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Netflix Beat The MCU To A Young Avengers Movie

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Have the MCU's plans for a Young Avengers movie been preempted by the release of We Can Be Heroes on Netflix? 2019's record-breaking Avengers: Endgame marked the end of the MCU's Infinity saga, and the dawn of a new era. Most of the original Avengers were killed off or otherwise written out courtesy of Thanos - Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff died, Steve Rogers got old, and Hawkeye was more or less retired anyway. Hulk remains besieged by rights issues, and only Thor is still pushing ahead with another solo movie. In their places, a new generation of heroes appear to be steadily coming through.

A little too steadily as it turns out, as Netflix might've just beaten Marvel at their own game. We Can Be Heroes sits firmly on the lighter end of the superhero spectrum and features a retired superhero forced into duty once more by an alien invasion. When the adults get captured by extra-terrestrials, the responsibility of saving the world falls to their kids, who ultimately prove worthy of becoming Earth's new superhero team. Spinning-off from The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D, Netflix's We Can Be Heroes is essentially a passing of the torch from middle-aged folk who should still be 15 years from retirement, to kids who are entrusted to protect the Earth, but not to purchase alcohol. We Can Be Heroes features a bunch of nods to the MCU, so it's impossible not draw a connection between the film's young heroes and the Young Avengers.

The MCU appears to be doing with their Avengers what We Can Be Heroes does for the Heroics. Ironheart is coming to replace Iron Man, She-Hulk could take Bruce Banner's position, Cassie Lang will inevitably follow in her father's footsteps, Hawkeye is training Kate Bishop, Yelena Belova is the new Black Widow, and Monica Rambeau is coming to WandaVision. Meanwhile, Ms. Marvel will be introduced to the MCU before long, and Tom Holland's Spider-Man is still a fresh-faced youngster, despite his 5 movies of experience. Among those names, an MCU Young Avengers team will inevitably form at some point.

One of the more natural debut storylines for the MCU's Young Avengers would be the grown-up Avengers failing or getting captured, and the plucky youngsters stepping up to save the day. This idea plays into the current roster of heroes - Spider-Man would be the only Avenger escaping from the initial group, Cassie Lang and Kate Bishop join him to save Scott and Clint, and together, they track down Black Widow II, Ms. Marvel and Ironheart to form the Young Avengers. But now We Can Be Heroes has tried something incredibly similar, the MCU might need to explore other options. On one hand, the MCU and We Can Be Heroes exist in separate enough circles to tread the same ground with crossing paths. Not only is the Marvel franchise infinitely more popular, but it caters to a wider audience that wouldn't necessarily be familiar with the Netflix effort. Having said that, Marvel Studios would surely afford any forthcoming new iteration of the Avengers a grand, unforgettable introduction - not something that was done by Netflix only a few years prior.

While Disney might be a little irked that some Netflix upstarts have essentially done a Young Avengers storyline before them, the signs are still encouraging for Marvel. Where shared universe copycats have rushed to the team-up phase early and fallen flat, the foundation of the MCU's success was a slow build over several years - introducing each character separately before throwing them together. Marvel looks to be taking the same approach with its Young Avengers, giving each member a movie or TV show of their own before the hormonal heroes gather in a Phase 5 crossover. Even if they got there first, the debut of Netflix's junior Heroics team can't dampen that enthusiasm.
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