The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding onto Disney+, and the future is already looking bright. However, many fans have rightfully observed that there is an interesting trend among the shows being released for the new streaming platform. Marvel Studios seems set to highlight a diverse slate of characters on the platform, including Ms. Marvel, an iconic character of Middle-Eastern descent who's reportedly set to be featured in MCU films.
While Ms. Marvel appears to be the first steps to establishing younger, diverse heroes, the process has already begun, with several younger heroes set to make appearances in the Disney+ series. The number of younger characters indicates that, perhaps, Marvel Studios has a bigger plan here. Could all of these younger heroes be making appearances as the first steps in a greater plan to introduce the Young Avengers?
Who Are the Young Avengers?
The Young Avengers are a new generation of heroes that form their own team. They first appeared following the events of Avengers Disassembled, appearing as a result of Vision's planned reformation of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. They first are dismissed as just superhero fans, before coming into their own as respected heroes and accepted Avengers.
The original team consisted of Iron Lad (a young version of the villain Kang the Conqueror), Patriot (the grandson of the black super-soldier Isiah Bradley), Hulkling (the son of Mar-Vell and the Skrull princess Anele), Wiccan (the reincarnated son of Scarlet Witch and Vision), and Kate Bishop's Hawkeye (who convinced the team to let her join by saving all of them). They were later joined by Stature (Cassie Lang, Ant-Man's daughter), Speed (Wiccan's long-lost brother), Kid Loki (a kid version of Loki) and America Chavez.
While they're hardly Marvel's only team of young heroes, the Young Avengers comics were critically applauded early on in their release, in particular by the LGBTQA community for the comic's portrayal of a same-sex relationship between Hulkling and Wiccan.
How the Young Avengers Could Come to the MCU
So far, two of the team's members are already firmly established in the MCU. Cassie Lang has been around since Ant-Man. Now, post Avengers: Endgame, she is old enough to take position as Stature, especially if she snags some of her dad's equipment. Additionally, Loki is also a well-established character. A younger incarnation of him shouldn't be hard to create, considering Loki's potential hi-jinks in his own series.
However, that still leaves the rest of the characters to be introduced. It's tough to imagine a Young Avengers adaptations without Wiccan and Hulkling, who are two of the team's most central characters. WandaVision will feature a lot of strange occurrences. and Wiccan could materialize somewhere there. On the other hand, Captain Marvel revealed that Mar-Vell spent a lot of time with the Skrulls. She or another Kree could have easily had a child with a Skrull, and a young Hulkling could already out there in the MCU.
Kate Bishop, the Young Avenger who earned her spot on the team, remains a iconic hero in her own right. The official announcement of her role in the upcoming Hawkeye series drew a great deal of fanfare. While she'll train under Clint Barton in that series, she could easily follow her comic book counterpart's example and strike out on her own.
It's clear that Kate Bishop has a future in the MCU, and that future will likely involve her joining the Young Avengers. Along with Hulkling and Wiccan, she's the only member who's been on ever incarnation of the team from the start, and she stands as one of the team's most stalwart members. Along with Stature, those four could make a strong core for the MCU's Young Avengers.
What about the Champions?
One member of Marvel's other prominent young superhero team, the Champions, will be making an appearance on Disney+. Kamala Khan is emblematic of the younger generation of heroes. She grew up admiring superheroes, in particular Carol Danvers. When she gains superpowers, she becomes the iconic hero Ms. Marvel.
She joins up with the Champions, but the MCU could very easily combine the thinking behind those two teams since they're so similar. In the same way that the Defenders in the MCU are vastly different than their comic book counterparts, the Young Avengers could introduce characters from the Champions in order to simplify the roster of superhero teams around.
Furthermore, an adult Monica Rambeau will be making her debut as an adult in WandaVision. It wouldn't be out of the question to see her play a role alongside Marvel's other younger heroes either.
But What's the Ultimate Point of All This?
Part of the MCU's great strength as a film franchise is its longevity. With the old guard retiring or fading into the background, new heroes need to emerge to keep things fresh and exciting.
The Young Avengers not only allows new heroes to rise up, but they also give the MCU a chance to establish the long-lasting legacy of its first generation of heroes. Most of the Young Avengers grew up in awe of the previous generation of heroes. As such, their actions reflect the influence the Avengers had on their world.
To introduce the Young Avengers now would offer the MCU a chance to reflect on the impact the now-retired or dead characters had on their world and those who live in it. It pushes the saga forward while never letting the past fade away or become unimportant.