Discover the secret history of the Young Avengers when Jessica Jones and Kat Farrell investigate the kids' origins for a special issue of THE PULSE. Who were they and what were their lives like before they met Iron Lad? And what is the future of the team without him? Find out in the YOUNG AVENGERS SPECIAL #1.
Kat Farrell is fascinated by the Young Avengers. She wants to know exactly what happened and she's willing to go straight to Cassie to find out. Jessica finally concedes that she'll talk to the Young Avengers and see if they'll talk to Kat. She goes to each team member and chats to them about their pasts and what made them become heroes.
She just wanted to know what happened to her father. That's all. Skipping school, she went to Stark Tower and waited to see Tony Stark. Even when his assistant tried to convince her he was too busy to see her, she stayed. She just wanted to know.
Telling the assistant that she'd wait all day, Cassie is about ready to do just that when her mother shows up and insists she goes to school. Cassie shouts that she just wants to know what happened, how her father died. Her mother's boyfriend, a cop called Blake, turns up to take Cassie to school. To make matters worse, Tony has apparently found a window in his schedule and he can see her when he gets there.
Blake insists that Cassie is going to school, he throws her father's criminal record in her face, saying that he's just as much a hero even without super powers. Their argument becomes heated and she shoves him hard. She asks him if he's such a hero, why can't he do better than picking up truanting children. At that, her mother slaps her hard and Cassie storms out.
That night, Cassie packed a bag, intent on running away. But as she left the house, she caught a news broadcast about a new team, the first outing of the Young Avengers. She discovered she'd inherited her father's powers and she found a new family, a place to be a hero.
If she had runaway, she would have headed to Los Angeles to join the Runaways. But all she wanted was to know how her father died and to walk his path.
It was always obvious to him that he was different to everyone else at school. He could change his appearance to fit in, make himself look just like people expected him to. He joined the basketball team and soon became best friends with the team captain, Greg Norris. One day, he told Greg about his ability to change his shape.
Greg thought this was the coolest thing and convinced Teddy to use his powers so that they could both do anything they wanted. Teddy got them into premiers pretending to be Tony Stark. He signed autographs as Johnny Storm. He even made public appearances as the Hulk.
Then Iron Man declared that the Avengers were being disbanded and that Avengers Mansion would be made into a public landmark and memorial. Greg had the idea that they should go to the mansion and raid it for souvenirs but as it became increasingly clear that Greg was only after making quick cash, Teddy threatened him. He didn't want the memory of the Avengers desecrated. Greg called him a freak and ran off. Alone now, Teddy stared at a picture of the great team when Iron Lad approached him and recruited him for the Young Avengers.
Bullied for being different at school, Billy found his solace in sitting outside the Avenger's Mansion. On one of those times, he'd been beaten up by the biggest, meanest kid in school, name of John Kesler, when a woman in red sweats asks him if he's okay. He's not okay. He's angry and bleeding but when he looks up he realises it's the Scarlet Witch. In a fit of awe, he blurts out that she's his favourite Avenger.
They walk together for a while and she gives him the advice that everyone has gifts, even if they're not super powers, and they're all worthwhile. She tells him to stand his ground and he himself. Then she heals him with a touch and kisses his cheek before they part ways.
The next morning, Billy's walking through school. He knows he'd never be able to stand up for himself so he re-arranges his schedule to avoid Kesler as much as possible. But then he sees the bully picking on a smaller kid. Billy gets angry. He pushes in and just as he's about to get pummelled, it turns out that he does have power and he used them to stand up for the kid.
But that first time, he lost control and almost killed Kesler. He ran to the Avengers Mansion but they'd been disbanded and Scarlet Witch wasn't there to make it better any more. Iron Lad found him there and made him into Asgardian who later became Wiccan.
Kate's mother died a year ago. She spent her life trying to use the Bishop wealth to change the world. Kate was never entirely comfortable with how wealthy her family is and she tried to convince her sister that all the money she was spending on a flash wedding could be put to charity, to actually changing lives and helping people. Her sister retorted that if their mother hadn't spent her life running around trying to save the world then she'd still be alive.
Kate wanted to help though. She couldn't just be wealthy and let it lie. She started helping out at soup kitchens and helping the homeless. But one night on her way home from school, she was attacked in the woods. She realised that bad things happen, things that could destroy you if you let them.
She chose to learn from it. She threw herself into training, became an expert archer and marksman, worked on her fighting skills. Then when the Young Avengers tried to save her at her sister's wedding, she chose to join them.
Eli was never sure if his grandfather had really been the black Captain America. The old man had been so badly damaged that he couldn't speak and rarely stood up for himself. It shamed Eli to think that his grandfather wasn't really a hero.
One evening on the way home from the store, Eli and his grandfather were set upon by bullies. One of them threw a bottle at his grandfather, knocking him to the ground. Eli grabbed the bottle and was going to go after the kid when two lads stopped him. They asked him how he expected to take on a gang of bullies on his own when he didn't have any powers himself. They then sold him the mutant growth hormone.
Talking to his grandmother, Eli realised that it didn't matter if his grandfather had been Captain America. He was still a hero. So he asked to play ball in the yard. When his grandfather threw the ball too far, Eli ran off to catch it. The bullies were waiting. They started to beat him up but just as he reached for the pills his grandfather intervened. It was over before it started and suddenly Eli didn't want to take the pills because he was ashamed, he wanted to take them so he could be just like his grandfather, the black Captain America.