The second character to appear in Falcon and the Winter Soldier last week was nothing more than a cameo, but there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing him often in the future MCU. When Bucky brings Sam to a meeting in The Star-Spangled Man, the two are greeted by a young man who doesn’t seem particularly happy to see them. That guy is Eli Bradley, represented by Elijah Richardson. Eli lives with and cares for his grandfather Isaiah, and he may have inherited something from him as well….. We’ll see him soon, I guess, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at one of the founding members of the Young Avengers: Eli Bradley, the new Patriot.

Eli Bradley had a big, complicated name: Born in New York City, he was the son of Sarah Gale Bradley, who was herself the daughter of Isaiah Bradley, Black Captain America, and the sister of Josiah al-Hajj Saddique, aka Josiah X. Eli is the heir to a glorious tradition of black superheroes, but because Sarah was conceived before Isaiah underwent the experiments that made him a super soldier, Eli did not inherit his superhuman gifts, even though he desperately wanted to: He and his siblings grew up hearing stories of his grandfather and uncle’s exploits, and he wanted to be a part of it. Fate seems to be knocking on his door when a young hero named Iron Boy goes in search of Josiah X, claiming that he is reforming the recently disbanded Avengers. Josiah had disappeared from the family for years, though, and Eli didn’t know how to get in touch with him, but he didn’t want to. He tells Iron Lad that he found his super soldier and claims to have gotten his powers from a blood transfusion he received from his grandfather, which never happened. To simulate his powers, Eli began taking mutant growth hormone, an illegal drug that gives normal people superhuman strength for a short time and increases their aggression. With MGH, a suit inspired by the historic Bucky and armed with throwing stars, Eli became the new Patriot. He names himself after Golden Age hero Jeffrey Mace and joins Iron Man, Hulkling and Asgardian in the Young Avengers. But despite their intensive Iron Boy training, the team’s first missions ended in failure. During a hostage situation at a wedding, they were rescued by one of the hostages, Kate Bishop’s bridesmaid, who eventually escaped.

The team received help from Bishop herself and her friend Cassie Lang when they needed them most, when they were attacked by Kang the Conqueror. During the fight, Kate also found Captain America’s original triangular shield and gave it to the Patriot. Against all odds and with the sacrifice of Iron Boy (who turned out to be a teenage version of Kang himself), the Young Avengers defeated the Time Traveling Conqueror….. But when the original Avengers returned, they weren’t exactly grateful: They not only refused to train such young heroes, they ordered them to be disbanded immediately. They said no: Kate uses her remarkable wealth to find a new home for the team, the Bishop Publishing Building, and she and Patriot are elected co-directors. However, it was at that moment that Wiccan found out Eli’s secret: After being killed in a fight with Mr. Hyde he had overdosed, Patriot confronted his teammates, and after admitting he had been drugged all along, he left the Young Avengers, though his friends insisted he stay with them despite his lack of strength. Eli only returned when the Young Avengers and New Avengers found themselves in the middle of the conflict between the Kree Empire and the Skull Empire to save Hulkling. During the fight, Eli shielded Captain America with his body and was seriously injured. Eli desperately needs a blood transfusion and has found a donor in his grandfather, who has brought his lie to life by giving him his blood, as well as his own powers. Having finally mastered the skills of a true super soldier without incurring the wrath of MGH, Eli once again donned the Patriot’s mask, suit, and shield, returned to his teammates, and once again became co-leader of the Young Avengers. From then on he will never hide his lies and deceit again: He was ready to be the hero he always wanted to be.

Eli Bradley is a young man desperate to assert himself. He wants to step into the tradition of his hero family and defend the values that two generations of superheroes have instilled in him. As a Patriot, he has all the gifts of a super soldier: Increased strength, speed, durability, stamina, reflexes, senses, agility and intelligence; he is immune to most diseases, poisons and toxins; he ages much more slowly than a normal human and heals faster, even from life-threatening wounds ; He is a skilled tactician and a practiced fighter who fights with shurikens, which he can throw with deadly precision; although he is no longer bulletproof since leaving the MGH, he is protected by Captain America’s ancient shield and light armor. The Patriot is a bright young leader who is aware of the responsibilities that come with a legacy and power. He does everything in his power to be the hero he knows he should be and that even his family can look up to with pride.


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