories, Nathaniel’s is somewhat complex. Suffice it to say Nathaniel escapes his reality to try to prevent his own path of destruction. In doing so, he forms the Young Avengers and leads them under the alias Iron Lad. With Kang’s huge presence in the remaining installments of the Multiverse Saga, who knows what the future (and past and present) holds for his other variants.
If you’re thinking of Tony Stark’s upgraded J.A.R.V.I.S. interface, this is not that Vision. Nor is this The Vision, the original A.I. that was reprogrammed and subsequently “remade” in Disney’s WandaVision. No, Jonas is what remains of Vision after the present-day Avengers Mansion is destroyed in the comics. Nathaniel Richards uploads this Vision into his futuristic neurokinetic armor, this merger enabling him to access a database of young heroes affiliated with the Avengers.
When Nathaniel and the Young Avengers are attacked by Kang the Conquerer, Nathaniel removes his armor and Vision’s O.S. causes it to become a sentient being. Vision then understands he is younger and less mature than the original Vision — but nonetheless still a brilliant strategist and capable Avenger. He alters his appearance at Cassie Lang’s request to become Jonas.
Is the new all-white Vision an homage to Jonas? We’re uncertain right now how Jonas may fit into the larger picture of the MCU. However he does, though, his and Nathaniel’s stories are inextricably linked.
Noh-Varr (Marvel Boy)
Noh-Varr is a member of the militaristic Kree race, or the beings in the MCU that kept Captain Marvel captive. So already we can assume he exists somewhere offscreen in the Marvel movies. In the comics, a mind-controlled Noh-Varr begins as an antagonist for the Runaways and Young Avengers.
Marvel Boy travels through space, is recruited by the Young Avengers, then recruited by the Skrulls, and has a romantic relationship with Kate Bishop as well as Hercules (who recently appeared in a post-credits scene of Thor: Love and Thunder). All these connections count him as a big “maybe” for future projects.
Teddy Altman / Emperor Dorrek VIII (Hulkling)
Half-Skrull, half-Kree, Emperor of their alliance, and husband of the Demiurge Billy Kaplan, Teddy Altman is undeniably one of the most powerful and cosmic heroes of the Young Avengers. Teddy is the son of the original Captain Marvel, a Kree male named Mar-Vell, and the Skrull Princess Anelle. He can shapeshift, and altering his appearance is vital in his youth as he lives on Earth and has to blend in with the human population. When he joins the Young Avengers, he decides that real friendship is more important than “fitting in,” so he shows his true green-skinned self and adopts the name Hulkling after the Hulk.
Like Noh-Varr, Teddy could very well already have an offscreen place in the MCU. There are a couple potential projects into which he could fit nicely, including The Marvels — the Captain Marvel sequel — and Secret Invasion, which follows Nick Fury and the Skrull Talos.
David Alleyne (Prodigy)
David Alleyne, or Prodigy, is actually a mutant and member of the X-Men. Intelligent and wise beyond his years, he also has the ability to telepathically absorb the knowledge and skills of anyone nearby. Because he wanted his intelligence to be authentic, he repressed his mutant abilities until he was recruited by Dani Moonstar and brought to Xavier’s Institute.
In the comics, David and Tommy Shepherd start as close friends who work together at a super hero support hotline. When Speed is kidnapped, David joins the Young Avengers in order to rescue him. David and Tommy have since started dating, so with Tommy’s inclusion in the MCU, David may yet join him. Whether he will be a mutant or not is difficult to discern at this time, since all other mutant backstories have been altered in the Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity.
With every single one of the Young Avengers being set up to appear in the MCU, at this point it’s a question of “when” not “if.” It will be incredibly exciting to see how the Marvel movies introduce the newest generations of heroes, and how their stories will shape the future of the MCU.
Which of the Young Avengers are you most excited for in the MCU? Connect with other Marvel fans in Let Your Spoiler Sideshow: MCU Phase Four, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!