Beginning with 2021's WandaVision and concluding with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Phase 4 of the MCU added an impressive number of characters to the roster.
But as this list grew, fans began to notice a trend. In addition to Yelena Belova, the Eternals, and Shang-Chi, many of the new heroes were kids and teens, leading fans to wonder if Marvel Studios was assembling a Young Avengers team.
In the comics, the Young Avengers was a team of super-powered youths with connections to existing Avengers. And, so far, every young MCU hero introduced in Phase 4 has either been related to or mentored by an Avenger.
Even though Marvel Studios has yet to announce a Young Avengers film or Disney+ series, this trend looks to continue in Black Panther 2 with Riri William's Ironheart and on into Phase 5.
The 9 Young Avengers in the MCU (So Far)
When Scott returned from the Quantum Realm in Avengers: Endgame, he found that he missed five years of his daughter Cassie's life and that's she now a teenager.
While that time gap, and their relationship, are expected to be explored in Ant-Man 3; the film will also show Cassie in action - and in her own Pym-powered suit - as her comic book persona, Stature or Stinger.
Not only does this make her the MCU's ninth young superhero, but it also gives fans a better idea of what a Young Avengers team could look like.
Speaking of which, here's a list of the other MCU youths who make up this potential future team:
1.) & 2.) Wiccan & Speed
Despite being the youngest kids on the list thus far, WandaVision did foreshadow their future superhero identities as Wiccan and Speed through their comic book-accurate powers.
Both Hilliard and Klyne have spoken to The Direct about their visions for the Young Avengers. But since the only real versions of the characters exist in Earth-838, it's hard to know just how and when they will return.
3.) America Chavez
The Multiverse-traveling, star-shaped portal-punching teen, America Chavez, made her MCU debut in Doctor Strange 2.
Given that this era of the MCU is the Multiverse Saga, fans are likely to see Xochitl Gomez's America again sooner rather than later and likely before a Young Avengers project.
4.) Kate Bishop
While Wiccan and Speed were kids and America is a teenager, Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop is a college student and Hawkeye fangirl turned partner.
Since Bishop is one of the older Young Avengers candidates and has already led the Hawkeye Disney+ series, she's a top contender to lead this future team.
5.) Kid Loki
While fans first saw him as yet another Young Avengers contender, he proved to be a fascinating Loki Variant given his bond with Alligator Loki, his role as a leader, and the fact he killed Thor.
6.) Ms. Marvel
While Kate Bishop was a driving force in Hawkeye on Disney+, she had to share the spotlight with OG Avenger Clint Barton.
That was not the case with the Iman Vellani-led Ms. Marvel on Disney+ who carried this high school superhero origin story all on her own.
Ms. Marvel's Kamala Khan is also different from the rest in that she's set to star in 2023's The Marvels alongside Teyonah Parris and Brie Larson. Maybe her experience with The Marvels team will help her in leading another team in the future.
Following his role in the early episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Bruce Banner's Hulk went off-planet on a mystery mission.
By the end of the season finale, he returned to introduce his family to his son, Skaar - a young Hulk with a truly unique choice of hairstyle. This last-minute reveal was further evidence of Marvel's plans for the Young Avengers and potentially more Hulk storylines as well.
She's also fueled the speculation fires surrounding the Young Avengers as she's expected to serve as a young, female version of Tony Stark's Iron Man.
9.) Cassie Lang
And, again, the ninth and final (for now) candidate for the Young Avengers is Kathyrn Newton's Cassie Lang as Stature or Stinger.
Being yet another teenage character, she's expected to come into her own in Quantumania; and given her run-ins with Kang the Conqueror, she's definitely a character that fans should be paying attention to.
Now, whether Cassie is the first young hero to be introduced in Phase 5, or the last ahead of a Young Avengers announcement, remains to be seen.
However, there are several characters who already exist in the MCU that could become Young Avengers candidates in Phase 5 and beyond.
Other Young Avengers Contenders
First introduced in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Elijah Richardson's Eli Bradley was the grandson of supersoldier Isaiah Bradley.
In the comics, Eli assumes the title of Patriot and becomes a member of the Young Avengers.
The only reason he's exempted from this list is that he has yet gained his power within the MCU. However, that could change in 2024's Captain America: New World Order.
At the end of Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor finds a new purpose in raising the daughter of Gorr the God Butcher who has her own unique power set.
The only reason she doesn't make the list, despite her name being in the film's title, audiences don't know what her future holds.
Technically, her character was created for the film and was played by Chris Hemsworth's daughter, India. And, since Hemsworth described her role as a "one-off, fun family experience," for the moment, her MCU future is up for debate.
When To Expect the Young Avengers
With so many young characters in the MCU, at this point, a Young Avengers project isn't a question of if but when.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has also been asked about his assembling a Young Avengers team multiple times. And, even though he's been coy in his answers, he has yet to deny the existence of such a plan while always pointing toward the future.
At the moment, Phase 6 looks to be the best bet for a Young Avengers project as it would give ample time for these young characters to develop and cross paths.
There's also the question of whether the Young Avengers would work better as a film or a Disney+ series.
But even though this team-up appears to be years away, Cassie Lang's role in Ant-Man 3 is expected to be a big piece of the Young Avengers puzzle.
Perhaps fans will get new hints about Marvel Studios' plans for this assemblage of heroes in the Phase 5 threequel.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania arrives in theaters on February 17, 2023.