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The Loki Season 1 Finale Secretly Set Up Another Young Avenger

The Loki finale secretly set up another member of the Young Avengers: Iron Lad, a heroic incarnation of Kang the Conqueror. When the Marvel Cinematic Universe was launched in 2008, it didn't take long for Marvel Studios to focus on the Avengers. But for years now, there have been reports the studio is planning to launch a new franchise beyond the Avengers, and the Young Avengers look to be a promising prospect.

Marvel's Disney+ TV shows have introduced, or are confirmed to be introducing, a number of key members of the Young Avengers. WandaVision featured Wiccan and Speed, the children of Vision and Scarlet Witch; they were revealed to have been created by Scarlet Witch's magic, but the show's post-credit scene teased they still exist somewhere in the multiverse. In The Falcon & the Winter Soldier, viewers met the forgotten Captain America Isaiah Bradley and his grandson Eli - said grandson becoming the vigilante Patriot in the comics. And Hawkeye is destined to feature Hailee Steinfeld as Marvel's next archer, Kate Bishop. Even Loki saw the trickster god encounter a younger version of himself, Kid Loki, who became a Young Avenger.

Related: Loki: Every MCU Easter Egg In Episode 6

But Loki also secretly set up another member of the Young Avengers, Iron Lad. In the comics, Iron Lad was a version of the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror who learned of his villainous destiny as Kang and rebelled against it. Iron Lad traveled back to the present day in order to try to chart a new course for his life and founded the Young Avengers. "If you found out you were going to become Adolf Hitler, wouldn't you do everything in your power to make sure it never happens?" he asked Kate Bishop when his true identity was revealed to the rest of the team.

The Loki finale set up countless variants of the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror in the MCU, each one originating from a different timeline. That means the MCU's Phase 4 can feature Kang, Immortus, Rama-Tut, and all Marvel's other versions of the character, and it's not inconceivable that at least one of these iterations of Kang will actually be heroic. Most viewers are focusing on the prospect of the Loki finale introducing numerous villains, but Iron Lad has potentially been set up, as well.

It's fascinating to consider what the introduction of Iron Lad would mean to the MCU's Phase 4. At present, there appear to be several separate strands to Phase 4; although some are concerned with the multiverse, others have focused on street-level superheroes or terrestrial threats (including the recently-released Black Widow). But Iron Lad could serve to bind these strands together, simply because in the comics he was the one who gathered the Young Avengers to help him change the timeline. Thus Marvel's upcoming Young Avengers could be introduced at the street level and then be transported into cosmic multiversal adventures. If Loki did indeed set the stage for Iron Lad, it would literally and figuratively add a new dimension to the Young Avengers, and a thrilling one at that.

More: Loki Ending & Future Set-Up Explained

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