Avengers: The Children’s Crusade Issue 1 of 9

By Vince

First of all, this book SHOULD have been called YOUNG Avengers: The Children’s Crusade as that’s the team it focuses on. The actual Avengers only make small appearances, and even those are a bit awkward. There’s a disclaimer at the beginning of the book stating that there would be some continuity discrepancies due to its long production cycle. The story takes place after “Siege,” and I can deal with Iron Man wearing the wrong armor. However, having the WRONG CAPTAIN AMERICA is something that just makes the story feel awkward.

Continuity issues aside, I really did enjoy this issue, though. It picks up on some plot threads that have been established over the last few years. Unfortunately, the Young Avengers haven’t been strong sellers, so many readers will just have to jump on. That said, Heinburg does a good job filling in the important parts without too much exposition.

At the start, Young Avenger Wiccan goes a bit too far with his powers, which are magical in nature. The last time a magic-oriented mutant lost her powers, the Scarlet Witch was responsible for the deaths of several Avengers and later the near-genocide of the mutants. “The Children’s Crusade” refers to the Young Avengers’ quest to find the Scarlet Witch and reunite her with her lost twin sons. That’s right, it has long been hinted that brothers Wiccan and Speed were the lost sons of Scarlet Witch and Vision, if not biologically, then at least spiritually.

All in all, it’s a fun issue, but is nothing more than a big set-up for the upcoming story. Thankfully, it’s a story we’ll get through rather quickly as the nine issues are being published bi-monthly.

However, I have a request for Marvel. In many youth-team books, the writers feel the need to create romantic relationships between the characters. Possibly in an effort to connect with some of today’s youth, many of those relationships are gay. Now, I have no problem reading a book with a good romantic subplot, regardless of orientation. X-Factor is a recent good example. The relationships between Madrox and Siryn, as well as Shatterstar and Rictor (two males) don’t take away from the book as a whole. However, Young Avengers, much like Runaways before it, feels the need to beat the reader over the head with it. Hawkeye and Mockingbird don’t spend entire pages staring longingly into each others eyes, TALKING about kissing. It either happens or it doesn’t and the book moves on. Stop speaking down to your audience, Marvel. Accept that your readers are either mature enough to handle a homosexual relationship or not and stop treating it differently than a traditional one.

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade Issue 1 of 9
Marvel Comics
Story: Allan Heinberg
Art: Jim Cheung (Pencils), Mark Morales (Inks), Justin Ponsor (Colors)

Vince is the self-proclaimed “Massive Nerd.” His interests range from video games and comics to anime and Transformers collectibles.

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