As Phase 4 of the MCU continues to release new projects, the assembly of the Young Avengers is slowly coming to fruition, now that each mantle from the original team of heroes is being passed on. The release of Hawkeye established Kate Bishop as the new wise-cracking archer of the group, while also setting up Yelena to be the new Black Widow, in combination with the 2021 film of the same name.
The upcoming iron heart series will detail the events of newcomer Riri Williams, as she steps into the role of Iron Man with her own version of Stark’s technology. Steve Rogers obviously gave his Captain America title to Sam Wilson, while Thor named Valkyrie the new King of Asgard, so as of now, all 5 of the original heroes have given up their titles in favor of bestowing them upon someone else.
With that being said, Sam and Valkyrie most likely won’t be joining the Young Avengers since they’re preoccupied with their own issues. This means that Yelena Belova and Kate Bishop are currently the only two “official” members of the team (with Riri Williams hopefully joining sometime in the future) and their story is reminiscent of the journey Steve Rogers and Tony Stark went on, during Phases 1 -3.
Steve and Tony are famous for being at odds with each other, going from snarky one-liners to all-out airport brawls with the rest of their friends and teammates in tow. Steve’s old-fashioned and (let’s be honest) often arrogant way of thinking doesn’t mesh well with Tony’s ego and resentment towards the super soldier, for getting along with Howard Stark when Tony never could.
All in all, these supercharged heroes were good at saving the world, but bad at knowing how to play nice with each other. Sure, there was an underlying current of mutual respect for one another, but they only ever managed to put away their differences when the fate of the universe depended on it. Thanks to the events of Hawkeye, it seems as if Kate and Yelena’s childish bickering will toss them into the role of their predecessors, bringing about a relationship very similar to the one shared between Tony and Steve.
In a way, their story in Hawkeye mirrors that of Captain America: Civil War, where two powerful individuals are at odds because of their conflicting perceptions of reality. Yelena and Kate’s feud is reminiscent of the unforgettable battle between Steve and Tony, both of them fighting for what they truly believe in but failing to come to a place where they can work out a compromise.
Kate and Yelena’s problems with each other are far less personal (and less dramatic) than the issues Steve and Tony had, but they managed to develop the shared admiration for each other’s strength, the same way that Cap and Iron Man always did. Chances are, Yelena and Kate will be able to tolerate each other outside hero-related business way easier than Steve and Tony were ever able to. The squabbling between these two women is much more amusing than watching Steve and Tony, because it doesn’t come from a place of malice or judgment.
Additionally, Kate and Yelena are currently the two most experienced heroes on the future Young Avengers team. They’ve already had to deal with the trauma of losing loved ones, face life and death scenarios, and make sacrifices for the greater good, something all heroes are forced to go through in the MCU.
Their experiences make them perfect candidates to take charge of the Young Avengers and split the burden of leadership, in order to guide new heroes towards the path of self-assertion, much like Steve and Tony did for the original Avengers. Even though they fail to see eye to eye, Yelena and Kate are both willing to help those in need and could easily sympathize with new heroes experiencing loss for the first time.
Having already gotten to know each other a bit, albeit under some really strange circumstances, and grudgingly admitted to having taken a bit of a liking towards one another, Yelena and Kate are Marvel’s next best frenemies. They clearly have alternate methods when it comes to achieving a desired outcome, since Yelena takes on life with a “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality, whereas Kate gets a little frantic in the face of violence.
Regardless, Yelena and Kate would be the perfect replacements for Steve and Tony, in terms of keeping up the responsibility of guiding other lost heroes. It’s also possible that Yelena and Kate will be able to learn from each other in ways that Tony and Steve never did. They handle themselves much differently than the original Avengers, so they could easily foster a dynamic amongst the Young Avengers that’s more close-knit than the original bunch was, as well.
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