Friday, March 21, 2014

Comic Review - Avengers:The Children's Crusade

Avengers - The Children's Crusade 1-9
Publish Date/Year
Creative Team
Story: Alan Heinberg 
Art: Jim Cheung
The Young Avengers (Wiccan, Hawkeye, Patriot, Stature, Hulkling, Speed, Vision) battle the Sons of the Serpent.When Hulkling (Wiccan's gay boyfriend) gets blasted, Wiccan temporarily losses control with a sudden outburst of power and ends up putting all of the Sons of the Serpent in a coma. 

After seeing what Wiccan did, the Avengers (Iron Man, Captain America and Ms.Marvel) wanted to take him back to the Avengers Tower to talk about his powers. Wiccan's display of power sparked questions about him & his twin brother Tommy's (Speed) relation to the Scarlet Witch (Wanda). Magneto (Wanda's dad) shows up and asks the twins to help find their mother - the Scarlet Witch. The Avengers and Young Avengers (now with Magneto) compete to be the first to find Scarlet Witch. The Avengers' objective was to neutralize Scarlet Witch but Wiccan wants to find her as he believes that she was not responsible for the death of millions of mutants (back in M-Day).

Wiccan finally finds Wanda but isn't sure if she a still hero. The Avengers & Young Avengers battle over Wanda while Dr Doom waits for his opportunity to seize the prize - Wanda. Determined to rescue the Scarlet Witch from the clutches of Dr Doom, Magneto, Quicksilver, and the Young Avengers form a team to infiltrate Doom's kingdom. But their invasion of Latveria threatens to become an all-out war when the Avengers stand in their way while Wanda comes face to face with a mysterious stranger.

Magneto fights Dr Doom while Avengers battle Young Avengers. The reappearance of time-traveling Iron Lad unleashes Wanda's reality-altering powers upon the time-stream itself, changing the Universe.
Marvel has a clever side-story to explain why Iron Lad appears at this point in time.
Scarlet Witch returns with her full powers and summons Ultrons (yes, in plural) and Kree ships to try to kill herself but Wiccan stops her. Using her powers Wanda discovers that Wiccan and Speed are reincarnations of her twin children. The newly returned Scott Lang (Ant Man) learns that his daughter Cassie is now a Young Avenger called Stature. Wanda tells the Avengers that she wants to reverse M-Day and re-power the mutants who lost their powers. She succeeds in restoring Rictor's (from X-Factor) powers. 

It's the Avengers vs. the X-Men with Young Avengers and X-Factor caught in the middle. The 4 teams battle to determine who will hold the Scarlet Witch responsible for M-Day. The revelation of the Scarlet Witch's godlike powers the secret of her murderous rampage in Avengers Disassembled (resulting in the destruction of Vision and the Avengers Mansion.) creates a rift between the Young Avengers.The Young Avengers find themselves on the wrong side in their final battle against the combined Avengers and X-Men. The Young Avengers have no one to turn to except each other as they are forced to fight the heroes they idolize, resulting in a new lineup and direction for the Young Avengers.

Jim Cheung has grown and improved so much from his days back in CrossGen (boy, do I miss their books, especially their compendiums - Forge & Edge) where he, and big names like Steve McNiven & Greg Land first made their names.To me, Jim Cheung is in the same league of my favorite artists as Bryan Hitch, Alan Davis & George Perez. Anytime I see their names on the books, it doesn't matter what book it is or who's writing it, I'd get them. He's just that good. His art is beautiful and totally suitable for comics.

However, there are a couple of artists whom I consider to be very good but have lately been rather sloppy with their work. They include 2 from his CrossGen cohort - Steve McNiven (Captain America & Civil War) & Greg Land (Sojourn & Uncanny X-Men). With a few others like John Cassaday (Planetary & Astonishing X-Men), John Byrne (sadly...he did Uncanny X-Men, Fantastic Four & Alpha Flight) & Leinil Francis Yu (Secret Invasion)
Additional Comments

As far as I'm concerned, this is a major milestone in terms of storyline because Scarlet Witch had been put under cold storage since Avengers Disassembled and this marks her return to the Marvel Universe.

And this is indeed a fitting maxi-series to bring her back! Love it. Read it if you haven't done so already!

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