Pitchmas 2019, Part 12: Young Avengers

Okay, so there’s a degree of supposition and guesswork with this one, given that Kate Bishop is getting created for the Disney+ Hawkeye show. I’m going to presume it roughly follows the Fraction Hawkeye series, that she’s more ancillary and it’s about him trying to handle being a regular dude (though possibly with a big bankroll to let him get into deeper doodoo). But her back-story in the books is, roughly, a socialite who wants to make good- that she wanted to make the world a better place so she put on a purple suit and picked up a bow to fill in for the recently exploded Hawkeye.  

Patriot narrates over clips from Captain America: The First Avenger, then a new montage. “After Captain America went into the ice, the US Army tried to recreate the Super Soldier Serum without Dr. Erskine.” Show a military graveyard. “They tested the serum on one of the Army’s black companies. Only one soldier survived: Isiah Bradley.” Show Isiah in in his makeshift uniform, then cut to him, elderly, in a nursing home, “My grandfather. The serum left him with brain damage, but it let him be a hero. My hero.” We have a sweet scene of Elijah (Patriot) spending time with his grandfather, maybe reading him the paper.

I’m operating under the assumption that we’re fighting not to let this become a 3 hour monster, so more quick cuts as Patriot narrates. “Lately, heroes have been in short supply. Iron Man, Black Widow, Vision and Captain America died stopping Thanos. Thor and Hawkeye haven’t been seen in months; with his injuries, Hulk might never fight again. But the world needs Avengers.” Cut to Elijah, climbing out of his bedroom window into a tree, wearing his Patriot uniform (which should harken more to Isaiah’s costume than Cap’s.). “That’s a good costume. Sew it yourself?” Patriot nearly falls out of the tree, spooked by the conversation. Iron Lad is behind him; it’s basically a sleek Iron Man armor tailored to a 16 year old. “I ask because there aren’t a lot of places to get that kind of custom work done.” Patriot does a back flip, landing gracefully beside him. “You make yours?” “More or less,” Iron Lad says.

“Should I be concerned you know who I am, behind all this?” Patriot gestures to his mask. “Where I’m from, everyone knows who you are, Elijah. And your grandfather. You do him quite proud.” “Now I really am concerned.” “Yeah, time travel will make you nuts.” “So you’re from the future, then?” “Makes more sense than me being from the past, though in a way, aren’t we all?” “How about you cut to the point, before I report you to Tony Stark’s intellectual property lawyer?” “There’s trouble, an Avengers-level threat, only, most of the Avengers are dead, retired, or hiding- and those that aren’t have already been caught by Kang.” “Okay, the reject Star Trek villain name has me thinking you’re just a crank in your Iron Man cosplay.” “Lad. It’s Iron Lad.” “And I’m Captain America’s Chum.” “Too retro? I was going for like a classic kind of feel, timeless.” “We can workshop it. Now who’s Kang?”

“Kang is to the timestream what Alexander the Great was to the known world in his day. He doesn’t just conquer tomorrow, but yesterday, today, and every day in between. He’s a bad man, and I know that because… one day I’m going to become him.” “I’m back around to being concerned, but also really confused.” “Yep. Time travel will make you nuts. But I’m also the only chance you have of stopping Kang.” “So I just snap your neck, right?” “If only it were that easy. No. Kang doesn’t just travel backwards and forwards in time. So the Kang you’re worried about, he isn’t me me. He’s a parallel me. So, while you could try to snap my neck, it wouldn’t do any good. In fact, it would make it a lot harder for you to beat him. Probably impossible.” “Then what’s the plan?” “Same reason I came here for you. We’re going to need help. And I’ve got some ideas about that.”

We cut to older Cassie (Stature), wearing something close to the original Wasp costume shown at the end of Ant Man 1, combing through strands of carpet with an army of ants. She’s barking orders at them, panicked, because she hasn’t seen her father; he’s disappeared, without a trace. Iron Lad calls out to her, telling her he’d appreciate if she could grow and speak to him. She grows, bringing a pair of ants with her to act as guard dogs. She sicks them on Patriot, while Iron Lad exposes his face and explains that they can help her find her father, which makes her still more suspicious, but in the end she’s curious enough to go along to find out what they know.

Hawkeye, who has befriended Viv since the end of West Coast Avengers, is their next stop. She’s upset because the rest of the West Coast Avengers are missing. They all stop, and demand Iron Lad explain what the hell is going on, why all of the older heroes are disappearing. He explains that there’s a brief window where there aren’t records of new heroes, where Iron Lad was able to delete records of all heroes past a certain point, letting the Young Avengers exist in a blind spot for Kang, who is eliminating all of the threats to him throughout time.

The final set is the Scarlet Witch’s twins, and Wiccan’s boyfriend, Teddy (Hulkling). They’ve been looking for their mother, their sort-of father (Vision) and Wonder Man (kind of a surrogate father), with no luck; they actually run into them as they’re both trying to track down Scarlet Witch’s whereabouts, and briefly fight while the boys believe they might be responsible for her disappearance.

They proceed to Avengers’ Tower, where Kang portals in. Iron Lad confronts him with what he’s doing, and Kang, bemused, confirms it all. He doesn’t understand why he can’t see them, and Iron Lad tells him that when he stole his armor, he deleted the existence of the Young Avengers from Kang’s files. Kang tries to flee to recon and fix what Iron Lad broke, but at Iron Lad’s direction they damage his time travel interface to strand him there temporarily. They proceed to fight, and while Kang is formidable, the element of surprise in someone who previously couldn’t be surprised at all, is difficult to overcome. At a crucial point in the fight, when Kang is close to having learned enough of them to turn the tide, Kate gets off a shot that goes through his heart, killing him instantly.

Iron Lad is stricken. “I thought you said that wasn’t you,” Patriot says. “I did. And it was the truth. But what I maybe should have said, too, is that Kang can’t die. One of his alter egos ruled over parts of Egypt for hundreds of years. Another becomes a hero, to prevent a different end of the world a thousand years in the future; he lives a hundred lives, some of them indispensable to history. Kang dying now… it dooms the past, the present, and the future. Unless…” “Unless what?” Patriot asks. “Unless I take his place. I guess… I guess the answer was always staring me in the face. Reforming Kang? Impossible. Stopping him, even temporarily? Doable, but his present circumstance notwithstanding, Kang is a temporal cockroach.” Stature: “It’s weird that he keeps referring to Kang in the third person, rather than saying ‘I.’” “That’s because I spent my whole life trying not to be him. And maybe that’s the point. Maybe I was always meant to be- maybe I always had to be. But maybe I can be a version of Kang that’s the good without all the bad.” He opens a temporal portal. “Wait, will we ever see you again?” He retracts his helmet. “If things go to plan, no. You might see some other Kang, but if I do this right… then I’ll be busy living a better version of his life.”

Iron Lad walks through the portal, and a moment later, to swirling music, other Avengers emerge. Whichever Avengers have some extra space on their contracts, but also Captain Marvel, lay down the law, telling the Young Avengers they need training, and to wait until they’re older, to fight crime. Thematically it’s probably best if it’s Captain America, also, original flavor, but it can work with just about anybody. The young Avengers are defiant, without stating as much.

Mid-Credits Scene: Captain Marvel floats in the same spot: “You kids did a great thing. And I agree with the other Avengers that you’re too young and untrained to keep doing it. Unlike the others, I’m not naïve enough to think that will make you quit. So I’d like you to take on someone who’s been learning from me, training with me. Someone I trust implicitly. I’d like you to meet Ms. Marvel.” Her protégé steps out of the shadows.

End Credits Scene: An unseen person opens a personnel file written in Russian, showing shots of a blonde, teenaged Black Widow. The same woman is sitting in a relatively dark and sparse cell, obviously a prisoner. The POV person speaks with a thick Russian accent. “Yelena Bolova, are you prepared to redeem yourself?” They turn the page, and there’s a blurry photo of the Young Avengers. “We have a new group we’d like you to infiltrate.” They close the folder, which has the name “Black Widow, mk 2” written on the tab. Cut to black. 

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