Avengers: The Children’s Crusade


There’s very few Marvel stories that rarely get me excited every time I pick up a new issue. This is even truer when it comes to books released on a bi-monthly schedule. I mean, who remembers what happened two months ago?

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade has been an on-going story mixed with incredible drama, high-action, and brilliant art. To top it all off, it drastically has an effect on the Marvel Universe – despite it being considered only a mini-event.

Each issue has me begging for more. With each issue that goes by, I have no idea how the series could conclude. Indeed, this series should have been marketed much stronger by Marvel.

Avengers Children's Crusade

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
Allan Heinberg (writer), Jim Cheung (pencils, cover), Mark Morales, John Livesay, Dexter Vines, & Jim Cheung (inks), Justin Ponsor (colours, cover), Cory Petit (letters). $3.99

Concluding last issue, Wanda restores the powers of the mutant Rictor from X-Factor – showing that she can reverse all of the effects done by her on M-Day. But of course, arriving on the scene, The Avengers, Magneto and the X-Men have their particular opinions to what should happen with Wanda. The Avengers want her back to normal, while Magneto wants her to herself. Surprisingly, Cyclops acts the most irrational of the bunch and demands justice for the damage she has caused.

Heinberg leaves the reader to quietly debate who has the most reasonable argument for what to do with Wanda. But for the first time in the series, we finally get to hear Wanda’s voice and her opinions. With so many voices in the story from various characters, you never feel confused on who’s who. Unlike particular Avengers books where voices become jumbled in the crowd (ie. Spider-Man & Hawkeye, Spider-Woman & Ms. Marvel), everyone in TCC has their unique personality – and it shows.

The story certainly takes a turn however, when Doctor Doom is thrown into the mix. A bit of background is finally given to “How Wanda ended up with Doom after M-Day” and it actually makes sense. To top it off, the tension in the last few pages between the Young Avengers and Doom will absolutely knock your socks off.

What else could I say about Jim Cheung’s art? He gets two months to work on this book and it shows. The intense detail given to each individual, the clarity to backgrounds, the pages with over ten different characters on it – all looks effortlessly immaculate. While my eye is not trained to identify inkers, it can be seen when they are changed in the artwork. All of it is tastefully done when involving a scenery change. As for Ponsor, never have I loved the colour pink or red so much as I have in these stories.

My only quibbles are with minute details: Cyclops acts nothing like how he would in an X-book and comes off rather ridiculous – even striking Captain America first. Of course, the other issue is Rogue’s bizarre costume-style which madam Kelly Thompson has already discussed on her blog.

It’s a shame that this series is ending in two more issues. The bigger shame is that it will still take four months to conclude.

Grade: 8.5/10

As a side note, you can see Rictor with his powers now in X-Factor #225 which was released today. If anything, this is a pretty big tip to help us figure out when The Children’s Crusade actually takes place in the Marvel Universe. (We’re not in X-Men Schism territory yet).

Speaking of Schism, please pick up X-Men: Schism #4 by Jason Aaron and the legendary Alan Davis.

X-Men Schism 4

After the Schism Preludes and three semi-lull issues of Schism itself, we finally have it: If there was any book to explain what splits the X-Men apart, THIS is it. Get on board and watch the X-Men split apart.

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