After this summer, most of the world has heard of Marvel's Avengers, but in the comics there is also an equally awesome team of their younger counterparts — the Young Avengers. They had their own series for a few years, and appeared, as well, in various mini-series and Marvel Universe events since then, culminating in last year’s Children’s Crusade when the team went through a major shake-up. But I’ve got good news for all the Young Avengers fans (and I promise, as soon as you read one issue with them, you’ll be a fan): They're returning in a new series!
It was recently announced that the series will return this January, written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Jamie McKelvie. It’s sure to have all of the action and drama of the adult Avengers but with the addition of being relatable to teens and college students. But this is not the same team that we all know and love. This time around, the teen heroes will be brought together by Kid Loki, and the line-up will include Young Avengers vets Wiccan (Billy Kaplan), Hulkling (Teddy Altman), Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) and newbies “Miss America” Chavez and Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr, a Kree alien who appeared in the Young Avengers/Runaways Civil War crossover).
Confused? That’s okay. Young Avengers was known the first time around for portraying very realistic teen characters, but their origins were almost always steeped in confusing mythology. Allow me to try and un-complicate:
Anyone who saw this summer’s Avengers movie (and that was most of the world, considering how much it made in the box office) has heard of Thor’s villainous brother Loki. Not long ago in the comic book world, Loki died and was reincarnated as a young boy. Though he now has the memories of his former life, this younger version of Loki feels guilt for his actions and is living on Earth to learn more about humanity. Of course, he’s still the God of Mischief, and his manipulations are now focused on bringing the new Young Avengers together, though only time can tell us why.
Billy & Teddy:
The heart and soul of the original Young Avengers team, Billy and Teddy may have been going strong as a couple at the end of Children’s Crusade, but personally they’ve gone through Hell. After their teammate and friend Cassie died in battle, Billy blamed himself and became introverted. He no longer wants to be a hero, but Teddy and some of their other friends disagree. Though seeing as they’re included in the new line-up, it’s clear that Teddy is able to convince Billy to continue to use his magic abilities for good. The last we saw of the pair, Teddy had proposed to Billy, so hopefully the new series will delve into this change in their relationship status.
Kate, an archer and all-around badass who shares her name with the adult Avenger, is another returning member. Though she recently lost her best friend Cassie, Kate was never one to shy away from a fight, and she’ll continue to battle evil in Cassie’s memory.
America Chavez is a new hero on the scene. Her first appearance in the Marvel Universe was last year as a member of the Teen Brigade in the series Vengeance. She’s the first person Loki recruits to the team (as seen in the recent preview in Marvel NOW!’s Point One #1). And as evident by her attitude, and her punching Loki across the room when he threatens Billy, she’ll be an asset.
A member of the Kree, a warrior alien race, Noh-Varr was previously an antagonist of the Marvel heroes and the Young Avengers specifically, but has since become an ally of Earth and was even an Avenger for a brief time. It’s unknown how he’ll react to working alongside Teddy, who is half Kree and the son of the deceased Captain Marvel.
So be sure to check out the old Young Avengers series and various miniseries before the end of the year and Point One #1, and get ready for the new series in January!