Right now, we don’t know much about the Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but one thing is certain -- the MCU will look radically different and new heroes will emerge. The Avengers and their allies will likely deal with more extraterrestrial threats as the writers continue to incorporate Marvel’s cosmic scene, and it's also likely that adding more diversity, to the characters and the stories, will be a priority moving forward. This variety and inclusiveness will likely come in a number of forms and, for example, the Avengers could use a youth movement. The MCU’s original lineup consists of, among others, a middle-aged tech genius, a super soldier from World War II, and an ancient god of thunder. Bringing Peter Parker into the mix was likely just the first step of a conscious effort to add more youth to the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Marvel as a rich history of young heroes and legacy characters that the MCU hasn’t even begun to explore. In the comics, there are countless teams, like the Young Avengers, who banded together because of their age gap from the more famous heroes. Marvel is sitting on a goldmine and it’s only a matter of time before we see some of these characters on the big screen. For this reason, we’ve decided to rank some of the top young heroes we’d like to see join the Avengers in Phase Four. These youngsters are capable of fighting alongside the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and they deserve a chance in the spotlight and we’ve also included some young heroes, at least for now, we don’t want to see.
20 WANT: HULKLING
With Captain Marvel set to feature an adaptation of the Kree-Skrull War, Phase Four marks the perfect time to introduce Hulking, or Teddy Altman. Hulking is a Kree-Skrull hybrid and his father is, ironically, the original Captain Marvel. Featuring a character who belongs to both of these famous alien races would offer countless storytelling possibilities for the future of the MCU.
Plus, Altman is a legitimate candidate to join the Avengers. His heritage gives him super strength, the ability to shapeshift and an accelerated healing factor. Hulking is a powerhouse and the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes would become even more formidable with this young hero on their roster.
19 DON'T WANT: TAG
If Brian Cruz joined the MCU, it’s easy to see how he’d fit in; Tony Stark would have a field day, as he’d make some quips about Cruz’s alias (Tag.) But, in reality, Cruz doesn’t belong on the Avengers -- he's more of an X-Man and a fairly obscure one at that.
His powers aren’t that interesting; he can make people run towards him, or in the other direction. Cruz also has a cheesy catchphrase: “tag, you’re it.” Cruz might deserve a cameo when the X-Men finally receive some MCU movies but he’d be out of place on a team with Spider-Man and Black Panther.
18 WANT: WICCAN
Wiccan, or Billy Kaplan, would be an intriguing addition to the MCU for several reasons. First, Kaplan is a reincarnated version of one of the Scarlet Witch’s children (Speed, or Tommy, is the other) and the Avengers could benefit from the addition of some legacy heroes. Though Kaplan’s parentage is complicated, it would still be intriguing to see his relationship with his mother, Wanda Maximoff, and his father, the Vision.
Plus, Wiccan’s relationship with Hulkling could allow the MCU to add some much needed diversity and inclusiveness. As a bonus, Wiccan is incredibly powerful: he has the ability to warp reality. It’s safe to say the Avengers could use a game changer like Kaplan.
17 DON'T WANT: FRANKLIN RICHARDS
Allow us to clarify: we certainly want to see Franklin Richards in the MCU but, given that the Fantastic Four haven’t been introduced yet, Phase Four might not be the right time to bring Franklin into the mix. Ideally, when the iconic team does make their MCU debut, they’ll get the chance to shine on their own. Then, after establishing Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm, writers could expand the Fantastic Four’s sizable group of supporting characters, starting with Franklin.
Franklin would instantly become one of the most powerful heroes in the MCU. He can create pocket universes, manipulate matter and energy and he has a plethora of psionic abilities, too.
16 WANT: PATRIOT
There are a number of ways that Marvel could carry on Captain America’s legacy. The most logical choices would be Bucky Barnes or Sam Wilson picking up Cap’s shield, but another possibility could be the introduction of Eli Bradley, or Patriot. Bradley received his powers, in a roundabout way, like Rogers did.
A blood transfusion from Bradley’s grandfather, Isaiah, gave Eli some traces of the super soldier serum that transformed Rogers (Isaiah was part of a related governmental governmental experiment). While the real source of Eli’s powers is controversial, he was a founding member of the Young Avengers and some aspects of his story could add spice up the MCU.
15 DON'T WANT: MILES MORALES
As with Franklin Richards, we most definitely want to see Miles Morales in the MCU. Throughout the past few years, Morales has become one of the most popular young heroes in comic books. Seeing the dynamic between the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker, and the new one, Miles Morales, would be a captivating addition to future movies. That being said, Parker has barely established himself in the MCU and he deserves some time to come into his own before he faces a “challenger” like Morales.
Plus, the aforementioned story element of Parker’s relationship with his successor wouldn’t pay off in the near future. The MCU needs to build Parker into the pillar he’s meant to be, then, and only then, does Morales deserve to get the spotlight, too.
14 WANT: MS. AMERICA
If Steve Rogers’ time in the MCU is ending, is there any better way to honor his legacy than to bring in a heroine whose name is America Chavez? In all seriousness, Ms. America deserves to join the Avengers on the big screen. In the comics, Chavez has done it all: she’s been an Ultimate, a West Coast Avenger and she also served with A-Force. Then, there’s Chavez’s sheer power; some fans have compared her to Superman -- the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes would be unstoppable with Ms. America
Fun fact: Chavez can also create holes in reality, which grants her (and her teammates) the ability to travel the multiverse. Needless to say, that superpower would be quite useful to the Avengers.
13 DON'T WANT: KID OMEGA
Quentin Quire, or Kid Omega, as his alias suggests, is an incredibly powerful mutant. His psionic powers are practically unparalleled. Quire is also a genius, and the Avengers could always use another brilliant mind. However, like some of the other characters on this list, Quire should not join the MCU, let alone the Avengers, in Phase Four.
Quire is part of the X-Men universe where, sometimes, he fights alongside them. He’s also been one of the group’s most dangerous antagonists and it wouldn’t make sense to bring Quire into the MCU when the X-Men haven't debuted yet. In the future, Kid Omega could be a compelling character on the big screen but now’s not the time.
12 WANT: AMADEUS CHO
Before Thor: Ragnarok, the Hulk had, for the most part, been a brutish beast. Viewers got to see the brilliance of Bruce Banner but the two sides of the character rarely interacted. With Amadeus Cho, fans get the brains and the brawn. Cho’s Hulk maintains a genius-level intellect while he powers up, which makes him even more dangerous.
To be fair, there can be more than one Hulk in the MCU -- bringing in Cho doesn’t have to come as a result of the removal of Banner. Still, Cho would be an undeniable upgrade to the Avengers’ lineup. The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will likely undergo a significant overhaul in Phase Four, and Cho would be an excellent choice for the new iteration of the team.
11 DON'T WANT: KID LOKI
After Infinity War, Loki doesn’t seem to have a future in the MCU. Various reports have suggested that Tom Hiddleston might be done with the role. If the actor is finished with Marvel movies (and if his TV show isn't a full-blown series), the writers should just let the character leave with him for now. While Loki has taken many forms in the comics, Hiddleston’s portrayal of the trickster god can’t be topped.
Kid Loki isn’t without merit; it could be fun to see the youngster annoy Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. But, right now, this version of Loki would feel out of place and including him would only cheapen the legacy of Hiddleston’s portrayal.
10 WANT: X-23
Sadly, we’ll probably never see Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in an MCU movie but, as a result of the Disney-Fox merger, we could see his daughter fill his shoes. Fans have been dreaming of seeing X-23, or Laura Kinney, return to the big screen since Logan hit theaters, if not longer.
Kinney, a prominent member of the X-Men, would immediately become one of the best fighters on the Avengers if she joined the team. Additionally, adding X-23 to the MCU could be the first steps to the incorporation of the X-Men into this cinematic universe. In Logan, Kinney just was begging her journey as a hero and it’d be fascinating to see this journey continue in the MCU.
9 DON'T WANT: HOPE SUMMERS
More than the other characters on this list, Hope Summers would be a poor choice as an addition to the MCU in Phase Four. When Summers debuted, she was seen as a savior of the mutant race in the "Messiah Complex” storyline. Hope’s story quickly became a confusing one that involved time travel but she still became one of the most important characters in the X-Men’s world.
That being said, Hope’s debut would fall flat in an MCU where the X-Men been established. Summers’ role as the savior of mutants would fall flat because, for casual fans, it’d be hard to invest in a story where the famous race hadn’t displayed its impressive legacy.
8 WANT: QUAKE
Yes, Daisy Johnson has been a lead on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for five seasons now but her extensive time in the MCU arguably strengthens her case for a big screen debut. To be fair, the show’s version of Johnson, or Quake, isn’t quite as young as other characters on this list. However, youth is relative, especially on a team with Tony Stark and, currently, Steve Rogers.
Quake deserves to join the Avengers for two main reasons. First, Johnson is a heavy hitter and she’s the “Destroyer of Worlds.” Plus, if the MCU hopes to bring S.H.I.E.L.D. back to the big screen, Johnson is one of the best ways the writers could meet this goal.
7 DON'T WANT: SQUIRREL GIRL
Yes, Squirrel Girl has become one of Marvel’s most underrated characters in recent years. True, Doreen Green has become a cult hero to her passionate fans and someday Green deserves to join the MCU, but Phase Four is not the right time.
Green is usually associated with the Great Lakes Avengers, a group of heroes that the audience isn’t supposed to take seriously. While the MCU needs to change it up, introducing Green, or her teammates, would be a misstep. The MCU’s stories are getting increasingly cosmic and far-reaching, and it’s hard to see how Squirrel Girl fits into that shift.
6 WANT: KATE BISHOP
Kate Bishop, or Hawkeye, has arguably outshined Clint Barton in recent years. It seems odd to say that, given Barton’s status as a longtime Avenger. Bishop has become a fan favorite character and she could easily replace Barton in the MCU. After all, Hawkeye has practically been phased out of the Cinematic Universe, though he could have another run in the spotlight during A4.
In the MCU, Barton is a family man, so he could ride off into the sunset sooner rather than later. Bishop would be a natural replacement for the Avengers’ resident archer, and she would add some new life to the team’s roster.
5 DON'T WANT: JUBILEE
Jubilee, or Jubilation Lee, has struggled to find a place in the comics. As an individual, she hasn’t really made a name for herself, but as an X-Man, she’s often confined to the background. Over the years, the writers have tried to give Lee an identity; they’ve gone so far as to turn her into a vampire. Assuming the MCU adapts an accurate version of the character, it’d be a stretch to bring vampires into the movies right now.
Plus, Jubilee isn’t Avengers material. Even her former vampiric powers aren’t that useful in the field and her original abilities (including energy blasts) can be found in more deserving candidates.
4 WANT: SAM ALEXANDER
The future of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is, currently, murky at best. The one thing isn’t so shrouded in mystery is that Marvel’s cosmic scene could use some new life. Regardless of the Guardians’ post-Infinity War fate, many fans want to see the MCU expand its roster of spacebound heroes. Few characters fit this bill better than Sam Alexander, or Nova.
The Nova Corps has already been introduced in the MCU, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to feature one of its members. However, Thanos decimated Xandar and the Corps during Infinity War, which could complicate matters. Nonetheless, Alexander would be a deserving addition to the Avengers’ new lineup.
3 DON'T WANT: NOH-VARR
Noh-Varr could be a great addition to the MCU down the road -- he's an enhanced Kree soldier who’s susceptible to manipulation. His Kree physiology gives him the race’s usual power set (like superhuman strength) but Noh-Varr stands out due to an experiment that fused his DNA with that of a cockroach. As a result, Marvel Boy has a variety of other unique superpowers.
But other Kree characters, like Hulking, are better suited bring the race to the forefront of the MCU. The aforementioned vulnerability might be a predictable storyline on the big screen, and, regardless, there aren’t many current MCU villains that could exploit it in a compelling way
2 WANT: MS. MARVEL
Many fans have been excitedly waiting for Ms. Marvel’s MCU debut. Kamala Khan is one of the most famous young heroes in comic books and she’s also the first Muslim character to headline a Marvel series. Adding Khan to the MCU would add some diversity to the Avengers lineup, which the group severely lacked in the first three phases of this cinematic universe.
Khan is an Inhuman, which could pave the way for the famous superpowered group to debut on the big screen. Regardless, Ms. Marvel would be a fantastic addition to the Avengers, and Carol Danvers’ debut marks a good time to bring Khan into the mix.
1 DON'T WANT: NEGASONIC TEENAGE WARHEAD
The comic book version of Negasonic Teenage Warhead is quite different from her counterpart in the Deadpool franchise. So, conceivably, the MCU could bring in a more faithful adaptation but, with the Disney-Fox merger, fans might be upset if the MCU decides to ignore Warhead’s place in the (technically) Marvel/Fox shared universe.
This young hero, also known as Ellie Phimister, is a telepath, a precog and she’s also a powerful fighter. Phimister can time travel and she can also weaponize energy. Warhead’s a powerhouse! Still, it’d be jarring, and disappointing, to see the MCU utterly ignore the Deadpool franchise, but hopefully we’ll possibly see the two universes become one in the future.