In 2005 Marvel decided to take a page out of DC’s book and create a teen version of their premiere super-team. DC has had the teen titans for decades so it only made sense that Marvel should finally have a young team of Avengers. They brilliantly called the team: The Young Avengers. The book was launched after the big Avenger Disassembled story line which saw a number of Avengers killed and the team disbanded. To fill the void, a group of youths with powers similar to that of the key Avengers formed a super-team of their own. There was Iron-Lad, Hulking, teen versions of Giant-Man, Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch and they were all led by Patriot who was of course the team’s answer to Captain America. Patriot happened to be the grandson of Isaiah Bradley, a black man that was used as a guinea pig in the 30s to test the super-soldier serum that created Captain America before it was ever used on Steve Rogers. Patriot (Eli Bradley) apparently inherited his grandfathers powers via a blood infusion, at least that’s what he told everybody. It was later revealed that he was actually taking drugs to fake super-powers and so Eli left the team in disgrace. As luck would have it he later actually got super powers and came back to lead the team. Yay! I actually thought the idea of a Young Avengers team was pretty stupid when I first heard of it and the character designs and names (Iron Lad…really?) did little to convince me otherwise. Marvel zombie that I am though I decided to give the book a chance…and really liked it. Allan Heinberg, the writer who created the team crafted some really interesting characters and left me wanting more. The series came to an end with Heinberg’s departure after only 12 issues. The characters made their mark on the Marvel Universe in that short time though and many writers continue to use them in their stories. I hope they graduate to their own on-going series again one day.
The Patriot figure is pretty sweet and really captures the look from the comic. Hasbro went with patriot’s initial look with the full face mask as opposed to the exposed face and domino mask that he goes with nowadays. I like both looks but I think i prefer the full mask. His old school boots, gloves and jacket are all homages to both Captain America and his teen side-kick Bucky. Patriot is rock’n Capt’s original triangular shield as well which is a nice touch. I like that Patriot isn’t as tall as the other figures in the MU line as it makes him believable as a teenager. I hope I don’t have to wait to long for Hasbro to release the rest of the team. 7 out of 10.