Elijah Bradley wasn’t just the average teen. He wanted to be a hero. And when Iron Lad came from the future looking for a now AWOL Josiah X, Eli jumped on the chance. Calling himself Patriot and honoring his grandfather, Isaiah Bradley, or the FIRST Captain America as he likes to call him, made a costume designed close to the original Bucky Barnes‘ but wanted to honor his grandfather so he uses a shield that was modeled after Isaiah’s.
The Young Avengers, led by Patriot, went through tremendous battles with Captain America and others from the original Avengers, coming out victorious. But during the story line from Young Avengers: Children’s Crusade, Patriot led a mission to help find Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, and ended up in battle with none other than Doctor Doom. This battle led to countless losses, including two members of the Young Avengers, Cassie Lang aka Stature, and The Vision. The loss of Cassie also hurt Iron Lad emotionally, and led him on his ultimate fate of going back into the time stream and eventually becoming Kang The Conqueror. This left the surviving members Hawkeye, Speed, Hulking, and Wiccan in flux. Eli decides to leave the Young Avengers and the rest were eventually invited to join the Avengers.
A few years after those events a new group of Young Avengers has emerged ( Miss America Chavez, Hawkeye, Hukling, Marvel Boy, Wiccan, and a child version of Loki), with no Patriot or Speed. Thomas Shepherd, aka Speed, is still with the Avengers, but what happened to Eli? He said he was moving to Scottsdale to live with his mother, but with a personality like his, one has to wonder, what has he been up to?
Patriot is one of those characters that could be in the same position as Ultimate Comics version of Spider-Man is in. Miles Morales has the job of filling the shoes of one of the greatest heroes of all time, while dealing with life as a teenager. Peter Parker is a tough act for anyone to follow, but Steve Rodgers? The name even says Captain America. Those boots are impossible.
What would a young person do after giving up a mantle? What would that particular person do after “retiring” from something not only that they loved to do, but love to it at a young age? That type of adrenaline rush is hard to fill. I wonder what Eli Bradley’s story would be if Marvel decided to bring him back. Better question, how would I bring him back into the Marvel Universe?
My possible story line for Eli Bradley
Eli joins his mother in Scottsdale, NY and begins his new life with his mother. He graduates from high school and decides that he wants to attend college, get a degree in creative writing, study criminal justice, and maybe become a police officer. After he enrolls in school, he instantly becomes bored with it. One night while doing his homework, Eli is having trouble focusing because he keeps reliving his time as a Young Avenger in his mind. He’s so sidetracked that he takes a break from his studies and turns on the news. He sees some super-powered crimes going on. In one segment, he sees the NEW Young Avengers. Headlining them on the news is Kate Bishop aka Hawkeye. Eli gets a little jealous and turns off the TV.
That same night, Eli decides to go for a walk through downtown New York City. While out, he’s very angry and cussing the members of his old team, maybe out of jealousy. Not paying attention, he unintentionally interrupts a mugging in process (cliche’, I know). In the act of apprehension, he realizes that the mugger is a mutant with the power to make copies of himself, like Jaime Maddrox aka Multiple Man. Eli fights the copies and the original gets away.
Haunted by the fact that the mugger got away, Eli decides to come out of retirement. He moves into a studio apartment in the city and off campus. Instead of becoming the “Next Captain America”, he decides to become the first Patriot. He redesigns his costume and sets out on new adventures as his alter ego.
What do you think? Should Marvel bring back Patriot? Do you even care? Is there another character not seen in the Marvel Universe in a while that you’d like to see make a comeback? Leave a commet below and share your thoughts!