Theory Thursday: Ant-Man and the Young Avengers
This theory was meant to go up two weeks from now, but considering the amount of hype the Ant-Man threequel film has been getting with the casting announcement of Jonathan Majors as Kang, I thought it might be the appropriate time to discuss a little theory i’ve been working on for quite sometime now for ‘Ant-Man 3’ or as I like to call it; Ant-Man and the Young Avengers.
‘Ant-Man and the Young Avengers’ Concept Logo by Superhero Theorist (aka me).
Now, I want to delve a little bit into some of the comic lore that kind of helped me develop this theory.
Let’s talk a little bit about how the Young Avengers were formed in the comics, and actually, while I’m mentioning it, my buddy Joseph Aberl a couple of days ago actually discussed a lot of Kang’s origin in the comics here on Murphy’s Multiverse and how his counterpart, Nathaniel Richards aka Iron Lad, helped set up the Young Avengers in the comics and how the film can loosely base itself on it. So be sure to check that out if you’ve got a minute and then pop back in here if you’d like.
Caught up? Alright, well in his article, Joseph states the following point; “Nathaniel (Richards) is the one that brings the team (Young Avengers) together after the Avengers disbanded.” This is a magnificent point that he brings up and he goes on to explain how the Avengers in the MCU are pretty much disbanded following the events of Avengers: Endgame. While it is a brilliant point, I do want to add a very crucial detail to the story of the Young Avengers’ origin story, by adding just a little more to Joseph’s original statement. So, let’s look back at the statement again shall we? In the 616 continuity in the comics, “Nathaniel is the one that brings the team together after the Avengers disbanded” following the events of the comic run, House of M.
Now, this is really important because if we look back at the Phase 4 lineup, we already know that WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are well into production and are going to base themselves on the House of M comic run. And with both Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Ant-Man 3 both slated for 2022 (if all goes according to plan), we might see the repercussions of that film and WandaVision play out in a similar way to the comics with the creation of the Young Avengers as a result.
Let’s continue on with the comic lore lesson shall we?
Later on, in Young Avengers Vol. 1 #2, Nathaniel runs away from Kang after his first encounter with him and manages to escape by travelling back in time to the regular timeline. He tries to go to the Avengers for help but realized, as we stated before, that the Avengers disbanded. So he broke into a Stark Industries warehouse where he found the broken body of the Vision and his fully functioning A.I. (Depicted above). Considering that Vision right now is pretty much broken following the events of Avengers: Infinity War, it would be a nice touch to see the AI form of Vision, J.A.R.V.I.S., come back into the fray to help form the Young Avengers since his comic counterpart played an important part in the Young Avengers comics.
Either way, back to the story, Vision’s AI explained that he designed the Avengers Fail-Safe Program, a program designed “to be utilized to recruit the next generation of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, in case the Avengers were ever destroyed or disbanded.”
Eventually, he uses the program to find and assemble the Young Avengers to eventually take on Kang the Conqueror.
Now that we’ve all caught up with the story behind the Young Avengers, let’s get into my theory:
Ant-man iii might loosely base itself on the Young avengers vol. 1 storyline.
Now I’ve seen people get confused as to why the third Ant-Man film would be the place for the Young Avengers to assemble. I personally think it would be fantastic to have them assemble in this film and let me explain why. Marvel has been setting up the Young Avengers for a while now and have been teased in subtle ways through the films. The main thing is determining exactly which characters from the comics will be a part of this team in the MCU. And I think I may already have the roster.
This would be my ideal roster of characters for the MCU Young Avengers. The characters are (from left to right):
The idea of the Young Avengers joining the MCU really isn’t too crazy, since the seeds have already been planted across multiple MCU films. The idea was most recently teased during Avengers: Endgame when we saw with Cassie Lang (who eventually takes on the mantle of Stature in the comics) already being a teenager by the time Avengers: Endgame ends & Harley Keener’s appearance during Tony Stark’s funeral in that same film. Many fans have speculated for a while now the possibility of Harley Keener becoming taking on the mantle of Iron Lad and considering his age, it is entirely possible that we could see him take up the mantle. Though I wouldn’t necessarily count Nathaniel Richards out of the picture yet, considering that Kang the Conqueror was already cast in the MCU.
We already know from our good friends at the Illuminerdi and a report from our own Charles Murphy pretty much confirmed that America Chavez is joining the MCU pretty soon in the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel. We also know that both of Wanda’s children, Wiccan and Speed, are set to be introduced during the Disney+ show, WandaVision, and we also know that Kate Bishop is set to be introduced in the upcoming Disney+ show, Hawkeye. Lastly, as for Hulkling, considering that he was an original Young Avengers member, a member of the skrull race, with the introduction of S.W.O.R.D. coming into play for WandaVision, and the eventual relationship he develops with Wiccan in the comics, I totally see Hulkling coming into the MCU along with the Young Avengers for their assembly.
Considering that this is an Ant-Man film, it’s obvious that we will be seeing more of Scott Lang, Hope Van Dyne, Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym. Personally, for this film, I would love to see a sort of mentoring role from all of these characters. Scott and Hope can help train the Young Avengers in combat, while Hank can help in trying to find the best way to outsmart Kang, considering both their intellects. And Janet can help these new Avengers into understanding their powers and can finally fulfill a very important point from the comics, which is that she helped form the original Avengers in the comics.
Kang the Conqueror is the first threat the Young Avengers face in the comics, and Jonathan Majors’ casting as Kang is definitely indicative of Marvel wanting to base themselves on the comic lore of the Young Avengers for their introduction. Kang has been known to harness the power of time to travel and has an extremely complex backstory, since time travel can be confusing at times. We know that during Avengers: Endgame, the Avengers used the Quantum Realm to travel to other points in time to collect the Infinity Stones and we also know that the upcoming projects, Loki & the Doctor Strange sequel will deal with the concepts of space-time, which might draw the attention of one particular time traveler.
If Kang does decide to intervene and take on the Earth and conqueror the world, he better be fully prepared to take on the full force of Ant-Man and the Young Avengers.