‘Avengers: The Children’s Crusade’ review
By Brittney MacDonald, Columnist
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade proves that not all superhero fiction is a cut and dry battle of good vs. evil. It deals with heavy issues of sexuality, love, loss, and redemption. It is a perfect merging of beautiful art and a thought-provoking and engaging plot.
Written by Allan Heinberg, Children’s Crusade is the conclusion to what many fans refer to as “the Scarlet Witch Saga.” The saga began in 2004 with Brian Bendis’ Avengers: Disassembled and then continued in Heinberg’s previous work, The Young Avengers. Yet Children’s Crusade can be read on its own without prior knowledge of the other works.
The book follows Wiccan and Speed, members of the Young Avengers, as they search for the Scarlet Witch, who they believe is their mother and whose betrayal resulted in the Avengers disbanding several years before. Conflicting opinions over what should be done with the Scarlet Witch after she’s found bring about a conflict between the X-Men and the remaining Avengers, with the Young Avengers and the Scarlet Witch caught in the middle. They work to escape both superhero teams and recover the Scarlet Witch’s lost memories while using her and Wiccan’s powers to fix the damage she caused before her disappearance.
The art by Jim Cheung provides a classic approach of heavy inks, yet is done with such detail that the panels don’t appear blocky or weighed down by an overabundance of black. The colours are bright, forgoing traditional cell shading for smooth transitions that make the panels look clean rather than overcrowded.
This book is beautiful, engaging, and one of the best graphic novels I have ever read. I highly recommend it for comic fans as well as newcomers wanting to broaden their literary horizons.