Wednesday, 17 April 2013

How the Young Avengers could enter the MCU (part 2)

In my last post, I explored some options as to how Cassie Lang, Kate Bishop, Billy Kaplan and the Vision (Iron-Lad's relation, not Ultron's) could assemble on screen. Today, I'll be looking at the other members of the team: Teddy Altman, Eli Bradley, Tommy Shepherd and Nathaniel Richards.

Captain America 3
Introducing Eli 'Patriot' Bradley:
A long established fact of the MCU is that others have attempted to recreate Dr. Erskine's formula. The Incredible Hulk's version of Banner's origins involved the use of gamma radiation for this very purpose. So, it wouldn't be too difficult for the Marvel Studio's to introduce Eli's grandfather Isaiah Bradley in a future Captain America film. This can be achieved through flashbacks throughout the film and towards the end, Eli could be introduced when Cap visits the now elderly Isaiah. Eli can then be reintroduced in a Young Avengers project as Patriot.

Guardians of the Galaxy/Ms. Marvel/SHIELD
Introducing Teddy 'Hulking' Altman:
Of the teams founding members, Hulking is probably the hardest to introduce. Unlike his teammates, he doesn't hold any direct link to any existing characters in the MCU, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Firstly, with his role as heir to both the Kree and Skrull empires he fits nicely into a cosmic film. Loosely adapting an arc from Young Avengers Volume 1, the empires could converge on Earth to take Teddy by force leading to the Guardians of the Galaxy intervening. However this is relying on the film getting a sequel or Marvel wishing to bring the team to Earth.

Another option is a Ms. Marvel solo film. It's long been rumoured that Carol Danvers will be joining in The Avengers 2 (or maybe even earlier in GOTG), which would inevitably lead into a solo film. With her origins, this would likely involve a connection with the Kree and hopefully Teddy's biological father Captain Marvel. This would be the perfect opportunity to introduce Teddy, or at the very least the Kree, to the MCU. One final possibility is (as mentioned in my last post) a cameo or guest appearance in SHIELD, which hopefully will be used as a springboard for more obscure Marvel characters.

The Young Avengers
Introducing Nathaniel 'Iron-Lad' Richard and Tommy 'Speed' Shepherd:
Before talking about these characters, I should probably outline where I see Young Avengers fitting into the wider scheme pf the MCU. Firstly, I don't think a film is the right place for these characters. A TV series would give them more room to expand away from their older counterparts and create a tone more suited to their specific team dynamic. Secondly, the first season should, at least for the first half of the season, focus on how these characters already established in the MCU come together with the main conflict being the ominous presence of Kang.

Iron-Lad should be the first character the viewer meets in the pilot, possibly discussing an imminent threat from the future and his plan to stop it. This leads into him gradually recruiting or meeting each team member as the pilot progresses, ending with the team breaking into Avengers Mansion/Stark Tower/the Helicarrier and stealing the Avengers relics like Cap's shield and Hawkeye's bow.

From that point onwards the series can feature individual episodes dealing with each member's respective story arcs. Mid-way through the series Tommy can be introduced. Also with Joss Whedon's comments about a "brother and sister dynamic" in the Avengers sequel it seems possible that Tommy and Billy's parentage could be addressed.

The finale of the series or mid-season finale should involve Kang's forces arriving in the present day and the team contacting the Avengers for help. This can lead into Avengers 3 or 4 (or any other sequel assuming Marvel Studios is here for the long haul).

These are just some ideas as to how Marvel could introduce the Young Avengers into the MCU. Although this is probably just wishful thinking. Any Young Avenger's fan likely has a long wait until they see the team on screen...

Monday, 15 April 2013

How the Young Avengers could enter the MCU (Part 1)

I've talked several times before about my love for the Young Avengers, specifically Wiccan. So, it's no surprise that the possibility of a film for the group excites me and has left me wondering how the team could seamlessly enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I've accepted the fact that the team won't assemble before Phase 3 at the earliest so lets just bypass Phase 2 for now. Although if Loki does die as rumoured in Thor: The Dark World, there's nothing to say he can't be resurrected as a young child, but this post is purely focusing on the team from
Volume 1. Following Marvel Studio's winning formula, I'm going to discuss possible options for films where one or more of the team can appear establishing them for an eventual team-up.

Introducing Cassie 'Stature' Lang and possibly the Vision:
For anyone who isn't up to date regarding Marvel's smallest hero, currently three different men have taken up this mantle: Hank Pym, founding Avenger and genius scientist, Scott Lang, one-time thief, recently resurrected hero and member of the newest incarnation of the FF, and Eric O'Grady, creepy member of The Initiative who likely is not going to appear in the film (but if he does Edgar Wright's long-term collaborator Simon Pegg seems like a good choice). For the Young Avengers to appear both Hank Pym and Scott Lang need to feature.

Firstly, Hank Pym is needed to allow Vision to be born. Not only did he discover the Pym Particles which allow Ant-Man to gain his powers, but he also designs and builds Vision's father Ultron. Seeing as Ultron is one of the Avengers biggest threats, it doesn't seem too unlikely that he will appear in the MCU at some point. However, if the robot does not factor into Marvel's long-term plan the Young Avenger's Vision can be introduced as a remotely controlled suit which Iron-Lad leaves behind, technically Young Vision is this anyway but older Vision needs to be built by Ultron to inspire the design of Young Vision (continuity's a bitch).

Secondly, Scott Lang, should he appear, will probably be accompanied by his daughter Cassie whom he takes up theft for in an attempt to pay for medial treatment. With rumours that the film could feature two separate incarnations of the character, Scott and Hank seem the most likely candidates. If she does appear as a young child this could be a fun cameo for Young Avengers fans and establish her as a member of the MCU for a future team-up.

Doctor Strange
Introducing Billy 'Wiccan' Kaplan:
The only other (semi) confirmed Phase 3 films seems like an odd choice to introduce a member of the team. To date no member of the group has had a strong connection to Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme, so why would any member appear in a Doctor Strange film? Well, Wiccan does have mystical reality altering power (something which surely would gain the attention of Doctor Strange) and in a flash-forward to a possible future for the team, in Young Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1 (a side issue to the main Children's Crusade series), Wiccan had taken on the role of the Sorcerer Supreme.

Bearing in mind this probably isn't canon anymore, it still presents an interesting idea to introduce Doctor Strange and Wiccan together. Instead of simply telling Strange's origin in the upcoming film, the viewer could be welcomed by a teenage boy dabbling with magic before becoming an apprentice to the hero. This could introduce a popular young hero (and begin diversifying the Cinematic Universe with it's first LGBT and Jewish character) and establish Strange as a more experienced hero breaking the mould of superhero films. Introducing Wiccan in this way would also work around the absence of the Scarlet Witch and Mutants in general.

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
Introducing Kate 'Hawkeye' Bishop:
Presumably, with a pilot not airing until the Fall and then another year's production before the first series can air, Marvel Studio's first venture into TV will just be starting season 2 when Phase 3 begins (well if the pilot's a success that is). With Kate's namesake being an agent of SHIELD, it only makes sense that she'd have some ties with organisation (especially since Hawkeye has a relatively small profile in the MCU). Kate could easily be introduced as a trainee agent of SHIELD in a second (or any further) series of the show.

If Joss Whedon takes the route of using the series as a platform to launch smaller, more obscure heroes into the Cinematic Universe, there could easily be an episode with another member of the Young Avengers (possibly Hulkling, but more on that next time) and establish a relationship between the two. If a major project involving the team arrives less time needs to be spent on the dynamic between individual members and more on the team as a whole.

Alternatively, Marvel could reintroduce Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton as a more comical, less serious hero and launch Kate in a Hawkeye solo film. But only if it takes inspiration from Matt Fraction's current book.

So far we have four members of the team introduced with four original members (Hulking, Patriot, Speed and Iron-Lad) left for Part 2. I honestly thought I'd cover all of the team in one post. If you'd like to hear more of my ideas for how the team could assemble on film check back here soon!

Afterthought - Just in case I don't write Part 2 before Iron Man 3 is released (only 8 days left in the UK!), am I the only person hoping that the little kid who helps Tony is Amadeus Cho? Maybe I just love teen Marvel too much.