Fans have speculated for years now when the Young Avengers might be coming to the MCU. Well, before the credits rolled on The Marvels, we got our first official confirmation that the Young Avengers are on their way. Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan appears in the loft of Hawkeye/Kate Bishop, in a scene that comically echoes Nick Fury’s post-credits scene in the first Iron Man. Ms. Marvel informs Kate she’s gathering a group of younger heroes together, based on intel she procured from Nick Fury. She even mentions that she heard that “Ant-Man has a daughter.” We of course know she’s talking about Cassie Lang.
All of this is leading to what Marvel fans have been wanting for some time now—confirmation of some kind of plan to see the Young Avengers on screen. So, just who are these Young Avengers in the comics? And are the other members of the team already in the MCU? Surprisingly, most of them already are. Let’s go down the list of candidates for the MCU’s Young Avengers, starting with those already introduced, to the ones we’re still patiently waiting for.
Stature (Cassie Lang)
In the comics, Cassie Lang is the daughter of Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man. When her father supposedly died in the Avengers Disassembled storyline, she took up the mantle of hero herself, revealing she had the same size-changing powers as her dad after years of exposure to Pym Particles. She was one of the first new recruits into the Young Avengers when they formed, and has been an on-and-off member ever since. Sometimes she goes by the superhero name Stature, and other times, the codenames Stinger and Ant-Girl.
We’ve known all about the MCU’s Cassie Lang since the very first Ant-Man, when she was played by Abby Ryder Fortson. In Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania, Kathryn Newton played the part of Cassie as a now 18-year-old, one who was able to harness the Stature tech from her “Uncle” Hank Pym into becoming superpowered herself. She went on an adventure into the Quantum Realm with her family, establishing herself as a hero and aiding the freedom fighters against Kang. Besides Kate Bishop, she’s the most fully developed of the Young Avengers heroes in the MCU. So, it makes sense for Kamala and Kate to try to recruit her first.
Wiccan and Speed (Billy Kaplan and Tommy Shepherd)
One of the founding members of the Young Avengers, Billy and his twin brother Tommy were the children of the Scarlet Witch, Wanda Maximoff. Or at least, they were the manifestations of children Wanda created through her own incredible power. They eventually vanished when Wanda discovered they were not real. The comics eventually reincarnated Billy and Tommy into new teenage bodies, with superpowers to boot. Billy was reborn as Billy Kaplan, and discovered he had magical powers like his “mother” as a teen. Tommy was reincarnated into another family, growing up as Thomas Shephard. He had super speed powers like his uncle Quicksilver, and took on the heroic name of Speed.
In WandaVision we met child versions of Billy and Tommy inside Wanda’s hex in Westview. They went from babies to children almost overnight. When Wanda’s hex came down, they vanished, seemingly into non-existence. However, we doubt that highly. Rumor has it Joe Locke, who stars in Netflix’s Heartstopper, will play the teenage Billy, a.k.a. Wiccan, in Agatha: Darkhold Diaries. He’s definitely in the series, and all circumstantial evidence points to his being teenage Billy. Now, if Billy Maximoff was indeed reborn, that means his twin brother Tommy is likely also out there somewhere as well. Hopefully he’s ready to answer the call to join the Young Avengers.
Patriot (Eli Bradley)
In the comics, Patriot was a founding member of the Young Avengers, sporting a star-spangled shield and costume similar to Captain America. We eventually learn he is Eli Bradley, the grandson of the original Captain America, Isaiah Bradley. The government used the elder Bradley as a guinea pig during WWII in developing the super soldier serum, and kept his status as the world’s first true Captain America a secret for years. Years later, a blood transfusion would give Eli some of his grandfather’s powers, and he’d become a superhero himself.
In The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes introduced Sam Wilson to the original African-American Captain America, Isaiah Bradley. Instead of pre-dating Steve Rogers, in the MCU he was the only living survivor of several soldiers the government tested on to recreate the super-soldier serum. Isaiah’s grandson Eli appears briefly on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, played by Elijah Richardson, living with his grandpa. So we know he exists in the MCU already. Someone just needs to go ring his doorbell.
Although not a founding member of the Young Avengers, America Chavez became a mainstay of the team during writer Kieron Gillen’s run on the title. America Chavez was actually born in another dimension called the Utopian Parallel. She had the power to open portals from one universe into the next. America is Marvel Comics’ first Latina LGBTQ hero, and served not only as a Young Avenger, but also the Ultimates, and the West Coast Avengers.
She was introduced into the MCU in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, played by Xochitl Gomez. And she played quite a big role. In fact, due to her multiverse skipping powers, she became the target of the Scarlet Witch, and became a sidekick (of sorts) to Doctor Strange. She was last seen training in the use of her powers at Kamar-Taj. It seems like Kamala and Kate will have to pay her a visit very soon.
Ironheart (Riri Williams)
Marvel introduced Riri Williams in 2016, as a 15-year-old genius MIT student who was able to build her own Iron Man armor. Tony Stark heard about her and was impressed, becoming her official sponsor at the university. After Tony landed in a coma some time later, a version of his consciousness communicated with her via an A.I., guiding her as a nascent superhero. Eventually, Riri made a name for herself as Ironheart, and found her way onto the team known as the Champions. Although technically not the Young Avengers, this group of teenage heroes was very similar to the Young Avengers, and even Ms . Marvel was a member, along with the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man.
The MCU introduced Riri Williams as key part of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, played by Dominique Thorne. Slightly older than her comic book counterpart, Riri was still studying at MIT. Her inventions drew the negative attention of the underwater nation of Namor. She became a ward of the Wakandans, who were impressed at her DIY version of the Iron Man armor. With access to superior Wakandan technology, she created her first real Ironheart armor, and helped the Wakandans in the final battle with Namor’s people. She returned home, soon to star in her own Ironheart series on Disney+. As a key player already in the MCU, we think she’ll be at the top of the list for Kamala and Kate’s recruitment list.
In the comics, a younger version of Loki brought together a later iteration of the Young Avengers team. The junior version of the Asgardian God of Mischief was a true pain. But he also found genuine friendship with his teammates. The MCU introduced a version of this character in the first season of Loki, as a Multiversal variant who killed his brother Thor. Eventually, the TVA arrested him to save the sacred timeline. When last we saw him, the younger Loki remained in the Void at the End of Time. This means he still exists out there, and might join an MCU version of the Young Avengers at some point. Although we’re not sure how Kamala and Kate are making that particular house call.
Iron Lad (Nathaniel Richards/Kang)
Iron Lad was a founding member of the Young Avengers, and the true identity of this teenage Iron Man remained a mystery for some time. It was eventually revealed that Iron Lad, a.k.a. Nathaniel Richards, was a time-traveling, adolescent version of Kang the Conqueror—version who was trying to avoid his destiny as a villain and made an attempt to become a hero. A young actor who could play Iron Lad has yet to be cast, but we definitely know there’s a Kang. And thus, a teenage variant of him out there could fit the bill. Since any Young Avengers project would fall squarely in the Multiverse Saga, using Iron Lad sounds like the perfect way to tie it in.
Hulkling (Teddy Altman)
Probably the most significant Young Avenger not yet introduced or even hinted at yet is Hulkling. A founding member in the comics, Hulkling, a.k.a. Teddy Altman, first appeared to be what his name suggested—a teen version of the Hulk. But he was no gamma-irradiated human, he was a half-Kree/half-Skrull prince raised on Earth. Teddy could shapeshift into Hulk size, but also into anything else he wanted. His father was Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel, and a Skrull princess, thus making him royalty. His boyfriend (and future husband) is his fellow teammate, Wiccan.
The MCU gender-swapped Mar-Vell, and introduced her in the first Captain Marvel. It would be easy enough to say she married and had a child with a Skrull prince rather than a princess, perhaps one of the Skrull refugees, and Teddy is the product of that union. Of course, that would mean Teddy is pushing 40 now, but hey, we’ll let the writers figure all that out. As half of Marvel’s most beloved gay power couple, Hulkling needs to turn up soon in the MCU. It’s just not the Young Avengers without him.
Prodigy (David Alleyne)
One of the few Young Avengers characters related directly to the X-Men, David Alleyne, a.k.a Prodigy, came aboard the team after appearing in comics like New X-Men, and The Champions. Prodigy is a mutant with the power to telepathically absorb and copy any knowledge and skills from the minds of people around him. However, the knowledge eventually dissolves away. After his time as a member of the Young Avengers, Prodigy began a romantic relationship with Speed. His power set isn’t very showy or fun on screen, so he might not make it in. But he’s another candidate who has not shown up in live-action yet, and aside from Kamala Khan and (arguably) the Maximoff twins, he might be one of few known mutants who could make the cut.