Current Writer: Allan Heinberg
Current Penciler: Jim Cheung
Young Avengers is one of my favorite comic books. The characters are so diverse, interesting, and fun that I instantly fell in love with the team. The writing is charming and exciting and the art is consistently fantastic. I was sad when the ongoing series was cancelled but Marvel must have known the magic of the characters and the creators shouldn’t be thrown away. There have been lots of miniseries starring the Young Avengers since their ongoing series was cancelled. Avengers The Children’s Crusade is the latest and, in my opinion, the best.
The Children’s Crusade focuses on the Young Avenger’s search for the Scarlet Witch. The Scarlet Witch is a very controversial character in the Marvel universe. She started as a mutant terrorist, changed her ways and became an Avenger, married an android, was driven crazy and killed some of her closest friends and fellow Avengers, created an alternate universe ruled by mutants, nearly wiped out the mutant race by taking away 99% of mutants’ powers and hasn’t been seen for years. Some people want to find her to help her and some people want to find her to kill her for what she’s done. Wiccan, one of the Young Avenger’s, wants to find her because he might be her son. Wiccan thinks that he and another Young Avenger, Speed, are the lost souls of Scarlet Witch’s twin children. As Wiccan starts his search the rest of the Young Avengers join him.
The appeal of the Young Avengers has always been the characters themselves. That is thanks to writer Allan Heinberg. Heinberg takes young adults from very different walks of life and gels them into a team I love to read. Each character’s voice is so clear and defined. Nothing seems forced in order to move the plot forward. The characters move the plot forward. In The Children’s Crusade Heinburg gets to write a lot of other Marvel characters as well. The Young Avengers have ties to lots of people in the Marvel Universe. The Avengers, Magento, Quicksilver, and more are part of the book and Heinburg keeps each characrer’s voice true to their character. The book is also wickedly funny. From jokes about The Sound of Music to references to DC Comics characters, each issue is as full of laughs as it is action.
Jim Cheung, the penciler, has been drawing the Young Avengers since the beginning and has always been spectacular. He has his plate full with this miniseries, having to draw lots of Marvel characters, big action scenes, and magical powers. Cheung knocks it out of the park every issue. Every character looks great. He is able to convey the emotions of the Young Avengers extremely well. His story telling is great. Everything on the page is crystal clear. There are even some sight gags for Cheung and he nails them.
The team of Heinberg and Cheung has really created something special with the Young Avengers. Avengers The Children’s Crusade more than matches the magic of the original series. Don’t let not knowing about the Young Avenger’s keep you from diving into this mini series. You don’t need to have read anything previous in order to fully enjoy this book. This might be the best adventure the Young Avengers have embarked on yet and hopefully Marvel decides to bring the team back with their own ongoing series. Anyone who reads Young Avengers or The Children’s Crusade knows that these characters and this creative team deserve it.