By Frank DeAngelo IV
When Cassie Lang stands up, she stands tall.
After losing her father, the mini-super hero Ant-Man, to the decimation of "Avengers: Disassembled," Cassie discovered she not only shared her father's ability to shrink herself to the size of an ant, but also to increase her height to a towering 40 feet. Fueled by the desire to make a difference in the legacy of her father, she joined the fledgling Young Avengers as their resident powerhouse, Stature.
But in the wake of "Civil War," Cassie made a decision that changed the course of her fledgling heroic arc, abandoning her friends to side with the pro-registration forces and joining the Initiative. The young heroine takes the spotlight in YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS #5, hitting shops May 28, and faces the consequences of her choices, courtesy of writer Kevin Grevioux (NEW WARRIORS) and artist Mitch Breitweiser (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE CHOSEN).
"Cassie has just gone through an
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extremely traumatic experience that has caused her to experience more emotional duress than she ever has before," Grevioux offers in regards to the story he'll be telling. "Once again, she has had to defend the integrity of her father to her both her mother and step-father, and ultimately this leads her to manifest her problem in a most unusual physical way. A few of her friends and teammates in the Young Avengers have to try to reach her before she reaches a point of no return."
The daughter of a former thief turned full-time Avenger, Cassie's conflicted family history provides a central element to the story and character.
"It's how she comes to grips with who she is, being the daughter of Scott Lang," Grevioux notes about one thing that drew him to Stature. "It's about not only justifying who she is to herself and struggling to live up to her father's legacy, but also proving to her mother and step-father that she is not only a hero, but worthy of the mantle her father left her. I also think that a daughter having that much love and faith in her father, and standing up for him despite his egregious past is something that's very interesting to delve into."
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This internal conflict, Grevioux points out, also provides a major reason for Cassie's "defection" to the Initiative:
"I think it's not wanting to live the life of an outlaw and a criminal, so to speak. Her father went down that road and it destroyed her family. She doesn't want to live through anything remotely like that again. She's learned from her father's mistakes and the lessons [he] tried to teach her and she wants to be true to those."
Regardless of her reasons, the writer believes Cassie's decision to join the pro-registration force has greatly benefited the teen.
"I think she made the adjustment quite well," Grevioux argues. "Although the decision to join the Initiative wasn't an easy one, it's what she felt she had to do given her past."
However, despite the perks and emotional growth Stature has experienced as part of the Initiative, her relationship with her fellow Young Avengers has paid the price.
"It's estranged, but they're not on the outs," the writer says of where Cassie and the Young Avengers stand. "They're not angry at each other. They just don't talk as much as they used to given Cassie's position as being part of the Initiative. Remember, as a representative of the law, Cassie would be forced to turn them in, so she'd rather not put herself in a position where she would have to."
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Yet, even these ideological and political differences can't keep the remaining Young Avengers at a distance from Cassie when they discover she's in trouble.
"When we begin the story, Cassie is already in the throes of her distraught emotional state and her friends [Wiccan, Kate Bishop, and Patriot] have to figure out a way to help her before it's too late," Grevioux reveals. "Without realizing what they're doing, they actually use a kind of gestalt method of psychological therapy to reach her and to help her the best way they can."
YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS #5 comes at you May 28, but you can read other Young Avengers adventures right now with Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!