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Young Avengers: Children’s Crusade

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It is my assertion that Young Avengers is the best written super-hero team comic book on the market right now.  Fans of the title have had to wait quite a bit for the creators to return (and even now the current title is only a mini-series lasting 9 issues published bi-monthly) but Allan Heinberg has proven he is worth the wait (At least Marvel thinks so).  When a title is drawn and written well, I would rather wait as long as it takes than be disappointed by an inferior result.  Fortunately, artist Jim Cheung always brings the goods.  His collaboration with Heinberg is the modern day equivalent of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and worthy enough to stand on the shoulders of the legacy they maintain.  Young Avengers builds on the tapestry of yesteryear with solid stories featuring interesting characters looking toward the future.

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I’ve talked a bit about what I love about this group of characters, and my enthusiasm since then has only heightened.  Their current starring title, Avengers:  Children’s Crusade, doesn’t even have their name in the title, but I think that is just a testament to the endurance of the characters.  These kids aren’t just a junior squad trying to be like their heroes anymore.  They’ve established themselves so well that they have a place at the table.  They are Avengers now.

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Heinberg established direct ties to many well known and beloved characters and events from the Marvel Universe when he created the Young Avengers.  He also used a tried and true tradition in comics of copying an established formula and then updating it for a modern audience.  iFanboy has a great article from June of this year about the origins of the current series.  Comic Book Resources has an interview with Heinberg from April about his plans for the series.

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Awesome artwork by Jim Cheung featuring Magneto, Quicksilver and the Young Avengers.

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Quicksilver confronts Wiccan in this amazing artwork (also by Cheung).  The facial expressions are so dynamic that we don’t even need the dialogue to feel the emotions being conveyed here.  Solid stuff.

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It looks like Wonder Man will be appearing in Children’s Crusade and he’s not too happy about it.  Simon has been up and down a bit lately in his characterization.  He turned down Avengers membership in the recent pages of the adjectiveless Avengers title, so I am glad to see him in this series.  The Wonder Man Message Board has a lot more information about this character.

If you think the Young Avengers might be a title for you, check out this collection and the issues of Avengers: Children’s Crusade at a comic book shop near you!

UPDATED:  Comic Book Resources just posted a preview for Avengers: Children’s Crusade #3!  Check it out!  I am loving the comparison of the Scarlet Witch’s plight to the story of Doctor Doom’s mother.  That is some intelligent writing, right there!

Hey, did you know you can follow  Allan Heinberg on Twitter?  Cheers!

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1 Comment

  1. Ingonyama

    My only complaint with the series thus far has been Wolverine’s willingness to murder a 16-year-old boy out-of-hand. Logan’s always been pragmatic, and even a little ruthless, but he’s never been that vicious in dealing with children. (I’m going to ignore the Ultimate X-Men portrayal of him for these purposes.)

    Everyone else is characterized brilliantly, especially Magneto…he’s clearly guilt-ridden, and at the same time elated to have grandchildren, but you’re never 100% clear what side he’s really on. And Pietro has Daddy issues out the yin-yang…unsurprisingly, and even amusingly under Heinberg’s pen.

    The art is, needless to say, STUNNING. Cheung has mastered every single character in his repertoire. I’m especially pleased to see the way he differentiates the three generations of white-haired Lehnsherr men: Magnus looks older than Pietro, who looks older than Tommy, and they all still look fighting fit.

    I always thought Wonder Man had more potential than he was ever really used for. The essay on him being a “crybaby fanboy” hits a little close to home (I’ve had the same complaints about being an X-Fan in recent years), but if the writers choose to break him out of that mold, he could really be an entertaining character…I’m seeing playing him up as an actor for humor, like Johnny Cage from Mortal Kombat. That said, he and Wanda do have history, and I’m hoping that plays into his role in Children’s Crusade…especially if he stands up for her against Heinberg’s psycho-killer Wolvie.

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