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.



Ant-Man
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.

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