Avengers Children's Crusade Issue 2
Two months ago a glorious thing occurred, Young Avengers RETURNED! Yeah, sure it was under the Avengers banner, but everybody looking into this book knows it's really about the Young Avengers, despite the Wolverine cover. As a result, I couldn't be happier on this day to be reviewing this book, just for its very existence alone. The fact that it's also one of the best books out there definitely helps the situation become even better.
The issue opens where last issue ended (SHOCKING!) with the arrival of Magneto to the party. Now, even though he's a hero now, to anybody with a brain he's still Magneto so the team fights him and eventually amongst the chaos the kids decent to go with him to Wundagore. Before that happens though the Avengers pop in (A mixture of the New and regular Avengers) and further provoke the kids into finding Wanda, leading Billy to teleport the Young Avengers and Magneto out of the city and into Wundagore. They all decide it'd be best to search the town for Wanda and we are given a recap on the origins of Scarlet Which and Quicksilver. After Magneto tells that story, Billy, Tommy, and Magneto join hands and try to track Wanda. Tommy runs off when he thinks he finds her, only to be confronted by Uncle Quicksilver. Quicksilver wants to kill Magneto though and while trying to do so Magneto finds Wanda only for her to be killed in the crossfire! But all isn't as it seems...
Seriously, Allan Heinberg needs to write more comics. Heinberg has a sense of character that is simply beyond any other writer I've encountered and he makes the story seem natural, random, insane, and it's a lot of fun to read. What I found particularly refreshing in this issue were the moments with Vision and Speed, my two favorite and underused characters. Their characters and really well represented here and have simple yet definitive moments. The only real problem I have is that Wolverine is a complete jerk here. I mean, all he talks about it killing Wanda and he comes off as the biggest bad guy so far. The rest of the team isn't as bad, but it's still a bit out of character for them, especially when placed next to the latest Avengers book where they are openly upset about Wanda's well being. To end on a high note though, the "Sound of Music" reference here is just fantastic. So in character, so likable, I just have to say thank you to Heinberg for thinking it up.
Art by Jim Cheung is really eye-candy. You can see how his art has progressed since the first series and it really comes off well here. I don't have any major complaints, the only thing I can think of is that I've never been big on the way Cheung draws Spider-Man, and of course Iron Man and Cap are in the wrong outfits, but that doesn't even faze me, I understand why and I'm just happy this is out. Mark Morales chips in on inks and does a great job keeping things in line and providing a nice pop to everything, and my favorite colorist, Justin Ponsor, is perfect. That's not for debate, he just is. I could name like 20 examples why, but this review is already long enough.
Overall, this is what you should by this week. As you can see, I can't get enough of it, and that's not even mentioning the fantastic plot twist of the end of the issue (!). Pick it up, buy the last one, buy all the Heinberg/Cheung Young Avengers, you won't regret it. 4.5 out of 5. Can't wait for issue 3!