Marvel Studios hasn’t announced plans for a Young Avengers movie or show, but Phase 4 is packed with set up for the MCU’s next superteam.
Here’s how Marvel is setting up the Young Avengers in Phase 4 for a major role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the first decade of the MCU, the popular shared universe primarily revolved around the original Avengers. But, the tides are changing. Iron Man and Black Widow died in Avengers: Endgame, and Captain America is an old, retired super-soldier by the end. Thor, Hawkeye, and Smart Hulk might all still have roles in Phase 4, but Marvel Studios is actively working to introduce their much younger replacements.
It might not be too long before every original Avenger is out of the MCU, either. While this could lead to heroes like Falcon or Spider-Man taking on bigger roles, Marvel is also not wasting any time to usher in new heroes. One of the priorities for Marvel appears to be getting younger. This seems to be a reason why they are moving quickly to assemble the Young Avengers. The team of younger heroes first appeared in Marvel Comics in 2005 following the Avengers Disassembled and House of M storylines. Initially, the team was founded by Nathaniel Richards aka Iron Lad. He recruited Eli Bradley (Patriot), Billy Kaplan (Wiccan), and Teddy Altman (Hulkling) to be part of the team. Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) and Cassie Lang (Stature) joined them shortly thereafter.
Marvel Studios revealed much of their immediate plans for the MCU, but the Young Avengers so far aren’t officially part of them yet. Characters like Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel will lead sequel solo movies, but new heroes such as Shang-Chi, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, the Eternals, and the Fantastic Four are also on the way. Among the various movies and Disney+ shows announced, one specifically for the Young Avengers hasn’t come. However, there are still plenty of signs that the Young Avengers are coming to the MCU during Phase 4.
Young Avengers Characters In Phase 4
Multiple members of the Young Avengers team are confirmed to appear in Phase 4. Cassie Lang was the only member to already appear in the MCU, but it will now be Kathryn Newton who plays Ant-Man’s daughter in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. She’ll be joined in Phase 4 by Kate Bishop, who Marvel confirmed was on her way to the MCU courtesy of the Hawkeye Disney+ series in 2019. It took longer than expected, but Hailee Steinfeld is finally confirmed to Kate Bishop opposite Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton. Marvel also announced that Xochitl Gomez would play America Chavez – who joined the Young Avengers later on in the comics – in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
This only gives Phase 4 three Young Avengers members confirmed, but there are rumors and speculation of many more. WandaVision‘s marketing shows that Scarlet Witch and Vision have twins. In the comics, these twins eventually become superheroes and Young Avengers, known as Wiccan and Speed. There are also rumors that Hulkling will be in WandaVision and Patriot could be in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. We might even meet Kid Loki in the Loki Disney+ series. Marvel could make changes to the team’s lineup by adding Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel and Riri Williams aka Ironheart, both of whom will star in their own Disney+ shows.
Phase 4 Introduces Kang the Conqueror
The Young Avengers setup can also continue with the introduction of Kang the Conqueror. Kang is best known for comics readers as a powerful time-traveling, multiverse-conquering villain from the future who may or may not be Reed Richards’ descendent. He is an Avengers-level threat fans have wanted to see in the MCU for some time now. His arrival will finally come during Phase 4, but potentially in more ways than one. Jonathan Majors is confirmed to play Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. When the casting was initially reported, it was said Kang would not be the main villain of the new movie. There are also rumors that Kang could appear, or at the very least get set up, in Loki.
The MCU debut of Kang could have massive implications on the Young Avengers, depending on how faithful to the material Marvel Studios stays. The comics made a young version of Kang from the future the founder of the Young Avengers. Then known as the hero Iron Lad, this Kang came from the future to escape his destiny to become a universal threat. When he arrived in Marvel’s main 616 continuity, he found the Avengers mansion empty due to House of M. Iron Lad then found a list of new heroes to recruit courtesy of the Avengers Fail-Safe Program. This led him to form the Young Avengers and try and play the part of the hero. However, another version of Kang eventually found him. The Young Avengers manage to defeat Kang at first, but this causes changes to the timeline, resulting in people disappearing. To restore the universe, Iron Lad agrees to go back to his universe, lose his memories of being a Young Avenger, and become Kang.
What Role The Young Avengers Will Play In the MCU
Phase 4 of the MCU should go a long way in establishing the Young Avengers’ roles in the MCU presently and the future. This will come in many forms too. For instance, Kate Bishop is becoming the new Hawkeye for Marvel’s future, so she is literally replacing a current and original Avenger. She should be one of the more prominent members of the Young Avengers based on this starting point. Characters like Hulkling and Patriot could have much smaller roles in Phase 4 before getting a bigger role in a potential Young Avengers standalone property. Someone like Hulkling, specifically, could become a major MCU character if his recent comic arcs are translated to the screen.
If most of the Young Avengers are introduced in Phase 4, that raises fascinating questions about what state the MCU will be in when they assemble. As the MCU currently stands, it really isn’t too far away from being in a similar position as the comics to when they joined the fight. The Avengers’ current state is unknown after Avengers: Endgame, but they might not be at full strength during Phase 4. Meanwhile, WandaVision could be the beginning of a Phase 4 House of M adaptation. So, while the Young Avengers characters are slowly introduced throughout Phase 4, the entirety of it could be used to reshape the landscape for them to come together.
Despite rumors of a Young Avengers project being developed by Marvel Studios, such potential plans are still unconfirmed. That said, it would make a lot of sense for this young group of heroes to assemble in their own movie or show. The ensemble nature and Avengers branding will make Young Avengers an automatic big draw. Simultaneously, the cast of recognizable young stars like Steinfeld and Newton can give the MCU a property that specifically targets the next generation of MCU fans.
Next: Netflix Beat The MCU To A Young Avengers Movie
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
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