It’s been more than two months since MCU star Jonathan Majors was arrested on assault charges, and the massive media franchise has yet to take definitive steps.
Whether those steps be to fully throw its support behind Majors or to simply fire him from his long-planned role, Marvel doesn’t seem keen to take sides just yet. As such, Majors’ future in the franchise has been a looming question mark for weeks upon weeks, as fans wonder whether his time as Kang is up — or just beginning.
Should the franchise choose to part ways with the actor poised to become its next big bad, the hurdles of doing so will surely present a major problem. Fans have been theorizing about just which approach Marvel might take to this issue, with plenty of potential approaches tossed out, but I think the perfect opportunity is resting right in Marvel’s lap.
Allow me to present to you: The Young Avengers fix.
I know, I talk about the Young Avengers a lot. It’s actually become a bit of a joke in my newsroom anytime the team comes up, as my coworkers joke about what hot take Nahila will toss out next. They’re a team that holds a special place in my heart, after their first comic helped carry me through the hundreds-of-miles move away from my family, back when I was 19.
And — I swear I have a point here — I think they present the perfect opportunity to explain away a Kang recasting. The MCU could kill two birds with one stone by introducing the Young Avengers — a team Marvel fans have been demanding for years now — and in the process replace Majors with unproblematic new talent. I must note here that Majors deserves his day in court, and to prove any accusations wrong (should he be able to do so) before his career is ruined, but his chances of a recovery aren’t looking great.
Assuming that Majors is, in fact, on his way out, I think an early Young Avengers storyline presents the perfect opportunity. See, Kang is a major part of the Young Avengers — he’s their founding member, in fact. While he’s initially known as Iron Lad, thanks to all that high-tech armor, the young Kang is actually a variant from an alternate universe. After discovering all the evil he would do in his future, and had already done in alternate timelines and realities, a young version of Kang fled in hopes of changing his destiny. He founded the Young Avengers, in hopes of creating a team capable of taking himself down, and strove to become someone far removed from the monster he knew he’d become.
While efforts to avoid the inevitable fail for the young Kang variant, his work to form the Young Avengers does not. The team stays together, even following his departure, and they soon take on new members and become a formidable team in their own right.
Now we get to the crux of my argument. I think this storyline presents the opportunity for the young Kang to change his own future, just not in the way he intended. By warping the story ever so slightly, and allowing the young Kang to actually alter all of his alternate selves, even minorly, his recasting could be clearly explained. The MCU could make it canon that, through the alterations made in the Young Avengers storyline, the young Kang — wittingly or unwittingly — warped the course of his future, and that future now contains an altered version of himself — one played by an alternate, less problematic, actor.
This would let the MCU recast Majors without removing Kang from its planned — and, in some cases, already filmed — future arcs. The same characters and storylines could continue to drive the franchise onward but without the messy Majors drama. Plus, it would finally give the franchise the push it needs to introduce the Young Avengers, a team all of us — even Kate Bishop herself — desperately want to see on the big screen.