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Avengers: The Children's Crusade Hardcover – March 28, 2012
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About the Author
Allan Heinberg is an American film screenwriter, who wrote Young Avengers for Marvel Comics, and has been a writer and producer on The Naked Truth, Party of Five, Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, The O.C., and Grey's Anatomy.
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It falls under the "Avengers" heading but in all honesty it really should be under the Young Avengers' name since they are at the center of the story. The entire thing is told from Wiccan/Billy Kaplan's perspective, and the team is the one constant throughout the tale. But it heavily relies on other characters, so fans not familiar with this team shouldn't feel left out, especially those of the Scarlet Witch and Magneto. I guess, since it's made clear that the Young Avengers are more than deserving of the title of Avenger, it's a nice nod to how influential the team can be to the Marvel Universe too, because it's made clear that they are.
It's really worth the buy. I got it here very reasonably priced, and I have to say that the artwork is top notch. Most of it is done by the same guy who is responsible for initial Young Avengers volume (which is another reason why their name should be on there ), which is needless to say is excellent through and through. Allen Heinberg also wrote that too, and his story here is impactful not on the Marvel Universe but on the reader as well. The only complaint I honestly have is the "Avengers: Children's Crusade - Young Avengers #1" which I have to say is probably and fortunately retconned due to certain events in the time-stream. The artwork is terrible and the story was kinda boring, and from what I understand it was created because the title was falling behind when it was first put on shelves.
Overall, it's a great story and one I'd highly recommend.
The premise of this book is a solid hook. Wiccan still struggles with his powers, and the authors do not shy away from showing that the Avengers and X-Men fear that he may become as powerful, and as unstable, as Wanda. However, his team supports him and with the unexpected help of Magneto, they sneak off to find her anyway. It wouldn't be much of a story if they didn't find her, but some interesting revelations arise from the mission that shake up the status quo and cause these young heroes to have to deal with unexpected tragedy as well. Wanda doesn't remember who she is, but someone does - Dr. Doom. And what will the X-Men and Avengers do with Wanda now that she has been found?
One weakness I found in the book was continuity. The first YA collection followed directly from House of M. After the Avengers disbanded, these heroes decided to take up the mantle. The first two thirds of this story flow like they stem directly from there. However, Wiccan actually announces on the opening page that all this takes place after Civil War and Siege, but it's difficult to piece together what was happening with this group of young heroes during those events. In short, these kids don't act like they've been through four Marvel events. And, the last little story in this book was outright confusing.
Never-the-less, I still enjoyed the book immensely. There is just enough action to keep the story moving at a fast pace, but also strong emotional content to back it up. Overall, I was glad to see the Scarlet Witch return and how her presence will shake up the Avengers and X-Men. Highly recommended.
Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways
Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers
Young Avengers Presents
Dark Reign: Young Avengers
Young Avengers: Style>Substance
Young Avengers Volume 2: Alternative Cultures (Marvel Now)
Young Avengers Volume 3: Mic-Drop at the Edge of Time and Space (Marvel Now)
Also, if you're just starting out in the comics world, and you're not sure what order to read them in, while reading "Young Avengers" by Allan Heinberg should probably come first, it's not necessary to read everything in the Marvel universe to understand The Children's Crusade. The book goes out of it's way to sum things up for you so that you don't get lost. While this might be annoying for seasoned readers, for me it was super helpful and I loved it.