Speaking of Young Avengers in the MCU
This is in order of their appearance in the comics:
Iron Lad/Nate Richards/Kang the Conqueror—[Unconfirmed rumors of casting happening now. Jonathan Majors cast as adult Kang, set to appear in Ant-Man: Quantumania.] ⚠️
Hulkling/Teddy Altman—[no info] ❌
Patriot/Eli Bradley—Elijah Richardson, appeared in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” ✅
Hawkeye/Kate Bishop—Hailee Steinfeld, set to appear in “Hawkeye” ✅
Wiccan/Billy Kaplan—[10-year-old version set up on “WandaVision”; rumored to reappear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness] ⚠️
Stature/Cassie Lang—Kathryn Newton, set to appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. ✅
Vision—[Adult version played by Paul Bettany] ⚠️?
Speed/Tommy Shepherd—[10-year-old version set up on “WandaVision”; rumored to reappear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness] ⚠️
Kid Loki—[Unconfimred reports, Jack Veal rumored to appear as Kid Loki in “Loki”] ✅ or ⚠️?
Miss America/America Chavez—Xochitl Gomez set to appear in Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ✅
Why is sweet little Teddy, Emperor of the Kree, the only one with no movement? It makes me sad. I hope he’s in Secret Invasion. That’s casting now. (I didn’t include Marvel Boy or Prodigy because I got lazy and there is also nothing on them. But Teddy was part of the team earlier than they were! Stomps foot!)
Gotta collect them all!
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The first time they celebrate it, it is over a phone call.
He’s 20, and is slowly rising through the ranks at the Air Force. He loves his new job. He loves flying planes. He loves his base. He loves learning. But he doesn’t love all of it, and he doesn’t love how how much it’s different than civilian life. He doesn’t love how far it is from home.
But mostly, he loves it.
Rhodey is the one to call Tony. His best friend had sent him a letter before, reading ‘unless you are horribly mad at me, find a phone, any phone, and call me on August 20th.’
Tony was very careful not to do anything upsetting, so Rhodey calls.
“Happy 5th anniversary!” Tony announces as he picks up the phone.
Rhodey grins, giggling a little. Hearing Tony’s voice is always pleasant and he loves how ridiculous Tony is. He laughs, “what anniversary?”
Tony scoffs, “I can’t believe you don’t remember.”
“Sorry,” he noncommittally says to the phone, amusement in his voice, “jog my memory?”
Rhodey can practically hear Tony rolling his eyes. “Five years ago, today, we met.”
Rhodey pauses at that. He remembers the date on his acceptance letter from MIT. He remembers seeing a standoffish roommate when he came to MIT, a roommate who slowly warmed up after a conversation about Star Wars. Could the dates be the same one as today? Rhodey tries to muffle his beam. “You remembered,” Rhodey teases Tony for his sappiness.
“And you didn’t!” Tony accuses, “I feel betrayed, honeybear. Betrayed.”
Rhodey chuckles, “I’ll tell you what, Tones. I’ll mark the date on my calendar from now on. I will never miss another year.”
Tony softens at that. The implications are clear to them both; they will be celebrating another year of friendship. “I suppose that’s a step in the right direction to making it up to me.”
Ten years later, celebrating together has become a tradition. Rhodey usually gets leave for the date, and they celebrate together, drinking and reminiscing about their past. Rhodey usually makes an inebriated speech about how much he loves having Tony as his best friend and Tony makes a scrap book (and in later years powerpoint) of their best pictures together. They like their tradition.
When Rhodey was 30, he didn’t have to take leave anymore. They’re celebrating together because they’re always together; perks of being the liaison to SI. Their tradition plays out the same, but this time, there’s even more pictures in the powerpoint and Rhodey is even more grateful.
When Rhodey was 30, Tony had made a realization.
“You know what I just realized?” Tony asks him, his breath smelling of the horrible cocktails he likes.
Rhodey hums to urge him to continue, just as drunk as Tony.
“We’ve been friends for half your life now,” Tony slurs around his words.
Rhodey pauses once again at that. It’s harder for him to do math while not-sober, but he is still a genius after all. “Not yet,” Rhodey corrects, “in one year and ten months.”
“Come on, you were fifteen when we met! What do the specifics matter?”
Rhodey shrugs, “I guess they don’t matter. But if they did, you have spent over half your life being friends with me.”
“That’s right!” Tony exclaims, “why didn’t you mention it two years ago?!”
“Because I’m not as self centered as you.”
Tony rolls his eyes and elbows him.
They don’t talk much about what they almost missed during Afghanistan. They can feel it, but neither says it.
Instead, for their 25th anniversary, their silver anniversary, Tony gives him War Machine, an Iron Man painted all blacks and grays.
Rhodey is forty three, and Tony has spent two thirds of his life with Rhodey. They almost didn’t make it that year. The clock could have frozen, like Tony would’ve in space, leaving Tony to spend only 27/41 of his life with Rhodey. They appreciate it more this year. It’s different than celebrations before Afghanistan but after Rhodey’s desk duty. Different than celebrations after that too. They appreciate what they almost didn’t have this year, and they talk about it, for once, too.
“You know, Tony,” Rhodey says, sobs in his throat. His alcohol tolerance has gone down over the years. “I love you, man. I always tell how much I appreciate you, every year, but never how much I love you. I love you so much.”
There are tears in Tony’s eyes too. His alcohol tolerance has only gone up. “I love you too,” Tony confesses through watery vision.
Rhodey is fifty three and they’ve been friends for 38 years.
“You should retire, man,” Tony tells him, gesturing around the lake, as if showing his kingdom, “look how it’s working out for me.”
“You concerned for me?” Rhodey teases.
“No, I’m not concerned,” Tony dismisses with a hand wave and avoiding eye contact, “you know what you’re doing. But it will be pretty nice if you retire. We could just lay back and do this every day.”
Rhodey shrugs, not promising anything. Truth is, he doesn’t think he will retire. He thinks he will be War Machine until the day he dies. He’s happy Tony got out, but he doesn’t think he could. “Because this party would suck without me, right?”
Tony hides his face behind his non-alcoholic drink. He doesn’t deny it. Instead he says, “I think it will be nice if we get to our ruby anniversary. I have an idea for a gift.”
Rhodey is seventy eight, and celebrating another year.
He doesn’t go out and get drunk like he used to. He doesn't make a sappy speech as tradition dictates. He doesn’t have any new pictures of him and Tony to look over. He does reminisce over old collages and he does buy a cake and he does pour himself a glass of golden whiskey, Tony’s favorite drink.
The cake has sixty three candles on it. It had taken Rhodey an hour to put all the candles on, especially with the shaky grip he had established with age.
He looks sadly at the cake. Another year passes, he thinks. Another year without Tony.
Rhodey was fifteen when he met Tony. Tony had been gone for the past twenty four years. Today, half of Rhodey’s life was spent without Tony.
“Happy anniversary, Tones,” Rhodey whispers. His vision is blurry as he blows out the candles. He drinks his glass of whiskey and fills up the glass up with tears.
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