Review and summary of Young Avengers 2005-2012 by author Allan Heinberg and Illustrators Jim Cheung and Andrea Di Vito
Cast of Young Avengers
Nate Richards: aka Iron Lad. He becomes Kang in the future but in the present he has the tech of Vision.
Cassie Lang: aka Ant Girl, aka Stature. Daughter of Scott Lang, Ant Man. She has been stealing pym particles for years and has developed the ability to grow and shrink without the aid of a suit.
Billy Kaplan: aka Asgardian, aka Wiccan. A spell caster who is still new to the art. Sometimes he spells work, often times they don’t.
Teddy Altman: aka Hulkling. A shapeshifter who takes on the Hulk form for the beginning of his journey to superherodom.
Kate Bishop: aka Hawkeye. Daughter of a very wealthy man, skilled in archery and combat. She’s the money of the operation.
Eli Bradley: aka Patriot. Grandson of Isaiah Bradley, the original Captain America. Claims to have received a blood transfusion from Isaiah that has given him the powers of a super soldier.
Spoiler Free Review
Young Avengers is a surprisingly welcome addition to Marvel canon. On the surface it looks like a simple teenaged ripoff of the Avengers. However, it’s a solid comic book run with way more to offer than just young people fighting crime and playing dress up.
The characters origins and names do get a little complicated and many of them change throughout the book as they come into their own. We get the introduction of Kate Bishop, Hawkeye, who has become one of my favorite Marvel characters over the years.
The premise of the story is that Iron Lad knows he becomes Kang in the future and is determined to change this path. Thing do get a bit time travel-y which isn’t always my favorite but they make it work. There’s no way around timeline stuff getting complicated. It’s best to not overthink it. Just enjoy the team saving the day.
The book mainly serves as an introduction laying the groundwork for future runs. It introduces these great characters and tailors them to a new generation. Billy Kaplan and Teddy Altman are dating which brings us a welcome openly gay couple. Well, not all the way open, they do still have to come out to their parents.
Parents play a large role in Young Avengers. All too often teenage stars of media are somehow left with no guardians. Half of all superheroes seem to be some kind of orphan or raised by a big brother. These teens do have parents that care about their well being. Parents who can also be used as leverage against them as the adult Avengers threaten to tell tattle on them.
This book doesn’t forget that teens are still teens. They have crushes, homework, curfews, school to attend, and friends to hang out with. Yes, they have powers and missions but they still care about getting after school snacks and complaining about teachers.
They also still have a lot of growing up to do. Wiccan is a spell caster but he’s not an expert yet. He’s still learning how to master his powers because he lacks experience. It’s refreshing to see these characters have room to grow. It’s a coming of age story.
I definitely recommend Young Avengers to any Marvel fans. You’ll be surprised at how this book can outshine many regular Avengers runs.
5/5 super heroes 🦹🏻♀️🦹🏻♀️🦹🏻♀️🦹🏻♀️🦹🏻♀️
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Young Avengers Summary
The public wants to know, who are these young new heroes in New York? Jessica Jones is tasked with figuring out the identities of the group the media has dubbed the Young Avengers.
The team is initially made up of Iron Lad, Hulkling, Asgardian, and Patriot. They are fighting against the threat of Kang’s return to Earth. Iron Lad knows that in the future timeline he becomes Kang and is determined to keep that from happening.
After a botched takedown of some bad guys Cassie Lang and Kate Bishop offer their services to the group. They are reluctant to admit any more members to the team until they are detained by Jessica Jones, Captain America, and Iron Man. Kate Bishop comes to the rescue and breaks them out. The team is now willing to allow two girls to join.
Iron Lad saves Cassie and she immediately falls for him. He tries to martyr himself by volunteering to go back to Kang’s timeline but the team doesn’t want him to risk it. They decide to stay and fight.
Iron Lad kills Kang, his own future self, and this messes up the time stream. They are now in a reality where the Avengers are all dead and members of their own team slipping away to non-existence. Iron Lad now has no choice but to leave present Earth and join Kang.
Since this has gotten out of control Captain America, Jones, and Iron Man play the roles of adults. They take the Young Avengers’ uniforms and threaten to tell their parents about their secret identities. The teens decide they should probably get ahead of this and tell their parents themselves but they’re scared of the consequences.
Kate Bishop funds a hideout and new uniforms so that they can continue to fight crime and protect the world against Kang.
They take too long in telling their parents and Captain America gets to them first. This is not going to be easy to explain.
Patriot, in his impatience, decides to go out on his own to fight some bad guys. He gets into a dangerous situation and the Young Avengers show up to rescue him. Instead of finding him defending himself they catch him taking mutant growth hormones (MGH).
MGH gives the user temporary powers like the X-Men. Patriot never received a blood transfusion from his grandfather at all. He’s been faking being a super soldier in order to make up for his anger at his grandfather never getting credit for being the first Captain America.
In the meantime Iron Lad’s suit has stayed behind. This suit is loaded with all of Vision’s technology and powers as well as all of Iron Lad’s memories. It is essentially his own synthezoid taking his place while his human form is off Earth.
Hulking has the misfortune of crossing paths with a Skrull. A Super Skrull comes to take him away at the same time the Kree show up saying he’s actually a son of Captain Marvel (male version, not Carol Danvers). Turns out he’s a Skrull/Kree hybrid. This explains his shapeshifting abilities.
With all that’s happening the Young Avengers decide to recruit some new members. They discover Tommy Shephard aka Speed. He looks just like Wiccan (Asgardian previously) and can accelerate atomic particles to go real fast. Now they learn that they are Scarlet Witch’s long lost twin boys.
The Skrull and Kree are ready to start a whole new war over Hulkling. In order to save Captain America from the first fire Patriot dives in front of the shot.
Now Patriot actually does need that blood transfusion and his grandfather steps up. In the next run he will truly have super soldier powers and will not need to use dangerous MGH anymore.
This sets us up for the continuation of the group. We’ll get some new characters and some answers to what happens with Iron Lad then. This run acts as a solid introduction to the team but does not tie up loose ends at all.
5/5 super heroes 🦹🏻♀️🦹🏻♀️🦹🏻♀️🦹🏻♀️🦹🏻♀️
No. Miles Morales is not in the original runs of the Young Avengers comic books. He is rumored to join them in a potential movie project.
No. Ms. Marvel, Kamala Kahn, is not a Young Avenger in the comic books. She is rumored to be a part of the group in a future movie project.
Not yet. Rumors of a Phase 4 Young Avengers project have been out for a while now but it is absent from Phases 4, 5, or 6 calendars. Some of the characters have been set up through other projects like Kate Bishop being introduced in the Hawkeye show on Disney+. At the time of writing this there has been no official announcement of when a Young Avengers movie or show will be made.