In the year 3016 on the technologically advanced alternate world known as Other-Earth, 16-year-old robotics student Nathaniel Richards was rescued by his future self, the megalomaniacal time-traveler known as Kang the Conqueror, from a near-fatal attack. Kang outfitted young Nathaniel with a suit of psychokinetic armor that responded to his thoughts and gave him a glimpse of his future as a conqueror. Horrified at the death and destruction caused by his future self, young Nathaniel rejected the help of Kang and used his armor to escape to modern-day Earth-616, hoping to find the Avengers so that they could help him.
Calling himself Iron Lad, young Nathaniel arrived at his destination, only to find that the Avengers had disbanded and that a glitch in his armor provented him from traveling further back in time. After failed attempts to contact individual Avengers, Iron Lad broke into Stark Industries where he upload the central processing unit of the Vision, the synthozoid member of the Avengers who was destroyed just prior to the team's disbandment, into his armor. Iron Lad found a failsafe program within Vision's CPU which was designed to pinpoint the exact locations of the next wave of young Avengers (super-powered youths with either some significance to the Avengers themselves or to Avengers history) if anything were to happen to the original Avengers.
Iron Lad used this data to recruit three "Young Avengers" who resided in New York: Patriot, grandson of Isaiah Bradley, the sole survivor of an early American program that experimented on African-Americans in the 1940s, who received super-powers after receiving a blood transfusion from his grandfather; Asgardian, a boy mage with the ability to project waves of energy; and Hulkling, who was able to shape-shift into a green-skinned powerhouse with a healing factor. Iron Lad led the quartet of young heroes on several missions in attempt to train them for their impending showdown with Kang. But when Captain America and Iron Man learned of the team's existence, they set out to end the young heroes' exploits before before they got hurt.
Meanwhile, Cassandra "Cassie" Lang, the daughter of Ant-Man, an Avenger who had recently been killed, set out to join the Young Avengers and continue her father's heroic legacy. Cassie had been stealing the Pym Particles responsible for her father's size-changing abilities for years in an attempt to gain super-powers of her own and, as a result, found that she could increase her own size. She was joined by Kate Bishop, the athletic daughter of weathy Manhattan publishing mogul Derek Bishop, who previously assisted the Young Avengers in stopping gunmen at her sister's wedding. But by the time the two girls finally tracked down down the Young Avengers at the remnants of Avengers Mansion, the team had already been located by Captain America, Iron Man and Jessica Jones. The adult heroes were about to send the heroes home to their parents when the adult Kang the Conqueror appeared before them and demanded that they hand over Iron Lad or risk destroying the timeline.
Kang the Conqueror