After months of rumors Kevin Feige confirmed that the upcoming Hawkeye series on Disney+ would feature Kate Bishop in a major role, learning archery (and, likely, other superhero skils) under the tutelage of Clint Barton. That name might not mean much for fans who only know the name Hawkeye from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but a little bit of comics knowledge reveals a whole lot of potential possibilities about the future of the MCU.
Bishop first appeared about 15 years ago in Young Avengers #1, where she was part of a teenaged team of Avengers replacements after the adult Avengers disbanded. Many of the original Young Avengers are still playing notable roles in Marvel Comics today, but none have gained quite the same level of popularity as Kate Bishop who has featured in multiple series featuring her as the lead (or co-lead) character. That’s not even counting various teams like multiple iterations of the Young Avengers and the new West Coast Avengers. She’s an important figure at Marvel Comics and one of the most significant young heroes in the publisher’s canon.
Her introduction (planned for the fall of 2021) may signal the introduction of many more young superheroes to bolster Marvel Studios as they continue to roll out future phases. There’s an argument for why having Kate Bishop introduce the Young Avengers is both important and likely.
Legacies of Heroism
If you asked a comic book fan about 20 years ago which publisher was more focused on legacy characters, the answer might have been different, but that has become a key strength of Marvel Comics over the intervening years. Many of the publisher’s current lines emphasize superhero mantles, lineages, and families as something valuable. It’s present in the relaunch of X-Men this week, as well as the sprawling Spider-Man line, current Avengers lineup, and others. There are multiple generations of young heroes as well, with many teenagers forming the Champions while many young adults have joined the West Coast Avengers or been promoted to core teams. Passing the torch is important, even if it’s sometimes only temporary, in these stories.
Kate Bishop and the Young Avengers represent a chance for that to become a significant trope in the MCU, as well. There have already been some examples, like Captain America passing his shield to The Falcon and Iron Man passing his technology to Spider-Man, but those were mantles passed to existing heroes, a change in leadership. Bishop represents a notable, but not essential, role moving forward with a new person. It recognizes that the symbols these heroes possess can be transferred to a younger generation, not just existing friends and allies. Spider-Man remains the only very young hero in the MCU, but the appearance of Young Avengers, starting with Kate Bishop, would mark the start of a whole new generation.
The Next Generation of the MCU
It appears that Marvel Studios doesn’t see any endings on the horizon following the success of Avengers: Endgame and excitement for the oddball collection of Phase 4 announcements. Considering that the franchise could be measured in decades now, there’s a lot of value to be found in long term planning. The introduction of the Young Avengers would help a lot with that consideration.
Knowing that there is likely a decade or more of Marvel movies left to come lends patience to the laying of plans. Kate Bishop won’t appear until 2021, but that’s not a problem considering it only represents the end of Phase 4. Rather than rushing all of the Young Avengers to screen at once, they can be introduced naturally across a variety of movies and Disney+ series, all with the intention of eventually bringing them together on the big screen. There’s no hurry now, and that means each of these new Avengers can receive the time and attention needed to bring this unique team to the MCU.
There’s also the benefit of casting young actors who can remain with the franchise for longer periods of time without aging out or retiring. Tom Holland could easily carry the Spider-Man role longer than Robert Downey Jr. carried Iron Man, depending on contract negotiations. A cast of Young Avengers provides a similar range of charismatic talent who will grow with the franchise across many, many phases, while also delivering new generational superhero stories.
More Young Avengers to Come
It doesn’t just make sense from a business and storytelling angle to bring the Young Avengers into the MCU either. It’s apparent that much of the groundwork needed to introduce these teenage superheroes has already been transferred from comics to film. At this point in the MCU, it’s not difficult to provide a path for any of the Young Avengers (from any version of the team) to be introduced within an existing franchise, and several stories have already been hinted at, including:
Stature: This size-changing superhero has already appeared multiple times in the Ant-Man franchise, not to mention her time jump into being a teenager for Avengers: Endgame. While Scott has not mentioned even considering giving Cassie any Pym Particles, she is already familiar with her father’s work as a superhero, playing with over-sized ants and spending lots of time around his poorly guarded equipment.
Hulking: Hulking is the descendant of both Skrull royalty and Mar-vell, making him a key figure in both species ongoing war and providing him with the Skrull’s shapeshifting abilities. Given the ongoing conflict between those two alien species still raging at the end of Captain Marvel and the appearance of Skrulls in Spider-Man: Far From Home, it’s unlikely we have heard the last from either. Hulkling would be easily introduced as part of that ongoing conflict in the Captain Marvel sequel or another cosmic story.0comments
Wiccan: The announcement of the WandaVision series on Disney+ also indicates another pairing, this time a clearly romantic one, that fans haven’t seen the last of. Wiccan is the son of Scarlet Witch and Vision in the comics, conceived by supernatural means. He and his twin brother, Speed, are both created by Wanda’s chaos magic. That this series also ties into the supernatural events of the Doctor Strange sequel indicates that the Maximoff family might be growing very soon.
So what do you think? Are you ready to see the Young Avengers in future Marvel Studios movies? Which ones do you think are most likely to appear? Let us know in the comments.