Or – “Wanda’s Back!”
Is it just me, or have the last six years made the Marvel Universe a very unsafe place to be if you’re a female Avenger?
AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE #6 (of 9)
Writer: Allan Heinberg
Penciler: Jim Cheung
Inker(s): Mark Morales John Livesay & Dave Meikis
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously, on Avengers – The Children’s Crusade: Wanda Maximoff had a rough life. She was raised by adoptive parents who died in her youth, leaving her in the custody of mutant terrorist Magneto. That same abusive Magneto turned out to have been her real daddy, while her beloved brother Pietro flipped out and turned on her when she finally found her true love. She built a home and family with The Vision, only to have him torn apart and rebuilt by the government, and their children to be mystically erased from reality. Eventually, all the abuse ended in Wanda changing flipping out, killing many of her friends and loved ones, created an alternative reality to fix it all, then ended up depowering millions of mutants, even accidentally killing many of them. She’s been under wraps for a while, but now the Young Avengers have found her and helped restore her memory. Pray for those kids, ’cause that may have been a very BAD idea…
Mother And Child Reunion…
Having regained her memory, an unstable Scarlet Witch remembers the moment where it all went wrong: The moment during Avengers: Disassembled wherein she conjured up an army of Kree and Ultron robots to destroy her surrogate family. Worse still, she seems to be trying to kill herself to atone for that mistake, as the conjurations are aiming their frap-guns at her rather than killing the team. In a nice moment, the resurrected Hawkeye meets the resurrected Ant-Man II, and both joke about looking for Jack of Hearts. (Jack was recently resurrected in the pages of Marvel Zombies Supreme, bringing the total unresurrected dead Avengers from ‘Disassembled’ to ZERO.) Hawkeye and the Beast both reveal that the knew Wanda was alive, but the strong implication is given that the ‘Wanda’ that Hawk had sex with was actually a Doombot, which is fun and awful all at once. The character moments fly fast and furious, as Jessica Jones is reunited with old friend Scott Lang, who then discovers that his daughter is following in his footsteps. Wiccan confronts The Scarlet Witch with his theory that her lost sons aren’t lost any longer, leading to a wonderful and touching moment between them.
Featuring An All-Star Cast!
The scope of this series has been pretty huge already, with all three groups of Avengers as well as Namor, Magneto, Wolverine and more, but things get even bigger as X-Factor appears as part of The Scarlet Witch’s attempts to repair her biggest failure. She is (oddly) successful, then the X-Men show up! With all the changes we’ve seen so far, I’m really concerned that none of this is actually going to stick. The issue has pretty much reversed most of the effects of Avengers Disassembled and is working on undermining the remaining things that rolled out of House of M, which (combined with all the resurrections and lovely reunions) makes me worry that the whole thing won’t stick. That said, the revelation at the end of this issue of Wanda’s plans (Spoiler: More Mutants) makes it clear that she’s not quite all there yet, and I’m hoping the the last third of the journey takes us to interesting places. I’m also interested in Speed’s response to whether or not The Scarlet Witch is their mother (it’s not that he didn’t believe, but that it didn’t change the fact that she flipped out and killed innocents) as well as some ominous stuff going on with the other Avengers in Latveria…
The Verdict: Weirdly Anachronistic, Already…
Given the span of time it’s taken to get the book this far, we’ve already seen changes to the lineups of the teams that cross-over, and the appearance of certain characters in the book seems to imply spoilers if it takes place in the future. Likewise, if it takes place in the recent past, then things involving Iron Man, X-Factor, and the lineup of X-Men shown are already problematic. Of course, when the book looks this good, you can forgive all manner of madness, and Jim Cheung’s art is completely heart-breaking in its beauty. You actually want to forgive Wanda for her actions, and a sequence where she and Billy are reduced to tears, realizing their familial ties, is utterly wonderful. Even characters like Strong Guy look cooler than they’ve ever looked before, and the entire issue is cool and smooth like a frozen frappucino. That said, I found myself periodically dragged away from the story by the question of ‘WHEN THE HELL IS THIS, ANYWAY?’, a sensation that occurred enough to bring the overall score down. Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 earns a very impressive 3.5 out of 5 stars overall, and seems to want to repair some of the damage done to Marvel’s old-school characters by the last decade of crossover madness, which earns it street cred in my book…
Faithful Spoilerite Question Of The Day: This book obviously comes from the ‘auteur’ school, where the creators are given as much time as they need to complete the story. Does this though process damage the final product?