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Avengers: The Children's Crusade #7: Review

Sep 2011
Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #7 Review by (November 21, 2012)
Wikipedia also claims that the Life Force entity *did* reincarnate Wanda's children as Speed and Wiccan, but hid them from her. I can't find any source for this, in this issue or elsewhere. I find it equally likely that Wanda implemented the reincarnations herself as one of her last acts at the end of House of M, alongside depowering mutants and bringing Hawkeye back to life. Either way the reincarnations would require reality-bending to have the new versions born before the old versions died, as I described in my comments on #1. In #4 Doom said that amnesiac Wanda came to him after House of M, asking aid for her gypsy tribe. We now see that scene as Scarlet Witch seeking his sorcerous help much earlier. Doom also says he found amnesiac Wanda in Transia (and replaced her with a Doombot). This leaves open the question of whether the Wanda that Hawkeye and Beast separately met in Transia was the real one or the Doombot.

This issue gives us a foretaste of Avengers vs X-Men over Hope Summers. Cyclops is already showing his dictatorial side. When does the Scarlet Witch/Dr Doom alliance fit in Wanda's career? Agatha Harkness hid Wanda's memories of her children after she lost them in Avengers West Coast #52. But Wanda got the memories back in #62. So that marks one end of the available timeframe. The first signs of Scarlet Witch's enhanced power are when she temporarily resurrects Wonder Man in the opening story arc of Avengers (1998). In #10 Agatha Harkness claims that Wanda can now use Chaos magic. So that series gives us the other end point. That series followed on immediately from the Heroes Reborn universe. So Scarlet Witch's Wikipedia entry puts Wanda being possessed by the Life Force soon before Heroes Reborn, in the brief period after she led Force Works. However this would be long after AWC#62. And it's also quite a while before Avengers Disassembled.

The Marvel Universe Wiki entry for SW has been updated to include Young Avengers but not yet Children's Crusade. As such it just says that the twins have been reincarnated by unknown means. As for her memories of them, it says Agatha Harkness removed them, Wanda regained them but later suppressed them again (all without saying when these things happened). ******** End of later addition **************

We're also brought back to the question of how and when the twins got reincarnated, if the entity didn't do it. Any idea would involve retrospective changes to reality, having them reborn before they died, as I have already said. But my suggestion that Wanda did it at the end of House of M has the problem that the Young Avengers appeared between Disassembled and HoM. So I'll change my mind and plump for Wanda subconsciously doing it herself in Disassembled. I don't find a problem in the fact Billy Kaplan says in the YA Special that he met Wanda before Avengers Disassembled. The Special happens after Disassembled, so he has the memories there of what happened before. This could be because he was created in Disassembled with all the relevant memories (and the rest of the world was changed to accommodate him too). Or because SW changed the past to have him in it. [Comics published/occurring before HoM with Billy in them militate against the change being made during HoM. Comics published/occurring after Disassembled with Billy *remembering* the past don't cause the same problem.] Another possibility is that Franklin created Billy and Tommy during Heroes Return. But I don't see him doing that *and* removing Wanda's memories so she wouldn't look for them. Another possibility is that the twins recreated *themselves*.

I must confess that the question of whether SW got her memories back in AWC#62 isn't as clear cut as I made out. Although I don't think she was showm remembering then in the immediately succeeding issues of AWC, she certainly remembered the twins and how she lost them in her 1994 Scarlet Witch limited series. And there may be other instances If this is so the question is, when did she lose the memories again? I don't remember it happening in any actual issue. However I also don't recall any mention of her children in Avengers (1998) before Disassembled. So maybe she lost the memories before Avengers v3. A possibility springs immediately to mind:- Maybe Franklin Richards did it in Heroes Reborn/Heroes Return? After all he changed other stuff.

The actual contents of the 3 issues referenced don't actually support this theory. 1) In AWC#62 Scarlet Witch is in a trance under the control of Immortus. Agatha Harkness tries to shock her out of the trance by reminding her of her lost children. But it doesn't work. I don't think there is any indication that her memories actually *are* returned, there or in the following issues. 2) In Av#503 Wasp accidentally mentions the children, and Wanda goes to Agatha to ask *who* these children *are* that people seem to think she had. This suggests that SW still didn't know she's had children, and the other Avengers were usually careful not to say anything. We are left to infer that Agatha spilled the beans. 3) This current issue says that SW went to see Dr Doom after she learned about her dead children. The entity-possessed Wanda then went off to wreak havoc. No mention is made of the kids being reincarnated, or of chaos magic. To my mind this fits a a shorter scenario. Wanda only gets her memory back once, after Wasp's slip in Av#503 flashback. She goes to see Agatha, who tells her the truth. She goes to see Sr Doom and gets possessed by the entity. Avengers Disassembled happens (including killing Agatha). The downside is that this doesn't help explain chaos magic, which Dr Strange says doesn't exist in Av#503.

***** Later addition ******** I've just looked in more detail at some of the comics relevant to Scarlet Witch's story. I've come to the conclusion that whoever updated the Wikipedia entry for Scarlet Witch post-Children's Crusade has committed a cardinal sin as Wikipedia would see it:- including personal speculation as facts. Unless of course there's an unquoted interview with Alan Heinberg where he lays out what he meant to have happened behind the scenes. The update was a large one, including lots of stuff not specifically related to CC. But the relevant bits can be summarised as:- 1) A reference is added to Wanda getting the memory of her children back in Avengers West Coast #62. 2) Sometime after that she goes to Dr Doom to get help in getting the kids back, as seen in this issue, and is invaded by the Life Force entity. (This is placed between Force Works and Heroes Reborn.) 3) At this point the entity reincarnates the twins, but hides them from Wanda. 4) The entity is responsible for the Witch's chaos magic after Heroes Return. 5) The entity makes distraught Wanda go to Agatha Harkness (as seen in flashback in Avengers #503) futilely asking where her resurrected but missing children are. Avengers Disassembled, House of M and Decimation follow.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #7 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Avengers Mansion the newly-restored Scarlet Witch has just given X-Factor member Rictor back the mutant power she removed from him (among so many others) at the end of House of M. Now she needs to find a way to give all the other ex-mutants their powers back too.

The only Avengers present are Beast, Hawkeye (Clint Barton) and Jessica Jones, plus Ant-Man (Scott Lang) who's just been rescued from his death back in Avengers Disassembled. Along with them are Young Avengers Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Hulkling, Patriot, Speed, Stature, Vision, Wiccan and the returned Iron Lad. And Rictor has fellow X-Factor's Jamie Madrox, Shatterstar and Strong Guy.

X-Men Colossus, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Gambit, Iceman, Rogue and Storm have just turned up looking for revenge on the Witch for the depowering in Decimation.

Just to make things more complicated Avengers Captain America, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Ms Marvel, Spider-Man and Wolverine now get here with their companions from last issue Magneto, Quicksilver and Wonder Man. The Avengers want Wanda brought to justice too, but they don't want the X-Men to have her. Except Wolverine wants her dead. And Wanda's father Magneto, brother Quicksilver and ex-lover Wonder Man just want to keep her safe.

Rictor leads the Mansion's occupants outside and shows the others that the Witch has re-powered him. And she could do the same for others.

Wanda refuses to escape with Magneto and Quicksilver. She tells Cap that she accepts all blame and punishment, but she begs him to let her put things right first. But Cyclops imperiously declares that the X-Men will decide her fate.

Cue a battle:- Cyclops vs Magneto, Storm vs Iron Man, Rogue vs Ms Marvel, Colossus vs Luke Cage, Iceman vs Quicksilver, Gambit vs Spider-Man and Emma Frost giving Wonder Man a terrible migraine, while Cap asks Wolverine to intercede and stop it all. Then Emma turns her attention to mind-controlling Speed and Wiccan.

Scarlet Witch kept out of it up til then, but she won't stand by while her reincarnated sons are harmed. So she puts all the non-YA to sleep. And then magics herself and the YA to the castle of Dr Doom.

When the YA first found her the amnesiac and powerless Wanda was about to marry Victor von Doom. Now some of the YA fear that they're witnessing a supervillain team-up. Scarlet Witch says they need his help. But their fears aren't exactly allayed when she reveals that he was her ally before she lost her memory.

Wiccan has long suspected that his mother's bad deeds, and the increase in power that preceded them, were signs that she was being manipulated. He now accuses Doom, but Wanda denies it. Although she also can't remember clearly what happened after Victor helped her.

She knows that she came to him after she learned of her sons' deaths, wanting his sorcerous help to get them back. Doom tells them all that Wanda and he captured the Life Force and channelled it into the Witch. But it was too strong for her and took her over, giving her reality-altering power but driving her mad.

Much later he found her shattered in Transia and took her home. Doom admits that initially he hoped to gain her lost power. But he maintains that they really did fall in love.

Scarlet Witch now wants to combine magic with Doom to restore mutant powers all over the world. And then she wants Victor to remove the extra power of the Life Force from her. Patriot protests that she can't trust Dr Doom not to take the power for himself. Wanda replies that's why Wiccan's power will be in the mix as a safeguard.

But Wiccan's power was destroyed by Doom in #4. Except that Doom now says that he couldn't do that. Not even Dr Strange could do it. He says he merely made Billy believe he was powerless. And he takes that spell off.

Patriot has another objection:- Wanda had said she wanted to give every ex-mutant the choice of whether they wanted their power back. But the Witch points out that the Avengers and X-Men will never give her the chance to do that, as they have just witnessed. Her only option is to restore all the powers now, before those teams find her here.

Wiccan is convinced, and the 3 magic-users join hands for the spell. But Patriot can't leave it at that. He grabs Kate's bow and fires an incendiary arrow at Dr Doom to disrupt the spell. He succeeds in splitting the 3 apart, but unfortunately he hits Wanda instead.

Billy desperately heals his mother with a spell. She revives and confirms that they never completed the major spell. But also she no longer feels the Life Force within her.

They all look up at a floating glowing Doom, who has cast aside his iron mask because his scarred face is healed. He promises that everything will be alright now that he's in control.



Jim Cheung
John Livesay
Justin Ponsor
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Jim Cheung (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Ant-Man
Ant-Man

(Scott Lang)
Beast
Beast

(Hank McCoy)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Colossus
Colossus

(Piotr Rasputin)
Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Iron Lad, Jamie Madrox (Multiple Man), Patriot (Elijah Bradley), Rictor, Shatterstar, Speed (Tommy Shepherd), Stature, Strong Guy, Vision (Jonas), Wiccan (Asgardian), X-Factor.

> Avengers: The Children's Crusade: Book info and issue index

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