YOUNG AVENGERS: THE ROAD TO MCU SECRET WARS STORY
Young Avengers of the MCU is building up and setting the base to converge at Secret Wars.
The San Diego Comic-Con 2022 revealed the schedule for the MCU, with Phase 5 and Phase 6 getting announced. A simple glance at the upcoming releases by Marvel studios is enough to excite any marvel fan, albeit the absence of an Avengers movie from Phase 5.
Speaking of the Avengers, Marvel Studios have changed their direction of setting up an Avengers movie as they move on to a Multiverse Saga approach.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige announced that its Phase 4, 5, and 6 releases will be under the “Multiverse Saga” banner, the follow-up to the “Infinity Saga.”
The Multiverse Saga strategy has been under work for some while as the studio intends to focus on quality storytelling over the number of undirected releases. The new plan of action would need new tools as part of the change, and Marvel Studios have the biggest set in their shed in the form of Young Avengers.
Phase 4 of the MCU introduced us to a few characters of the Young Avengers, who would be an important part of the next three years of MCU s storytelling.
The two Avengers movies heavily rely on the setup, which needs to be executed to perfection for the finale to make sense. Young Avengers is essential not just for this cause but also for the whole Marvel makeup.
That being said, it begs the question, despite not getting an announcement in SDC 2022, how do they fit in the new multiverse saga, and why can Marvel not go wrong with their inclusion? Keep reading to find out more.
MARVEL STUDIOS S’ ENDGAME CLEANUP
Marvel fans’ longstanding complaint has been about the lack of interest in individual titles, which have remained meaningless after the release. The Infinity saga has a lot to contribute towards this derision as Marvel studios have been on an Endgame cleanup by telling stories around and after what’s already happened and mostly looking backward.
What happened to Wanda Maximoff after she was forced to kill her husband? What’s Hawkeye been up to? What did the late Black Widow feel so guilty about all this time?
Despite the throwbacks and flashbacks, the Infinity Saga spent four years assembling the Avengers culminating in the final battle wherein Captain America ironically says “Avenger, assemble” to 36 different Avengers.
When recent projects like Eternals and Shang-Chi have introduced new characters, those projects have primarily been unconcerned with the big picture. The question of how the new arrivals will factor into the comic book world we’ve been getting to know.
Spending thirty seconds on a post-credit scene might build the hype for the franchise s’ next release, but overall, it doesn’t contribute to the multiverse. Furthermore, releases like Thor: Love and Thunder didn’t add any value to the Multiverse Saga except for providing a stand-up gimmick for the Norse God.
The questionnaire for MCU keeps getting longer as there are some obvious limitations to the Multiverse Saga; let’s find out what they are.
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THE LIMITATIONS OF MULTIVERSE
The current line-up for Phase 5 and Phase 6 is no doubt exciting. However, there are still lingering symptoms from post-Endgame.
One of the limitations with Multiverse stories is how it props the central universe (Eg. MCU Doctor Strange) as the actual special, with the multiverse versions being inferior by default.
Multiverse versions are automatically inferior, making it a struggle to care about Multiversal stories’, the fact that the writers will kill off alternate universe versions of the characters just for the cheap visceral thrill of seeing a beloved hero archetype die makes it even less worthwhile to invest.
There is no real reason for Doctor Strange to be superior to other versions of Doctor Strange. They should be different. Yet, Doctor Strange is better and has to win because that is the story being told. And, they kill not just one Doctor Strange, but two Doctor Strange plus Illuminati versions of characters we know.
All in service of showing that the multiverse versions are inferior to our Doctor Strange and our Scarlet Witch can think of one superhero movie that does nail the Multiverse story, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. Miles is not superior to Gwen; Spider-Man is not inferior to Miles, etc.
They are just different, and story mechanics support that; Miles doesn’t win because he is better but wins because he accepts being different and won’t allow other Universe characters to sacrifice when he can do the same thing.
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HOW CAN THE YOUNG AVENGERS SAVE THE MULTIVERSE SAGA?
Most of the announced slate of movies are installments in established sub-franchises. Two stand-alone films (Blade and Fantastic Four) are MCU remakes of characters adapted by other studios.
The third (Thunderbolts) is the payoff of a slowly gestating plot thread following Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) as she slowly recruits violent characters for her mysterious purposes.
Despite the pointless drawn-out sub-franchise movies and limitations of the Multiverse saga, there is still hope for Marvel studio to get Phase 5 and 6 right. Avengers: The Kang Dynasty ends with the new Avengers Stranded on Battle world, which also signals the entry point for the Young Avengers in Secret Wars.
The Young Avengers setup began loosely in WandaVision when Wanda’s children were introduced to the MCU. However, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness seemingly transitioning Wiccan and Speed out of the MCU, the other Young Avengers introduced in Phase 4 will have to carry the torch in Avengers: Secret Wars and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
America Chavez, Billy and Tommy Maximoff, Kate Bishop, Eli Bradley, Cassie Lang, Kid Loki, and potentially Kamala Khan could be at the helm of saving their mentors from multiverse prisons.
Even though there have not been any official reports that suggest a project featuring the Young Avengers is happening, many of the actors who portray young characters in the MCU have commented on the possibility of it happening.
Hailee Steinfeld, the actress behind Kate Bishop, wasn’t in denial when asked about the Young Avengers but just stated that “there’s a lot of new opportunities rising.”
Billy Maximoff actor Julian Hilliard was also asked his opinion on the superhero team, and he even named which actors he would like to work with for the project.
MTV asked Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige regarding Young Avengers, and he replied:
We’ve got we’re reminding people of all the fantastic characters we introduced in Phase 4 and sort of where those characters go and how they form their cliques.MTV
In a March 2021 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Marvel boss was asked about the potential forming of that team, to which he stated that “the potential (is) endless” when it comes to the characters that have been introduced in Phase 4:
As a comic fan, anything in the comics is always our inspiration and guide point. How those things come together and in what shape was always subverting expectations. It’s always half the fun as meeting them. But, yes, you can see that Phase 4 is introducing all sorts of new types of characters with endless potential.Entertainment Weekly
While the chances of a Young Avengers movie look bleak, Kevin Feige hasn’t ruled out the possibility of their appearances in upcoming movies as he says: “The potential is endless, and they are all part of the big picture.”
We have already seen parts of the group in a few projects, and expectations are more similar for the buildup to Secret Wars.
The debate and discussion will continue to wage on whether the new multiverse strategy is right or wrong; either way, Young Avengers might be the saving grace Marvel studios and MCU need.