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Young Avengers is an Americanmarker comic book series written by Allan Heinberg and published by Marvel Comics. It follows the a group of young superheroes, each of whom patterns himself or herself after a member of the long-established Marvel superhero team the Avengers.

Marvel's 1940s forerunner, Timely Comics, had an unrelated character, Young Avenger, who debuted in USA Comics #1 (Aug. 1941).

Fictional biography

Young Avengers follows the events of the "Avengers Disassembled" storyline. The four founding members of the team were gathered together as a result of the Vision's plan for the reformation of the Avengers in the event the team disbanded. In the series, newspapers refer to the young heroes as "super-powered fanboys" and label them the "Young Avengers," a name the team members initially disliked but which stuck nonetheless.

Members

Original Members

The Vision's contingency plan for reforming the Avengers in an emergency hints that each of the four original team members brought together by Iron Lad has a significant tie to an existing Avengers member or the team's history:

  • Hulkling (resembling Captain Marvel and the Hulk) is Teddy Altman. He is a shape-shifter who also possesses enhanced strength and healing. He is the son of Kree hero Captain Mar-Vell and the Skrull princess Anelle; he is a Kree-Skrull hybrid.
  • Iron Lad (resembling Iron Man) is the young man who will one day become Kang the Conqueror. He is armed with a neuro-kinetic suit given to him by Kang the Conqueror (of the future) that responds to mental commands.
  • Patriot (resembling Captain America). Initially he had no inherent powers, obtaining enchanced abilities through drug use. Patriot was revealed to be the grandson of super-soldier Isaiah Bradley and claimed to have gotten his powers through a blood transfusion from his grandfather, though it was later revealed to be a lie. However, he eventually did receive his grandfather's powers through a blood transfusion. His original costume resembled that of Bucky Barnes.
  • Wiccan (formerly Asgardian; patterned after the Scarlet Witch and Thor) is Billy Kaplan, who may be the son of the Scarlet Witch and the Vision. Billy uses magic for various effects, such as casting spells for flight, lightning generation, and locating people, and activates these spells by repeating the intended effect outlout. Thomas Shepherd (Speed) may be his twin brother, and the reincarnation of the twins that the Scarlet Witch lost.


Later members

  • Hawkeye (a combination of the original Hawkeye/Mockingbird/Swordsman), whose real name is Kate Bishop, is a civilian who forcibly introduced herself into the Young Avengers, saving them from a botched rescue. While Kate has no inherent powers, she is competent with a bow and arrow as well as a sword. She later adopted the codename Hawkeye with the blessing of Captain America, who bestowed to her the original Hawkeye's bow and arrows as a gift.


  • Speed (patterned after Quicksilver) is Thomas Shepherd, a boy the team rescued from imprisonment. He may be the son of the Scarlet Witch and the Vision, and thus the twin brother of Wiccan. Though he was part of the Vision's contingency plan, he was not an original team member. He is a speedster who can also accelerate atomic matter as well as destabilize it.


  • Stature (patterned after Ant-Man/Giant-Man) is Cassie Lang, daughter of the late Scott Lang. She has the power to change size at will. Initially planning on running to Los Angeles to join the Runaways before learning of the group's existence, she instead tracked down the Young Avengers along with Kate, convincing them to allow them membership.


  • The Vision (a combination of Iron Lad and the original Vision) Iron Lad uploaded Vision's "operating system" into his armor to execute the android's contingency plan. After Iron Lad was forced to leave the team, he activated the software, causing his armor to become a new version of the Vision — albeit one with none of the memories or life experience of his predecessor.


List of Members

Character Real Name Joined in Notes
Iron Lad Nathaniel Richards Young Avengers #1 Founder; left team to become Kang.
Hulkling Teddy Altman Young Avengers #1 Chosen by Nathaniel as one of the original members.
Patriot Elijah "Eli" Bradley Young Avengers #1 Chosen by Nathaniel as one of the original members.
Wiccan Billy Kaplan Young Avengers #1 Chosen by Nathaniel as one of the original members.
Stature Cassandra Lang Young Avengers #2 Daughter of former Ant-Man, Scott Lang. Left team during Civil War to join The Initiative but later returned after Secret Invasion. She has dual membership with Mighty Avengers.
Hawkeye Kate Bishop
Speed Thomas Shepherd Young Avengers #12 Located by Vision to join the Young Avengers and rescue Hulkling.
Vision Based on the Iron Lad tech, contains both the Vision's programming and Nathan's emotions. Left the team after Secret Invasion, but returned with Cassandra Lang. He has dual membership with The Mighty Avengers.


Recurring characters



Storylines

Issues 1-12 and Young Avengers Special

In "Sidekicks" (issues #1-#6), reporters Jessica Jones (a former teen superhero known as Jewel) and Kat Farrell of The Daily Bugle and heroes Captain America and Iron Man investigate a new group of teenage heroes. The story is set in the time between the "Avengers Disassembled" storyline and the beginning of New Avengers. The team defeats Kang the Conqueror, still Captain America and Iron Man take away their gear and refuse to train the team without their parents' consent. Despite the heroes' warnings, the team continues with a new headquarters, new costumes, and new names.

In "Secret Identities" (issues #7-#8), the Young Avengers must decide how much to tell their parents after the members decide to continue acting publicly. None of their parents find out. During a fight with Mr. Hyde in Young Avengers #8, Wiccan discovers Eli abusing MGH a drug that gives people powers for short periods of time in order to appear to have superpowers. Eli confesses that he deceived the Vision who meant to recruit his missing uncle Josiah in order to join the team. Overwhelmed with emotion, he quits the team.

In Young Avengers Special #1, Jessica Jones interviews the Young Avengers about their pasts at the insistence of Kat Farrell. Cassie Lang had a troubled home life, especially after her father died. She and her mother constantly fought and she hated her mom's new boyfriend. Had the Young Avengers not formed, Cassie planned to join the Runaways. Teddy Altman abused his shapeshifting powers to hang out with a more popular kid. He realized that he had gone too far when his "friend" tried to force him to steal artifacts from the destroyed Avengers Mansion. Billy Kaplan had a problem with being accepted. He met the Scarlet Witch, who explained that being different isn't bad. Kate Bishop was attacked in a park. Eli Bradley took the Mutant Growth Hormone because he felt powerless against some thugs and wanted to prove that his grandfather truly was the black Captain America.

In "Family Matters" (issues #9-#12), K'Lrt the Super-Skrull tries to take Teddy to the Skrull homeworld. K'Lrt reveals that Mrs. Altman is not Teddy's mother and kills her. In the aftermath, K'Lrt kidnaps Teddy. The Vision offers to locate more "Young Avengers" using his prior incarnation's contingency plan. The Young Avengers break Thomas Shepherd out of a superhuman prison and recruit him. Tommy can move at superhuman speed and accelerate matter, destabilizing it enough to cause an explosion. The Super-Skrull tells Teddy of his true origin as the son of the Kree hero Captain Marvel and the Skrull princess Anelle. He then claims that Tommy and Billy are the Scarlet Witch and Vision's lost twin sons. Billy believes him but Tommy does not. Kree and Skrull combat forces arrive and fight each other and the Young Avengers until Teddy, realizing his importance to both sides, calls for a ceasefire. The Avengers intervene and a Kree warrior fires at Captain America. Patriot intervenes and is gravely wounded. Hulkling and K'Lrt end the fighting by secretly shapeshifting into each other's forms. Captain America and K'Lrt, disguised as Hulkling, broker a shared custody between the races.

At a hospital, Eli's grandfather donates his blood to Eli. Captain America again tells the Young Avengers to stop what they're doing. Kate blames their trouble on the Avengers for not training them. The Young Avengers repair the statues of fallen Avengers at Avengers Mansion. Eli now has superpowers as a result of the blood transfusion. Kate receives Hawkeye's bow and quiver from Captain America, and she takes the mantle of Hawkeye. Tommy arrives in costume and calls himself Speed.

Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways

In Civil War #2, the members of Young Avengers are captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. for not complying with the registration act. Captain America and the Falcon help them escape. Once in Captain America's secret base, the Young Avengers join the resistance movement called Secret Avengers. In issue #3, the team follows Captain America into a trap set by Iron Man. Wiccan, along with Cloak, is knocked out via tranquilizers while the rest of the Young Avengers joins the fight against Iron Man and the pro-registration heroes. Stature leaves the resistance after Goliath is killed by a clone of Thor and the Secret Avengers are forced to retreat from battle leaving Wiccan behind. However, shortly afterwards Stature registers and begins superhero training. The remainder of the team remained with Captain America. Stature is seen alongside Iron Man and the rest of the "pro-reg" group during the final battle between registered and rebel heroes. Deadpool is commissioned as a "hero hunter" in the war and frequently remarks how he'd like to capture "those nubile Young Avengers".

With the surrender of Captain America, the rest of the Young Avengers are granted amnesty in exchange for registration. All the members except Hawkeye and Patriot registered, and began training at Camp Hammond. In the last issue of the Fallen Son crossover, when the funeral of Captain America takes place at Washington D.C., all of the Young Avengers are seen, wearing their Super Hero outfits, and are even mentioned by name by the Falcon, while delivering the ceremonial speech. This suggests another amnesty was offered to Hawkeye, Patriot and Speed, who had stayed in the resistance after the end of the Civil War, alongside the New Avengers.

In She-Hulk #21 it was revealed that the Hulking and Wiccan that joined the Initiative were actually a pair of interdimensional travelers known as "Alphas" whereas the actual Hulkling and Wiccan were shocked at the discovery that they had registered. Hawkeye, Patriot, and Speed, remain unregistered.

Young Avengers Presents

Patriot

Eli returns to his home in the Bronx to discover that Bucky had visited his grandfather Isaiah Bradley. Hoping to talk to him, Patriot and Hawkeye, with the assistance of a portal spell from Wiccan, track Bucky down to an A.I.M. base. After aiding Bucky against the A.I.M. MODOCs (Military Organisms Designed Only for Combat), Patriot follows him to Steve Rogers' old apartment and shares his concerns losing faith in the country. Bucky explains to Eli that America is an idea used for good or ill, but one with value to it and something worth defending against all threat, inspiring the younger hero once more.

Hulkling

After seeing footage of Mar-Vell's return in Times Square, Teddy immediately goes and speaks to the legendary hero, telling him that he is his son. Unfortunately, Captain Marvel, rather shocked by the news, leaves Teddy to consider what he has learned. Meeting Mar-Vell after stopping some bank robbers, they discuss Teddy's childhood. While Captain Marvel is exceptionally proud of Teddy for becoming an Avenger, he confesses that he will not be able to stay forever, as the survival of the time stream depends on him eventually returning back to the past and dying from cancer. This Captain Marvel eventually turned out to be a Skrull sleeper agent in place for the Secret Invasion

Wiccan and Speed

Wiccan and Speed begin searching for the Scarlet Witch, whom they believe to be their mother, to learn more about their past and history. They check Genosha and Wundagore Mountain before meeting Master Pandemonium in the Scarlet Witch's old residence in New Jersey. He chooses not to fight them after discovering who their mother is, and advises them to end their search and embrace their present lives.

Vision

Vision tracks down Stature to Camp Hammond where she is training to be an Initiative hero. After confronting her, the two talk about their relationship and who the Vision is. The Vision reveals that after Civil War, he traveled around the world posing as different people, living many different lives, ultimately culminating in a better understanding of who "he" is. He asserts that he is his own person, not the memories of Iron Lad, confessing his love to Cassie, and states that he wishes to now be called Jonas. Cassie demonstrates that she is unsure but is willing to reciprocate his feelings.

Stature

Stature accidentally injures her stepfather while stopping a super villain. Her guilt causes her to shrink and the other Young Avengers attempt to snap her out of it before she shrinks into non-existence. She comes to terms with the responsibilities and risks of her position as part of the Young Avengers and the Initiative, reasoning that her stepfather also understands the risks of life as a policeman.

Hawkeye

Hawkeye feels uncomfortable about her growing relationship with Patriot and meanwhile is being tested by Clint Barton, the original Hawkeye. Kate and Clint make a bet that results in Kate returning her bow and her name to the original Hawkeye. Clint tries to advocate for the Young Avengers by offering the assistance of the Secret Avengers. Speed takes Kate out on a date and they break into the Secret Avengers hideout to retrieve the bow. Kate reaffirms her position as Hawkeye and co-leader of the Young Avengers, with Clint's approval, and also reaffirms her feelings toward Patriot, asking him to be patient with her.

Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers

The Young Avengers are currently teamed up again with the Runaways in a Secret Invasion tie-in. The Young Avengers are the first to respond to the Skrull invasion in Manhattan, New Yorkmarker. They are quickly defeated, though Xavin manages to rescue Hulkling.When asked as to whether all the Young Avengers and Runaways survive the miniseries, writer Chris Yost replied by saying: "Things get bad, I won't lie. Really, really bad."

Dark Reign: Young Avengers

Stature and Vision join the reformed Mighty Avengers while having joint membership with the Young Avengers.

Cassandra Lang and Vision later invite their fellow Young Avengers to the Mighty Avengers' headquarters to look for "Scarlet Witch" and prove that she isn't what she seems. When Cassandra has Wiccan teleport "Scarlet Witch to them," Loki appears in his Scarlet Witch disguise just as Ronin ambushes "Scarlet Witch."

Dark Reign: Young Avengers is a limited series written by Paul Cornell, with artist Mark Brooks, which will introduce a new group of Young Avengers, but controlled by Norman Osborn. These will be twisted versions of the Young Avengers, much like the Dark Avengers are. They are being dubbed the Young Masters (a play on the name of an older villain team, the Masters of Evil). However, the original Young Avengers aren't too happy about this.

The current members of the new team are:



Future

Heinberg has said that the teenage Kang will show up, but he will not be Iron Lad anymore. He will be part of a love triangle with Vision and Cassie.

Young Avengers was plagued by delays in 2005 and 2006 and its third arc was cut by two issues, ending early in June 2006. Heinberg announced at the 2007 Bristol Comic Con that when the series returns, he will be mainly plotting the series with a co-writer taking on most of the writing load. He also said that Jim Cheung will return as the artist. Joe Quesada has also confirmed that Heinberg and Chueng are currently at work with a story that heavily revolves around the team when Secret Invasion concludes.

Other versions

What If?: 2008

For the 2008 series of What If, a story which sees the Runaways become the Young Avengers ran as a back-up story though all five issues. The five-part back-up feature illustrates what would've happened if Iron Lad never finds out about the Avengers Fail-Safe Program. Instead, he recruits the Runaways, forcing them to be an actual super-hero team with costumes. It was written by C.B. Cebulski, and drawn by Patrick "Spaz" Spaziante.

Awards





Bibliography

  • Young Avengers #1-12, Special #1
  • Civil War:Young Avengers and Runaways #1-4
  • Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers #1-3
  • Dark Reign: Young Avengers #1-5
  • Young Avengers Presents #1-6


Collected editions

The stories have been collected into a number of volumes:

Title Material collected Date Released ISBN
Volume 1: Sidekicks Premiere HC Young Avengers #1-6 February 2006 ISBN 0-7851-1470-X
Volume 1: Sidekicks TPB Young Avengers #1-6 May 2006 ISBN 0-7851-2018-1
Volume 2: Family Matters Premiere HC Young Avengers #7-12, Young Avengers Special November 2006 ISBN 0-7851-2021-1
Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways #1-4 May 2007 ISBN 0-7851-2317-2
Volume 2: Family Matters TPB Young Avengers #7-12, Young Avengers Special May 2007 ISBN 0-7851-1754-7
Young Avengers HC Young Avengers #1-12, Young Avengers Special #1 February 2008 ISBN 0-7851-3033-0
Young Avengers Presents TPB Young Avengers Presents #1-6 October 2008 ISBN 0-7851-2975-8
Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers TPB Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers #1-3 March 2009 ISBN 0-7851-3266-X


Footnotes

  1. Grand Comics Database: USA Comics #1
  2. Young Avengers Presents #1
  3. Young Avengers Presents #2
  4. VISION QUEST: Cornell talks Young Avengers Presents, Comic Book Resources, April 23, 2008
  5. Revealing the (New) Mighty Avengers, Jesse Schedeen
  6. Mighty Avengers #28
  7. NYCC: Cornell Talks “Dark Reign: Young Avengers”, Comic Book Resources, February 7, 2009
  8. NYCC '09 - Paul Cornell on Dark Reign: Young Avengers, Newsarama, February 7, 2009
  9. Mark Brooks: Designing the Young Masters, Newsarama, February 20, 2009
  10. Dark Reign: Young Avengers #2
  11. Interview at AvengersForever.com


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