The Young Avengers are on their way to the MCU, with a range of MCU Phase 4 projects introducing one of the next generation of heroes into the franchise. Loki featured one of them in the form of Kid Loki, a youthful variant of Tom Hiddleston’s trickster. But, though it’s less obvious, the recent Disney Plus hit also sowed the seeds for another member of the team to come later down the line. Namely, Iron Lad.
Contrary to his name and what the comics initially led us to believe, Iron Lad isn’t connected to Tony Stark but is actually a version of Nathaniel Richards AKA Kang the Conqueror, one who was trying to avoid his fate of becoming an evil tyrant and so travelled to the 21st century to carve out his own heroic path. Though there was no direct reference to Iron Lad, the Loki finale did introduce another variant of Kang – He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors).
He Who Remains established that there are many variants of him out there. After Sylvie murdered him, the timeline fractured and the presence of a statue of Kang at the TVA confirmed he was now in charge. So this opens the door to countless other Kang variants to come – which could potentially include Iron Lad. He was a key part of the original Young Avengers lineup, so if Marvel Studios wants to keep fairly close to the comics, then bringing Iron Lad into the MCU is a must.
Other young heroes on their way include Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop in Hawkeye, Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan in Ms. Marvel and Xochitl Gomez’s Miss America in Doctor Strange 2. And we’ve already met Wiccan and Speed in WandaVision and Eli Bradley in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Kathryn Newton likewise takes over as Cassie Lang/Stature in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Ant-Man 3 just happens to be Majors’ next confirmed appearance as Kang, so there’s a good chance the Young Avengers concept will explored in that film. Loki season 2 is also in development.