Geared at young audiences but fun enough to be enjoyed by all, Marvel Rising is about to thrust a team of lesser known Marvel Heroes into the spotlight.
With many fans still in a spin over the endings of Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man And The Wasp, Marvel’s animation division has had time to work some magic.
At a recent San Diego Comic-Con panel, Marvel premiered the first trailer for Marvel Rising: Initiation. Initiation is a series of shorts leading into the animated film Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors.
The film will follow a young team assembled to catch a Ghost-Spider, a former Hero supposedly gone rogue. Of course, the mission turns out more complicated than it seems.
Marvel Rising is part of an initiative to showcase younger heroes for young audiences. However, it may be much more than that. The film features some interesting connections and casting decisions – decisions that hint at some of these characters one day stepping into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Let’s take a look at the young heroes taking centre stage.
After the events of the Inhumanity comic-book storyline, Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan finds herself among the many new Inhumans. She becomes a shape-shifter, usually using her new ability in the form of lengthening or enlarging her limbs.
Mentored by Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, Kamala eventually takes on Danvers’ former mantle as Ms. Marvel.
Kamala Khan is notable for being Marvel’s first Muslim superhero, and has been praised for her accurate portrayal of the culture.
In Marvel Rising, Ms. Marvel is excited to team up with Squirrel Girl. The pair initially set out to bring in Ghost-Spider, but Ms. Marvel has doubts when their target protests her innocence.
Kamala Khan will be voiced by Kathreen Khavari. Khavari is reprising the role from the Avengers Assemble animated series.
Initially considered a joke character by some, Squirrel Girl has risen up to become one of Marvel Comics’ most popular heroes.
Her ‘Squirrel like abilities’, including the ability to communicate with squirrels, are much more useful than you would think. In Squirrel Girl’s very first appearance, she helps Iron Man defeat Doctor Doom. Famously, she has also defeated Thanos single-handedly.
She is constantly accompanied by her squirrel sidekick, Tippy-Toe.
Squirrel Girl begins the new film excited to team up with Ms. Marvel. Like her new teammate, she soon comes to believe that Ghost-Spider is innocent.
Squirrel Girl will be voiced by Milana Vayntrub. Vayntrub will also play the character in the upcoming live-action TV series New Warriors.
Quake, aka Daisy Johnson, is an Inhuman with the ability to produce powerful vibrations. This is usually used to create controlled earthquakes. However, she once used the ability to incapacitate Magneto, knocking him out with a vibration inside his skull.
Johnson is a high-ranking Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. For a brief period, she even becomes director of the organisation.
Quake begins Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors as part of the team hunting Ghost-Spider. She soon switches allegiances after uncovering Ghost-Spider’s secret identity as Gwen Stacy.
Quake will be voiced by Chloe Bennet, who also plays her in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Rayshaun Lucas is the third character to use the codename Patriot, following Jeffrey Mace and Eli Bradley. He fights crime with a high-tech suit and shield made for him by an A.I of Tony Stark.
Lucas idolises Sam Wilson, sometimes serving as his sidekick.
In the Marvel Rising trailer, Patriot is first seen battling against Ghost Spider. He later decides to help her instead, reminding her of the importance of teamwork.
Patriot is voiced by Kamil McFadden. McFadden is best known for the role of Ernie in K.C Undercover.
Like the new Ms. Marvel, Dante Pertuz’s abilities are triggered during the ‘Inhumanity’ storyline. He gains the ability of pyrokinesis, taking on the codename ‘Inferno’. He befriends Kamala Khan after they both move to New Attilan to be trained in their powers.
Like Ghost-Spider, Inferno begins Marvel Rising on the run. This incarnation of Inferno has little control over his powers. Because of this, he treads a fine line between hero and villain.
Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey is lending his voice to Inferno.
America Chavez, also known as Miss America, is notable for being Marvel’s first Latin-Amercan LGBTQ character to star in an ongoing series. She is a Superhuman with the powers of super speed, strength, durability, and flight. She can also kick open holes in the fabric of reality. This allows for easy trips through the Marvel multiverse.
According to her Marvel Rising character summary, Chavez is a loner struggling with a painful past.
Cierra Ramirez will voice Miss America.
Once known as Spider-Gwen/Spider-Woman, Ghost-Spider is an alternate version of Gwen Stacy. She comes from a world where she, not Peter Parker, was bitten by the radioactive spider. The character became popular enough to earn her own ongoing series.
Marvel Rising begins with Ghost-Spider framed for the murder of a friend. The other character’s desire to help prove her innocence is likely what leads to them becoming the ‘Secret Warriors’ of the film’s subtitle.
Dove Cameron will voice Ghost-Spider. Cameron is best known for the role of Mal in the Descendants movies.
Who are the other characters in Marvel Rising?
Captain Marvel, voiced by Kim Raver, will also appear in the film. She will be acting as a mentor to the new heroes. Steven Weber will be voicing George Stacy.
Booboo Stewart and Ming-Na Wen are lending their voices to the film’s villains, Exile and Hala the accuser.
Introducing these heroes on the small screen is a great move. For the current generation of children, Ms. Marvel, Ghost-Spider, and Patriot will be their superheroes. They will grow up with them just like older generations grew up with Captain America and The Hulk.
And by the time these characters make the leap to the big screen to join the MCU?
The kids falling in love with them now will be old enough to get hyped. Just like a bunch of big kids getting hyped about The Avengers a few years ago.
The six Marvel Rising: Initiation shorts will air on Disney XD throughout August.
An official air-date for Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors has not yet been set, but it should hit screens before the end of 2018.