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Young Avengers team (Marvel Comics) in the garden behind Avengers' Mansion

Young Avengers


Power Level: ,
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

The Young Avengers are a Marvel Comics super-hero group. They appeared in their own book in 2005. As might be guessed all the characters are firmly plugged into the Marvel Universe, and in particular to the Avengers’ legacies – but not always in the most apparent manner

The Young Avengers have endured fairly well – compared to, say, many “new generations” of X-Men. And as often in ensemble books, the years allowed to flesh out the characterisation and charisma of many of the characters, who started out a bit bland.


Background

Organization

Full Name: Young Avengers

Purpose: Fight crime

Modus Operandi: Reacting to crime or getting into fights while doing their own stuff.

Extent of Operations: Usually New York area, but can be worldwide or further.

Bases of Operations: New York

Major Funding: Not so much (mainly Kate’s father).

Known Enemies: Kang, Young Masters

Known allies: Avengers (sometimes), Runaways

Shared DC Heroes game stats: During and following the Civil War, most of the team have the Mistrust Drawback as non-registered superheroes. This is lost following the Siege of Asgard.

Membership

Number of active members: 4

Number of reserve members: None

Organizational structure: Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) is currently leader.

Known current members: Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Hulkling, Speed, Wiccan

Known former members: Iron Lad, Patriot (Elijah Bradley), Stature, Vision II

Membership requirements: Invitation only.


History

Iron Lad sought a group to help him stop his future self, Kang, from forcing him to accept his destiny. He used information from an Avengers’ Failsafe program to recruit Patriot, Wiccan and Hulkling. They began training in preparation, even going on patrols when they got restless.

On one such patrol they spotted a hostage situation at a wedding party, and stormed the place. Their inexperience could have bungled the rescue if not for the assistance of the bride’s sister, Kate Bishop.

The high profile nature of their activities brought them to the attention of the press, who labelled them the Young Avengers. This brought them to the attention of members of the disbanded Avengers. It also brought them to the attention of Cassie Lang, who hunted them down with Kate Bishop.

The pair found them in the ruins of Avengers Mansion, which the team had been using as a base. Revealing her powers as Stature, she wanted to join the group.

The actual Avengers

The meeting was interrupted by Captain America, Iron Man, and Jessica Jones, confronting the team over their being called Avengers. While Captain America and Iron Man debated the team’s fate, they were attacked by Kang. The time traveller demanded Iron Lad be turned over to him, as his presence endangered the time stream.

The Young Avengers (with Kate having armed herself with the equipment of the late Avengers Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and Swordsman) attacked Kang, giving Iron Lad the opportunity to escape. Kang apparently killed the older Avengers. He was about to do the same to the Young Avengers when Iron Lad returned to stab him with the Swordsman’s sword.

Realising the threat to the time stream would remain if he did, Iron Lad chose to return to his own time. He left behind his armour, which later became the new Vision.

The team was disbanded by their elders, who warned that their parents would be involved if they continued to operate in costume. Kate, becoming the new Hawkeye, convinced the others to continue despite this. She used her father’s fortune to fund them with new costumes and a headquarters.

Little Green Men

An encounter with Mr. Hyde’s MGH (Mutant Growth Hormone) operation revealed that Patriot’s powers were derived from the drug. As a result, Patriot walked away from the team. The others followed him in their civilian identities, persuading him to stay.

Their discussion was interrupted by the Super-Skrull. The alien tried abducting Hulkling, claiming he was Skrull royalty, and a Skrull-Kree hybrid.

Evading his initial attack, they fled to Wiccan’s home. There they found Hulkling’s mother looking for him. The Super-Skrull burst in with Patriot as a hostage. At this point, Hulkling’s “mother” revealed herself to be a spy and confirmed Super-Skrull’s claims. She then shot at Super-Skrull, who retaliated by burning her to death.

Super-Skrull abducted Hulkling. Deciding they needed reinforcements, the team set out to recruit new members. After convincing the new Vision to join, he used the Avengers’ Failsafe program to locate another recruit.

It led them to a juvenile detention facility for the super-powered. Once there they sprang Speed, who bore a strong resemblance to Wiccan. He joined them, and they set off to find Hulkling.

The situation had escalated by the time they caught up to them. Skrull and Kree fleets had arrived to vie for the political prize Hulkling represented. Even with assistance from the Avengers, they only ended hostilities when Hulkling appeared to submit to spending half a year with each race before deciding which to stay with.

The aliens left peacefully. At this point it was revealed Super-Skrull and Hulkling had impersonated each other, since the former felt he owed Hulkling’s father a debt, allowing Hulkling to remain on Earth.

The Avengers gave the Young Avengers permission to continue operating, with only the occasional oversight.

Civil War, part 1

When the government enacted the Superhuman Registration Act, the Young Avengers were among the first captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. for failing to register. They were rescued by Captain America and the Falcon. The youths then joined their Secret Avengers resistance movement.

When Patriot brought to Cap’s attention the plight of the Runaways in Los Angeles, he was told they couldn’t afford to send any forces to help them. Neither was Cap willing to let the Young Avengers investigate alone. Unsatisfied, the team travelled to LA to track down the Runaways anyway.

The Young Avengers in action

After the traditional misunderstanding, the Young Avengers tried convincing the Runaways to join the Secret Avengers. They were interrupted by the arrival of Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr), under the control of the sadistic warden of the Cube. The Kree had been dispatched by S.H.I.E.L.D. to capture the Runaways. Noh-Varr handled the disorganised teams with ease, taking a number prisoner.

The remaining members banded together to locate the Cube detention facility, an extremely secret prison holding aliens with no legal status on Earth. They freed their team mates, and released Noh-Varr from the warden’s control. Following the escape, the Runaways declined the offer to join the Secret Avengers, and the teams parted on good terms.

Civil War, part 2

Returning to the Secret Avengers, the team were soon embroiled in the first confrontation between the pro-registration and anti-registration forces. During this battle, Bill Foster (Goliath) was killed. Wiccan was captured during the battle, and sent to the Number 42 prison facility.

Following the battle, Stature had qualms over their illegal activities. She decided to leave the team and register.

In preparation for an operation to free the prisoners of Number 42, Hulkling infiltrated the enemy forces. He subdued and impersonated Dr. Henry Pym. This gave the Secret Avengers the element of surprise in the operation. It led into a pitched battle on the streets of New York, which ended when Captain America surrendered.

A general amnesty was offered for resistance members who wished to register. The remaining Young Avengers weren’t among those who accepted. It later turned out that a pair of alternate dimensional versions of Hulkling and Wiccan had signed up during a visit, so they were registered.

Secret Invasion

When the Skrull invasion became public, Hulkling again became a target for the Skrulls. The religious fanatics leading the invasion saw him as a threat. Wanting him dead, they sent the Super-Skrull assassin, X’iv, after him.

As New York became a battleground for the invasion, Hulkling, Wiccan, and Speed joined with the Runaways to battle the army of Super-Skrulls and stay alive.

Dark Reign

With Norman Osborn gaining control of America’s super-human forces, Stature returned to the team. Then they followed the other proper Avengers teams in avoiding Osborn’s control. Cassie and Vision were caught up in Hank Pym’s Mighty Avengers, to which they were recruited without much say. They operated as part of both teams when they had the chance.

When a new team of super-powered youths appeared calling themselves the new Young Avengers, the team confronted them. They agreed to test them to see whether they were worthy of joining. Most weren’t, although they considered Enchantress and Coat of Arms as suitable for probationary membership.

The newcomers didn’t take this well. They contacted Osborn, laying a trap with his Avengers for the Young Avengers. The team barely held their own before Osborn unleashed the Sentry on them. But Wiccan convinced Enchantress and Coat of Arms to aid him, and they managed to restrain Sentry.

The Young Avengers walked away from the stalemate. Meanwhile the other team, all of whom stayed together, became the Young Masters.

The Young Avengers answered Steve Rogers’ call to arms when Osborn’s forces laid siege to Asgard. Stature and Vision helped the other Mighty Avengers stop Osborn’s Thunderbolts from looting dangerous weapons. Meanwhile Wiccan and Hulkling faced and took down the Wrecking Crew as they tried looting treasure.

Children’s Crusade

Following an unusual display of power by Wiccan, the Avengers decided to keep him with them for observation. they were concerned he could become another Scarlet Witch.

The general consensus was that Wiccan and Speed were the sons of the Scarlet Witch and the original Vision, who’d been brought into being by her magic. The kids had later been uncreated, the Witch’s reality warping powers allowing her to change history so they’d been reborn before their actual births.

The rest of the team broke Wiccan out of Avengers custody, but he was reluctant to leave with them. Their course of action hadn’t been decided when Magneto arrived, wanting the twins’ help to find the Scarlet Witch. They resisted, because, well, he’s Magneto, even if he had joined the X-Men.

When the Avengers interceded things got out of control, and Wiccan teleported the team and Magneto to Mount Wundagore.

The arrival of Quicksilver only increased tensions. Then the situation got complicated very quickly when the amnesiac Scarlet Witch seemed to get impaled during a battle between Quicksilver and Magneto. Except that it wasn’t Wanda, but a Doombot, implying the real Scarlet Witch was in Latveria.

Before they could agree on a plan of action, Wiccan went to scout Castle Doom alone. He found Wanda, amnesiac and engaged to Doom, and was promptly captured. Wiccan’s assertion that he knew who she was piqued Wanda’s interest, and she let him free in exchange for him telling her about her history.

Time Warp

The escape led them into a battle between the Avengers and Doom’s forces. Wolverine tried to kill Wanda for what she’d done to mutants. He was stopped by the timely arrival of Iron Lad, who’d learned the team was facing a pivotal situation.

Reunited with the rest of the team, when the situation grew dangerous, Iron Lad transported the team and Wanda back in time to her breakdown, just to observe things so that her memory might be jogged.

Young Avengers group shot

The observing part didn’t quite work out. While the technology should have meant they couldn’t interact with anyone there, it didn’t quite work, and Stature ran to her father (Ant-Man (Scott Lang)). Since they’d arrived moments before his death, their interference meant he didn’t die.

The Scarlet Witch’s memories returned as she watched Jack of Hearts explode, and she transported the team, and Scott, back to Avengers Mansion in their future.

The time warp again

Using her powers, Wanda confirms that Wiccan and Speed are her children, somehow saved by her enhanced power. Following her childrens’ deaths, blocks were placed in her mind to make her forget about them.

These eventually broke down, and Wanda searched everywhere for a way to bring them back. That included seeking aid from Dr. Doom. They performed a ceremony which allowed her to become an avatar for the Life Force, the only power which could bring them back. The power proved too much, causing her breakdown.

Determined to make amends, she decided to restore the powers of all mutants who wished them. The Witch started with Rictor, who volunteered to try it out. It was successful. They didn’t get the chance to go any further as the Avengers returned, and the X-Men arrived demanding Wanda be turned over to them for her crimes against mutants.

The ensuing fight forced her to knock all the adults out, and take the Young Avengers with her back to Latveria.

There is no peace, only Doom

Wanda convinced Doom and Wiccan to aid her in a ceremony to restore the powers of all mutants, then to release the Life Force. However Patriot didn’t trust Doom, and interfered with the ceremony. As a result, the mutants weren’t restored, and Doom ended up in possession of the Life Force, intending to become a benevolent dictator of the Earth.

Doom asked Wanda if she’d still marry him. She said yes, if he’d relinquish the power. He declined, and sent them back to Avengers’ Mansion.

Iron Lad proposed they flee into the timestream to avoid the Avengers and X-Men, but the teams woke before the team could make a decision. Wanda was quickly subdued, but the argument over what happened to her ended when Doom showed up, offering to fix everything if everyone submitted to him.

In the ensuing fight, Scott Lang appeared to be killed by Doom. The enraged Stature attacked the dictator, doing damage before he retaliated with a blast which killed her. Wiccan and the Scarlet Witch managed to reopen the portal from which the Life Force had originally been drawn. They recalled it, depowering Doom.

Scott had survived Doom’s attack by shrinking, recovering in time to find his daughter dead.

Amends

Iron Lad insisted he could save her by changing time. The Vision argued he’d only make matters worse by doing so, going down the road which would lead to him becoming Kang. The enraged Iron Lad destroyed the Vision, and left into the time stream, swearing to rescue Stature and to be better than Kang.

With her amplified power gone, and with doubt over how much of her actions were her fault, Wanda was left free.

Blaming himself for Doom gaining the power, the deaths that ensued, and the mutants not getting their powers back, Elijah abandoned the Patriot identity. He moved to Scottsdale to live with his mother.

The rest of the team also more or less gave up on their costumes, only putting them on a while later when summoned to Avengers’ Mansion. They were officially acknowledged as fully-fledged Avengers, and statues had been erected of Stature and Vision in the memorial gardens.


DC Universe History

When Iron Lad discovered his destiny to grow up to become Black Barax, he escaped his elder self. He travelled back in time to get help from his older self’s enemies, the JSA. He arrived just after the Infinite Crisis, when the JSA were disbanded.

Having no luck contacting the individual members, he tried to contact the JLA, who were also disbanded. His intrusion into JLA computer files did, however, access a file created by the Red Tornado, listing potential new recruits for the Young Justice team he had supervised.

Using this file, Iron Lad recruited them into forming the Young Avengers.

By Gareth Lewis

Source of Character: Marvel Comics (covers up to Children’s Crusade #9)

Writeup completed on the 20th of August, 2012.

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