10 Candidates to Join Marvel's YOUNG AVENGERS

<i>by <a href=http://www.chrisarrant.com/>Chris Arrant, Newsarama Contributor</a></i> <p>In the recently released <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/marvel-comics-july-2013-solicitations.html>Marvel July 2013 solicitations</A>, we learned that the Young Avengers will be inducting a new member into their teen brigade in issue #7 but who? June's <B>Young Avengers #6</B> promises an appearance by former YA-er Speed and former X-Man in-training Prodigy. But they wouldn't be so obvious, would they? In the latest incarnation of <b>Young Avengers</b>, the team is less focused on young heroes who pattern themselves after the original Avengers, and rather a more eclectic bunch gathered by writer Kieron Gillen and artist Jamie McKelvie. <p>Marvel is no stranger to teen-centric superhero stories. It was a big part of Spider-Man's initial success, and the X-Men have focused frequently on the idea of growing up a teenage mutant from the original five to Kitty Pryde and various teen teams like the New Mutants, Generation X and the Young X-Men. Between all those different teams and various solo teen heroes, there's a bumper crop of adolescent candidates for this new mystery membership into the Young Avengers. But who should it be? <p>Here are our best guesses, with a couple fanboy hopes and dreams thrown in as well. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>

NOVA

The all-new Nova, Sam Alexander, is by default one of the most popular teen heroes in Marvel's output by the virtue of the fact that he's one of the only teen heroes with a solo title these days (not to mention his co-starring role on Disney XD's <i>Ultimate Spider-Man</i> animated series). But it helps a lot that Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness' work has been great. So imagine if this newly minted Marvel hero got a chance to share his growth as a hero in the auspices of the Young Avengers? <p>You might think a space-faring hero like Nova would be out of sorts in the antics of the Young Avengers, but Kieron Gillen's done much to expand the scope of the series like introducing an interstellar diner, as seen on the cover of an upcoming issue. Seeing Nova drawn into the <b>Young Avengers</b> story or perhaps them bring drawn into his could be an interesting dynamic. It would follow a bit of tradition, as well: The previous Nova was known for his team adventures with another group of would-be Avengers in <I>New Warriors</I>.

VICTOR MANCHA

Some of Marvel's greatest heroes started out as villains Hawkeye, Black Widow, Rogue so there's no reason to disqualify the heroic Son of Ultron. <p>The current <I>Age of Ultron</I> might make the Young Avengers reticent to bring in the spawn of one of Marvel's biggest threats, but Mancha's deeds in <I>Runaways</I> and the recent <i>Ultron #1AU</i> suggest that there's more Victor Mancha story to be told and <B>Young Avengers</B> would be a great place to do it. You already half a Kree/Skrull hybrid, a mutant/android hybrid so why not a Latino/cyborg? His membership in <i>Avengers A.I.</i> might keep his schedule full, but Marvel characters can usually handle being on more than one team at a time (Wolverine and Iron Man especially).

SPIDER-GIRL

Anya Corazon burst onto the scene in a big way back in 2004 when she debuted as a young hero in the Spider-Man tradition, under the codename Ara&#241;a. Created during the J. Michael Straczynski era of <I>Amazing Spider-Man</I>, she hit the scene with a bang given her ties to Spider-Man and her Mexican/Puerto Rican heritage. After a short solo miniseries by Fiona Avery and Mark Brooks, Anya went under the wing of Carol Danvers during her <I>Ms. Marvel</I> series. After bouncing around for a couple years, Anya got her second shot at stardom when she was rechristened Spider-Girl and given a second series that ran for eight issues starting in 2010. <p>As Ara&#241;a and now as Spider-Girl, Anya is an impressive member of the teenage continvent of the Marvel U and seemingly someone ideal to bring into the Young Avengers line-up. With her ties to the legacy of Spider-Man and her own unique backstory, Spider-Girl could be a great new voice among Kid Loki and the others.

KID GLADIATOR

At first glance, this spunky mohawked Strontian might seem like an odd fit inside the ranks of the new Avengers, but that's exactly why he'd be perfect for the team. <p>In his short-lived tenure in <I>Wolverine & The X-Men</I> he was great as a sort of Marvel-ized rich kid/jock given his father Gladiator, ruler of the Sh'iar Empire. With his tenure at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning cut short, imagine if he ended up next in this unofficial minor leagues for Marvel's premiere team in <B>Young Avengers</B>.

HOLLOW

Digging deep into the Marvel back issue bins here, Hollow (formerly known as Penance) was a member of the <I>Generation X</I> team and, for those that read it, a classic underdog in the vein of Wolverine only with even for sharp edges. Created by Scott Lobdell and a young Chris Bachalo, Hollow looks reminiscent of a red-skinned female Edward Scissorhands, but has displayed a very soft side that makes her threatening appearance only one of her charms. <p>Hollow was last seen as a student attending Avengers Academy before <I>Avengers Vs. X-Men</I>, and one imagines it's only a hop, skip and a jump to transfer over to the Young Avengers squad if Kid Loki would let her. And who wouldn't love a face like that?

MOLLY HAYES

Princess Powerful, Bruiser, Runaway... or just plain Molly Hayes. As the youngest member of the Runaways, Molly's personality overshadowed her stature and she was one of the fan-favorite characters in that fan-favorite book. But when you look past her over-sized personality and her penchant for cute hats, Molly is a real force the 4th toughest female in the Marvel U according to a <a href=http://marvel.com/news/story/6773/take_10_girl_power>Marvel.com article</A>, beating out Sif and even Valkyrie for that spot. Eat it, Asgardians. <p>On a more serious note, Molly seems a great foil in a team as seen in <I>Runaways</I> and has a long-time love/hate relationship with Wolverine that could be the makings of a great long-term storyline. An adult version is scheduled to appear in the upcoming "Battle of the Atom" X-Men crossover, but the <i>Runaways</i> version was last seen in Los Angeles fighting with Daken a year or so back.

X-23

Laura Kinney might have a bad wrap after trying to live up to the expectations people have with Wolverine, but as X-23 she's quietly carved out a great coming-of-age story in various minis and her recent ongoing. Currently appearing in <I>Avengers Arena</I>, X-23 has shown she's not much a team player but part of the beauty of <B>Young Avengers</B> is that they're not that great of a team themselves. <p>Every team needs it's hothead and its x-factor, and if X-23 makes it out of Muder World alive, she could add that to <b>Young Avengers</b>. Former <i>Uncanny X-Men</i> Kieron Gillen seems the ideal person to guide Laura out of her tumultuous teens, and hone her into a character who can live up to what Wolverine is today.

NICO MINORU

Our number three for this countdown is also the third (and final) <I>Runaways</I> alum on this list, Nico Minoru. Born the daughter of a pair of dark wizards with powers on par to Doctor Strange, Nico fell into the role as de facto leader of the Runaways during its tenure and in way became comics' gothic sweetheart like a modern-day Molly Ringwald. Minoru's currently appearing in <I>Avengers Arena</I> with her ever-present Staff of One, but given the tenuous nature of that title she could be <B>Young Avengers</B>-bound before you know it if she survives the experience. <p>With her extensive (and relatively unexplored) magic powers, Nico could be a great addition to the Young Avengers team and be an antecedent to Kid Loki's more self-serving casting abilities.

PATRIOT

As the grandson of the original Captain America, Eli Bradley a.k.a. Patriot has a large legacy to uphold and a destiny to fulfill. At times the leader of the original <I>Young Avengers</I> squad, Patriot served his team and his country well. Although he left the team in the aftermath of <I>Avengers: Children's Crusade</i>, Kieron Gillen has gone on record saying he wanted to include him in the team but was told he was unavailable. <p>Maybe circumstances have changed, and the former standard-bearer for the Young Avengers team can retake his rightful place one can only imagine what he'd think of what Kid Loki's done while he's been gone.

HOPE SUMMERS

She may be considered an X-Man through-and-through, but Hope Summers has shown herself to be a rebel. But with this rebel's cause now ended as of <I>Avengers Vs. X-Men</I>, the future is wide open. She appeared in <I>Cable & X-Force</I> with foster parents and a thoroughly un-superhero life, but surely there's more for her than that. Even if she can't find a grander purpose, <b>Young Avengers</b> might be a place for her to blow off some steam with kids her own age. <p>And given <I>Young Avengers</B> writer Kieron Gillen's track record writing Hope previously in <I>Generation Hope</I> and Jamie McKelvie drawing her in various books, joining <I>Young Avengers</I> would be a great homecoming and a chance for Hope to be an average teen... well, average super-human teen that is.

10 Candidates to Join Marvel's YOUNG AVENGERS

Date: 29 April 2013 Time: 09:12 PM ET