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Billy Bryon as a youth

The Young Avenger was just one of many costumed operatives active during World War II who were recruited into the United States military. The purpose was to enlist such individuals in order to publish propaganda in the form of comic books that were commissioned by the United States military and published by Timely Comics. These comics were used to convince Americans to support the war, and increase enlistment. Like many heroes recruited in this fashion, the Young Avenger's fictional exploits were few. For most of these early heroes, it was due to their deaths in combat.[1]

Presumably, much like the Young Allies[2], the fictional exploits of the Young Avenger may be based on actual events. For the sake of clarity, however, this article differentiates between the two.

Early Adventures

The Young Avenger

The earliest record of William Bryon came from one such comic book commissioned by the United States Army. It states that Bill Bryon was an average American teenager. One night he was awoken from a sound sleep by a shadowy figure who gave him a costume and conscripted him to become the Young Avenger and deal with a cell of Nazi operatives plotting to destroy the Wenton Aviation Works in southern New York state. Tracking down the spies, the Young Avenger was initially captured, but managed to break free and capture the Nazi's, turning them over to the authorities. He then returned home and the following morning his mother was unaware of her son's heroic activities the night before.[3]

Further exploits of the Young Avenger would attract the attention of Captain Terror who invited Bryon to his mansion along with Rockman,Jack Frost, Major Liberty, the Defender, Rusty, the Whizzer and the Vagabond to discuss their adventures.[4]

Crazy S.U.E.'s

Shortly after gaining his super-human powers, the Young Avenger was drafted into the United States military and joined the Specialized Unit, Enhanced Soldiers (Crazy Sue's for short) in 1942. It was jointly commanded by Captain America and Sargent Byrd. While the unit was a mix of various staples of American society for the times, William made friends with most members of his unit, notably Merzah the Mystic.[1] Unknown to the assembled heroes at the time was that the military had higher aspirations for them all, something called Project: Alberta. The full details of this project, however, are presently unrecorded.[5]

Member of the Crazy Sue's

On August 7th, 1942, the Young Avenger and a group of the Crazy Sue's were deployed to face combat at Guadalcanal. The group was air dropped over an area that that was heavy with Imperial Japanese forces and they were stuck under heavy fire due to bad intelligence. The Crazy Sue's unique abilities, however, allowed them to turn the tide and the team was saved thanks to an outburst of power from their teammate Captain Flame. Flame was horrified at taking human lives and the Young Avenger and Merzah attempted to console him.[1] Soon, Captain America left the group in the charge of Sargent Byrd while they continued to combat Japanese forces on Guadalcanal. Once more getting trapped under enemy fire, the Young Avenger assisted his injured comrades in pulling back while Captain Flame once more saved their lives by using his powers.[6]

In 1943, the Young Avenger was among a number of heroes who were slain by the Cosmic Cube wielding Red Skull and impaled on a massive wall.[7] The Cube, however, was recovered by Private Paul Anselm, who resurrected all the slain heroes who then aided the combined efforts of the Invaders and the time displaced New Avengers and Mighty Avengers. When the Skull was defeated, the heroes used the Cube to wipe out the Young Avenger's memories of the event in order to preserve history.[8]

Continuing to see action in the Pacific Theater with the Crazy Sue's, Young Avenger and his teammates were pulled out of the region and deployed to Europe in 1944. They participated in the Battle of Normandy in 1944, being air dropped into the town of Sainte Mere Engiles and clashed with Nazi forces. Following the victory of that battle, the Crazy Sue's celebrated with the Invaders, where the Young Avenger joined in on some good natured ribbing of Captain Flame over his admiration of the similarly powered Human Torch.[9]

On June 25th, 1944, the Young Avenger, Taxi Taylor and T-Mech came to the rescue of their teammates Blue Diamond and the Invisible Man who were captured by Nazi forces.[10] By July 7th, the Crazy Sue's had found themselves in Bretteville-sur-Laise, France, where they participated in the liberation of Nazi occupation of the country. Following the liberation of France, the Young Avenger and the other Sue's were part of a victory parade through Paris. Staying in Paris until August 29th, the Young Avenger and some of his teammates took advantage of their heroic status to spend an evening with some French women before moving on again. Reunited with Captain America, the Sue's moved on into Belgium clashing with Nazi forces again. Pinned down by enemy fire, forcing the Young Avenger to look after his injured ally the Invisible Man. They were eventually saved once again thanks to Captain Flame.[11]

On December 6, 1944, still under the command of Captain America, the Crazy Sue's entered Saarlaurtern, Germany where they once more clashed with German forces. During the course of the battle the Victory Boys were caught in the blast of a Tiger Tank shell. The lone survivor was Piotr, whom the Young Avenger realized was mortally wounded. Ordering their medic Archie the Gruesome to shoot Piotr up with morphine, the Young Avenger put Piotr out of his misery by shooting him in the head.[10]

Further exploits of the Young Avenger during his time with the Crazy Sue's are unrecorded.[12] Bryon, however, was one of the few survivors of the unit. He had learned that his teammate Captain Flame was part of a special project Operation: Firefly, an operation which somehow involved the Asgardian trickster god Loki.[1] The details of Operation: Firefly are to date unknown, but it was a well kept secret that changed the face of the entire war.

After the War

William Bryon managed to steal a copy of Super Hero Comics #1, published by Timely Comics, the first of a series of comic books based on Captain Flame that were to be destroyed following the failure of Operation: Firefly. William then retired from his costumed identity, apparently becoming a comic book artist himself. He secretly kept his super-hero costume and a collection of wartime comic books based on his old friends and allies stashed away. He got married and had a son, who eventually married himself and had a daughter named Alyssa who grew up to be a writer. Over the years, William never spoke of his time in the war with anyone, telling his family that he was rejected from active duty due to a bad leg. Feeling guilty of Piotr's death, he visited his colleagues grave on the anniversary of his death, telling his family members that Piotr was a cousin of the family.

In recent times, now 93 years old and in frail health, William decided it was time to break his silence and tell the story of the Crazy Sue's and Operation: Firefly. After visiting Piotr's grave with Alyssa, William asked his granddaughter if she would write the story of his wartime exploits as long as she promised to tell it exactly like it is. Not understanding why, Alyssa agreed and was made to read her grandfather's entire collection of wartime comics. After she did, he explained that they were fictional tales of real adventures of the Crazy Sue's and revealed to her that he was really the Young Avenger.[10]

William then began telling his story to his granddaughter, while she recorded it for later transcribing into a book. He told her about the formation of the Crazy Sue's and their early activities in the Pacific before taking a break to go to the washroom. While he was there Alyssa was contacted by an unidentified source on her laptop who informed her of Operation: Firefly. When William returned, she asked him about the operation and William suddenly suffered a heart attack. Before Alyssa could act, Loki appeared before her.[1] Loki warned Alyssa to stop her probing into Operation: Firefly and then advised her that William's left ventricle had torn under the pressure of a compress artery, advising her to tell that to the paramedics, but cautioned her that it would only delay the inevitable. Rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, William was hooked up to a breathing tube while in a coma but soon passed away shortly thereafter. He was given a soldier's burial in New York with his granddaughter, Captain America, Sargent Byrd, and Slow Motion Jones (the only other apparent survivor of his unit) in attendance. Alyssa became determined to learn the full story of her grandfather's activities in the war and the truth of Operation: Firefly.[6] Her quest for the truth, however, remains unrecorded.



Young Avenger appeared to have super-human strength, durability and stamina.


In his old age William had developed a weak heart, the product of what Loki claimed to be the result of eating too many fatty foods over the years. William died of heart failure following a heart attack at the age of 92 or 93.[13]


It is interesting to note that Bill Bryon was visited by a strange shadowed being in a similar fashion as Martin Simon Burns a year before and Martin Oksner Burns a few years later. However, any connection between the two is speculative at this present time.

See Also

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