Is Marvel gearing up to debut the Young Avengers sooner than we think?

remix By Keane Eacobellis

Marvel has been dropping hints about the Young Avengers, a team of youthful heroes similar to the Teen Titans, for several years now. Several Marvel series on Disney Plus have begun introducing members of the team through its various series, hinting toward a larger future for the group.

While fans of the Young Avengers have long suspected that a film or television series following the youthful team of heroes would eventually come, it may be arriving sooner than we think. After all, nearly every member of the original Young Avengers team has already been introduced in the MCU in some capacity.

Who are the Young Avengers?

The Young Avengers were originally introduced in the mid 2000s, debuting a fresh team of young superheroes intent on harnessing their various abilities to protect the world. Or their city, at the very least. Several of the characters introduced in the original run of the series — as well as at least one introduced in the second Young Avengers series — have already made their debut in various Disney Plus television series. Could these small cameos and sidelong mentions be the beginning of Marvel’s next great superhero team?

Who’s been introduced?

Thus far, a full five members of the seven-member Young Avengers team have been introduced into the MCU. While several of them remain solidly on the sidelines, at least one has emerged as a superhero (arguably so) in her own right. The introduction of so many members of the original team, along with a single member of the revamped team, could just mean that a Young Avengers series is right around the corner.

Hawkeye

hawkeye kate bishop

The only Young Avengers member to be introduced as a full-blown — or at least half-cocked — hero is Kate Bishop. She made her debut in 2021’s Hawkeye Disney Plus series, in which she fought alongside Clint Barton as his unofficial protege. She helps him in his investigation into the Tracksuit Mafia, and ultimately plays a vital role in his takedown of the Tracksuits’ operations.

Her motivation in the MCU stems from the Battle of New York, which took her father’s life and first introduced her to Hawkeye as a hero. She witnessed his heroics through the destroyed remains of her family penthouse, and found herself enthralled by his willingness to join a team of superheroes and gods with nothing but “a stick and a string.”

In the comics, Kate’s motivation is slightly different. She begins training in self-defense after a brutal attack leaves her feeling helpless and weak, and she determines that she never wants to feel that way again. She is one of the last members to join the original Young Avengers team, but immediately becomes a staple.

She, more than any of the other characters on this list, is already a clear and present puzzle piece in Marvel’s still-emerging plan for the future of the MCU. She is clearly the future of the Hawkeye mantle, and is perfectly poised to set out on adventures of her own — perhaps with her very own team of Avengers at her back.

Patriot

Another character to see his debut on Disney Plus in 2021, Elijah Bradley — aka Patriot — appeared in several episodes of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. His character wasn’t nearly as central to the story as Kate was in Hawkeye, however, meaning that some viewers may have missed his introduction entirely.

Eli is introduced to main characters Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes when they arrive at his grandparents’ home to converse with his grandfather, Isaiah Bradley. Bradley is known broadly — not in the MCU, but in Marvel comics canon — as the “Black Captain America.” Eli idolizes his grandfather, and is shown in Falcon and the Winter Soldier as fiercely protective of him.

Eli has yet to make his debut as a superhero, likely because no one has yet presented him with the opportunity. He does show quite a bit of interest in the goings-on between his grandfather and Wilson, however, and is an appropriate age to join a teenage — or even a young adult — superhero team.

His introduction into the MCU via Falcon and the Winter Soldier can’t be anything but purposeful. His role wasn’t important enough to be necessary to the first season’s plot — unless, of course, Marvel intends to do far larger things with the character in the future.

Speed

Thomas 'Tommy' Maximoff - WandaVision
Photo via WandaVision/Disney Plus

Both Thomas and William — better known as Tommy and Billy — were introduced to the MCU through Disney Plus’ WandaVision. Tommy, known in Marvel comics with the last name Shepherd rather than Maximoff, is introduced in MCU canon as one of the magically-created offspring of Wanda and Vision, rapidly aging up though the course of the series from a newborn into a fully-grown child.

Like Eli, Tommy didn’t hold an overly central role in WandaVision. He and his brother are massively important to Wanda, and thus the plot, but exist mostly as a foil to aid in Wanda’s motivation. He does expose his powers at several points in the series, however, seen speeding alongside a false version of his uncle, and also developed a unique and established personality.

Source: Marvel Comics

In WandaVision, Tommy never ages quite enough to be considered a full-blown character. His motivations for becoming the character he may be are still unclear, particularly considering the distance his current version — which, to be fair, disappears at the end of the series — has from his comic book version.

The end of WandaVision seemed to be setting Wanda up to seek out and reunite with alternate versions of her children that exist in the multiverse. This could mean that Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness may see Wanda finally track down and extract versions of her children from alternate realities. These children will almost certainly have different backstories than the current versions, leaving Marvel open to potentially align them more with their comic book versions.

Wiccan

William 'Billy' Maximoff - WandaVision
Photo via WandaVision/Disney Plus

Billy, like his brother Tommy, was introduced mid-way through WandaVision. He seemingly shares a power portfolio with his mother, displaying early on an aptitude for chaos magic, which seems to have absolutely no restrictions.

This is similar to how the character functions in the comics, albeit a bit different. Like Tommy, however, it is very likely that a different version of Billy is headed to theaters with Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, perhaps one much more similar to Billy Kaplan from Marvel comics.

Wiccan - Billy Kaplan - Marvel
Photo via Young Avengers/Marvel

Both Tommy and Billy are adopted in Marvel comics canon, but Wanda seems to be aware that her children exist out in the world. She does her best to serve as a mentor to them, seeking Billy, in particular, out on multiple occasions. It’s hard to say if the MCU will take a similar route when they re-introduce the twins, but separating them and allowing them to grow in their own worlds would certainly add intrigue into their story.

If Billy and Tommy really are re-introduced via the multiverse in Doctor Strange, we could see two more teenaged members of the Young Avengers enter the MCU. While they disappeared as young children, WandaVision already established that age is hardly relevant when you’ve got a reality-bending witch on your side. In order for them to join the team, they’d need to age up a good bit, but that is entirely possible when the multiverse — and Wanda — are considered.

Stature

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 05: Kathryn Newton attends The 2020 InStyle And Warner Bros. 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards Post-Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for InStyle)

The final member of the original team of Young Avengers that’s already seen an introduction into the MCU is Cassy Lang, aka Stature. The last time fans caught a glimpse of Scott Lang’s daughter was in Avengers: Endgame, which established her at right around 16 years old. She might even be a bit older — considering the time skip Scott experienced thanks to his time in the quantum realm — which puts her in an excellent range to be included in a Young Avengers lineup.

Cassy has made an appearance in several MCU films, namely in the Ant-Man films alongside her father. Her character was initially introduced at a young age, but has gradually aged up over the course of several films. The latest casting puts Kathryn Newton in the role as a teenaged Cassie, who is set to appear in 2023’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

While no hints have yet been dropped about her future as a superhero, Marvel comics elevated Cassie from daughter to hero during her teen years. Inspired by her father’s work as a hero, Cassie gradually exposes herself to Pym Particles, in hopes of developing powers and joining her father in his fight for good. Her efforts — while dangerous and thoroughly inadvisable — eventually pay off, resulting in the ability for Cassie, without the assistance of a suit, to change her size at will.

Cassie has yet to make her debut as a superhero, but her recasting indicates that Marvel has big plans for the character. Her new actress is just the right age to appear alongside Hailee Steinfeld’s Bishop and Elijah Richardson’s Bradley, and she has a thorough and trackable background in the MCU that will surely serve to give the character weight.

Kid Loki

Kid Loki

While he isn’t an original member of the Young Avengers, Kid Loki became one of the team’s most beloved, albeit fleeting, members. He’s also already been introduced into the MCU, played by Jack Veal in Disney Plus’ Loki series. A variant of Loki who murdered his adoptive brother, Kid Thor, Kid Loki would be one of the Young Avengers’ more complex and intriguing characters.

Kid Loki, in Marvel comics canon, has a chaotic entry into the Young Avengers. In true Loki style — he is the God of Mischief, after all — he throws the team for a loop upon first meeting them, but quickly reveals himself to be immensely helpful and striving for good.

Kid Loki - Young Avengers
Photo via Young Avengers/Marvel

Kid Loki had a small, but important, role in Disney Plus’ first season of Loki. While his introduction was important to the season’s plot, we suspect that far bigger things lie in Kid Loki’s future. Given his unique role as a very youthful anti-hero, there are a few potentials for how Kid Loki may be involved in a Young Avengers adaptation.

The easiest explanation is to follow the story already established in comics, but the MCU has a tendency to shake things up. This could see Kid Loki initially introduced as a villain, only to eventually join the team, or he could emerge as one of the team’s “frenemies” of sorts, working with them when it suits him and causing mischief and strife when the urge arises.

Yet to be introduced

A few characters from the Young Avengers original team have yet to be introduced into the MCU, but we think it’s only a matter of time before they make their debuts. While some of these characters, like Iron Lad, will likely benefit from making their debut within a Young Avengers adaptation, we suspect that Hulkling, at least, will see a minor introduction before he is established as a member of the team.

Iron Lad/Vision

Iron Lad

One of the most important characters in the Marvel comics Young Avengers storyline, Iron Lad is a complicated character. I don’t want to give too much away about him, but suffice to say that he is the reason behind the team’s formation in more ways than one.

Iron Lad doesn’t actually share any similarities with Iron Man, other than likewise relying on a high-tech suit to provide him with his abilities. He is a brilliant and complicated character, and has yet to be introduced into the MCU — mostly. Technically, a version of the character did appear in Loki, but that version shares very little real estate with the version that would appear in an adaptation of the Young Avengers.

Iron Lad, who eventually becomes a new version of Vision, is the culprit behind the formation of the Young Avengers. It is his efforts that see the team come together, leading him to become the team’s first leader. His role at the forefront doesn’t last long, however, but he remains — in one form or another — an essential part of the team.

Hulkling

The final original member of the Young Avengers is Teddy Altman. He has yet to be introduced in any MCU release, but the scene has been well set for his entry. For those thinking he’ll likely make his debut in the upcoming She-Hulk series, think again. Despite appearances, Hulkling actually has nothing in common with his namesake.

That being said, he does adopt the popular Avenger’s name (ish) and appearance, (again, ish) and presents himself with an unofficial connection back to Hulk. He adopts his Hulk-ish appearance via his ability to shape shift, however, and has no legitimate connection back to either Hulk or his feminine counterpart.

The MCU has sprinkled cookie crumbs that could culminate in Teddy’s introduction, however, in the form of the Skrull and Kree. See, (spoiler alert) Teddy is the result of a forbidden union between a Skrull and a Kree, placing him in a truly unique position and granting him his ability to change shapes. He also has a tie back to Captain Marvel, but not the one we’ve been introduced to in the MCU. Knowing the team over at Marvel Studios, they may well find a way to link him back to Carol Danvers and the Kree she fought alongside for so many years.

Other team members

Other members of the team introduced in later issues include Marvel Boy, America Chavez, and Prodigy. None of these characters have seen their MCU debut just yet — unless I’ve missed something huge — but that doesn’t mean they won’t be a part of the team. The introduction of Kid Loki indicates that the MCU, as it has done before, doesn’t intend to follow its source material to a T. The team over at Marvel Studios may be ramping up to introduce the entire team at once, or to simply switch up the original members of the team.