Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1


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Avengers: The Children's Crusade #1


  • Words: Allan Heinberg
  • Art: Jim Cheung
  • Inks: Mark Morales w/ Jim Cheung
  • Colors: Justin Ponsor
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jul 8, 2010

The Avengers of tomorrow are back and it's like nothing has changed since they were gone... Except a lot.

Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung created the Young Avengers in 2005 during an Avenger-less vacuum. After Disassembled and before the formation of the New Avengers, this young team was birthed from tradition and circumstance. It was a perfect blend of the old and new, mixing a heavy dose of tradition with modern comic book tendencies.

What followed were twelve issues and one special that defined this new team. More impressively, the book was so well received that no one seems to remember all the ill will that the populace was spewing when the title was announced. Everyone chuckled (including me, but just a little) when the preview images and title came out. Baby Avengers and Avengers, 90210 jokes were everywhere, but seemed to fade away as everyone slowly realized this was the real deal.

Fast forward five years to a slightly different lineup and much different Marvel Universe. These individuals know who they are, but are still fighting for respect. After an encounter with some racist thugs, a Scarlet Witch-esque event occurs with Wiccan (who may or may not be her heir apparent) smack in the center of it. With Iron Man, Captain America, and Ms. Marvel not sure what to do with him, the Young Avengers are put on the defensive. Not only do they want to clear their teammate's name, but they also want to get to the root of the problem. Who and where is the Scarlet Witch?

Heinberg hasn't skipped a single step in his return to the characters. Reading like an exponentially larger sequel to the original series, Avengers: The Children's Crusade, is a return to form for this franchise. There's a palpable grandness that is apparent here. It's only the first of nine issues to be poured out over the next eighteen months, but the level of storytelling and excitement that he and Cheung infuse here makes the lag time seem more wait worthy than normal.

Speaking of Cheung, boy, have I missed him on interiors. Having become a prolific cover artist over the years, the last time we got to see him handle a large team book was 2009's FCBD offering. We're reminded of the level of acting he provides these characters, not to mention the fluid layouts and delicious splash pages. I think I speak for many readers when I say that I want him to draw every corner of the Marvel U during the course of this mini. Having an enigma like the Scarlet Witch as your MacGuffin, the odds of seeing Cheung render the X-Men, Dr. Doom, the Fantastic Four, and everyone else with stakes in this outcome are happily strong. That's almost reason enough to stick with this bi-monthly schedule.

Readers may have been unaware as to how much they might’ve missed these characters in the spotlight. Not only that, but how much they may have missed Heinberg and Cheung's deft storytelling and handling of the material. There is more to praise than pick at in these pages and with a great set up and cliffhanger, the only thing that's upsetting upon completion is that we have to wait two months for the next chapter.

No matter how you slice it, two months is better than five years. Try not to make us wait that long again, gentlemen. Thanks.

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