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By Jase Peeples
The hunky Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars as masked vigilante Dave Lizewski in the comic book adaptation Kick-Ass 2, now in theaters, but he's only the latest in a long line of ass-kicking young superheroes.
From Blue Ranger and Percy Jackson to Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter, geek out over our favorite boy wonders on the following pages.
The flamboyant gay member of Teen Titans is proof that being fabulous and fierce is a powerful combination.
From acne and term papers to married life and parenthood — over the years we’ve seen Peter Parker tackle the problems of every age. But when the adventures take place during Spider-Man’s time as a super-powered teen, the story is (almost) always going to be an instant classic.
Whether he’s pod racing on Tatooine or wielding duel lightsabers on Geonosis, Anakin Skywalker is one wielder of the Force you wouldn’t want to piss off. The fact that he’s played by the handsome Hayden Christensen in two of the three Star Wars prequels makes us curious about his adventures in the bedroom as well.
More than one young man has swam through the ocean as Aqualad, the young protégé of Aquaman. However, it’s the appearance of Kaldur’ahm in the animated series Young Justice that depicts Aqualad as an ass-kicking, water-weapon-wielding leader.
Played by the now openly gay actor David Yost, Billy Cranston had an excellent balance of brains and brawn as the original Blue Ranger in Saban’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Jaime Reyes may be the third character to assume the mantle of the Blue Beetle, but his version wielded the greatest power. Heavily featured in the animated series Young Justice, as well as memorable appearances on Smallville and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Reyes’ extraterrestrial armored suit makes him one bad-ass Beetle.
Captain America's original sidekick may have been a silly concept, but his reintroduction as the Winter Soldier not only earned him the respect of fans but also made him the focus of the upcoming film Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
An entire generation of gay youth grew up with Harry Potter — and Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who brought him to life on the big screen. As the boy wizard, he was a superior spell-caster; in reality, Radcliffe has become an outspoken advocate for equality, adding his star power to the battle against homophobia and making him a hero of both fantasy and reality.
Wally West graduated from young sidekick to superstar when he took over the role of the Flash after his mentor, Barry Allen, died in a heroic blaze of glory. But even before Wally became the primary Scarlet Speedster of DC Comics, he was a still a capable crime-fighter with one of the best costumes a superhero could sport.
"The Force is strong with this one,” but any guy who could blow up the Death Star, obliterate Jabba the Hutt’s forces, and destroy the Sith — OK, technically that was Anakin, but Luke helped — automatically earns the rank of intergalactic ass-kicker in this or any other universe.
From confronting gods to fighting monsters, Poseidon's son Percy Jackson — played by Logan Lerman on the big screen — would make our first draft picks for a supernatural dream team any day of the week.
In the original Filmation cartoon of the '80s, Prince Adam was depicted as a bumbling klutz when he wasn’t running off to transform into He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe, but the 2002 remake of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe gave us a Prince who wasn’t afraid to take a stand against the evil forces of Skeletor on his own.
Many young men — and women — have donned the mantle of Batman’s partner over the years, but no matter whose heart beats behind that iconic red tunic, Robin never fails to be one bad-ass bird.
With one magic word, young Billy Batson transforms into Captain Marvel, the World's Mightiest Mortal. Now known as Shazam, Billy has power rivaling that of Superman.
Green Arrow’s young partner Roy Harper has battled world-class villains, drug addiction, and other teen troubles under several different code names since his 1941 debut, including Arsenal, Red Arrow, and, yes, Speedy. The Avengers' Hawkeye has nothing on this amazing archer, who's currently played by pupcake Colton Haynes on the CW’s Arrow.
Originally introduced as a key character of Milestone Comics, an imprint of DC Comics, Virgil Hawkins has become one of the most beloved black teen superheroes of the modern era. Featured in his own animated series in 2000 and eventually folded into the mainstream DC Universe, Static is respected as a power player in the realm of tights and flights.
Before his recent retcon, Conner Kent was the clone of Superman and Lex Luthor, making him a gayby of sorts with daddy issues. Add the fact that he lost his shirt on a regular basis, it’s no wonder this interpretation of Superboy is the one most beloved by gay fans.
As the lead pupcake of MTV’s Teen Wolf, Scott McCall is well on his way to becoming the most powerful young werewolf in TV history — and Tyler Posey, the howl-worthy actor who brings him to life, keeps us coming back to the pack.
These two gay Young Avengers are a force to be reckoned with on their own, but they're an unstoppable force as one of the power couples of the Marvel Universe.