Avengers: The Children's Crusade 1-9, Avengers: The Children's Crusade - Young Avengers 1
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Avengers based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
The Children's Crusade is an excellent endcap to the Marvel events of "Avengers Disassembled" and "House of M." This is a book the better part of a decade in the making and it really helps tie some of the storylines and characters of Marvel's tent-pole franchises with the lesser known characters of the Young Avengers. The writing is fun and exciting. Heinberg also does a great job touching on the romance of Hulking and Wiccan. Jim Cheung's art is, as always, clean and crisp. Combined with great coloring, the book is visually fantastic. The main critique to this book is the timing and continuity. For continuity geeks, a warning that the book takes place during a sweeping transition period in the Marvel chronology and doesn't fit neatly in any individual spot on your bookshelf. Furthermore, the final act with Doctor Doom's involvement becomes a little over-the-top. Nevertheless, this book really tells a good story and fills in some major blanks left by other titles that were years in the making.
The Young Avengers have intrigued me since their debut. Whether it be the unique storylines, dynamic characters, the connection to Avengers past or a combination of the three, this team has always been fun. The bad thing seems to be when someone other than Allan Heinberg writes them. So with all that being said I was so looking forward to reading this. Finally some answers as to Billy and Tommy’s parentage! Well, we got answers but we also got some very odd actions from the Avengers and X-Men. Dr. Doom gets involved and makes little to no sense. The story is loaded with Avengers back story that could bog down readers who aren’t caught up on it. Also the book’s placement in the Marvel Universe is odd. It might have just been a timing factor but this book is at odds with so many events around the universe. The art by Jimmy Cheung is good but not great. Extra effort is definitely put in big scenes but forgotten about in small ones. Overall this book didn’t deliver what it could have.
I love the characters Allan Heinberg created for The Young Avengers, and the way their personalities have come together over the years since the characters were first introduced. Even the most infuriating member of the team, Patriot, still interests me, and of course I think the Wiccan-Hulking duo is a much-needed fairly visible pairing for gay teens (they're committed to each other, they're not ashamed to show their love for each other, and they're not promiscuous. They're also not stereotypes). And as a long-time Avengers fan, I should have enjoyed the fact that this storyline not only enhances the background for Wiccan, Hulking and Speed but also ties up a lot of lingering storyline knots from years of creators reversing the work of previous creators. John Byrne didn't like the fact that Steve Englehart had given Scarlet Witch and Vision kids, so he found a way to get rid of them; Brian Bendis decided to use that as the impetus to dismantle the Avengers and kill Ant-Man. Heinberg uses this storyline to bring back the kids and Ant-Man and redeem The Scarlet Witch ... but then he goes ahead and kills another character. And I think that's ultimately why I didn't enjoy the story as much as I thought I should have: there's too much "let's fix this mistake, and that one, but then we need more drama so we'll do this..." for me. One of these days, I'd like to see a simple straight-forward adventure of The Young Avengers that isn't contingent on being a part of a massive company-wide crossover or an attempt to "fix" what previous creators have done. (For the record: I am one of those who was pissed at John Byrne for getting rid of Wanda & Vizh's kids; I also thought it was silly for Bendis to use that as the motivating factor for Wanda going insane several decades (reader time) later.)