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Avengers: The Children's Crusade #8: Review

Nov 2011
Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

5 stars

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #8 Review by (November 21, 2012)
I give this issue a 5. This is the crescendo of the series - next issue is the coda. This time it's Dr Doom and the Life Force. In the near future it will be 5 X-Men and the Phoenix Force. More than just restoring powers to ex-mutants is required to undo Scarlet Witch's meddling. She also stopped new mutants being born. The original Captain Marvel died in the 1st Marvel Graphic Novel, as recently synopsised by Peter Silvestro. There are 3 X-Men on Doom's list:- The original Thunderbird's brief career ended in X-Men #95. Jean Grey died in New X-Men #150. And Banshee copped it in X-Men: Deadly Genesis #2. Finally we saw Wasp die at the end of Secret Invasion. Dr Doom is no longer possessed and has lost all the power. It makes sense that this story occurs before his long run in Fantastic Four and FF starting with Fantastic Four #583. In fact in that issue he has brain damage. But that is attributed to his battle with the Intelligencia during World War Hulks.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #8 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Young Avengers (Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Hulkling, Iron Lad, Patriot, Speed, Stature, Vision and Wiccan) are with Scarlet Witch in Dr Doom's castle. Doom, Wanda and Wiccan have just tried to use the Life Force reality-changing power in Wanda to restore all the mutant powers she took away at the end of House of M. Then they were supposed to send the Life Force back where it came from.

But Patriot didn't trust Dr Doom, and he separated the threesome before the spell worked. The result was that ex-mutants are still ex-mutants, but now Doom has the Life Force power.

With his mask discarded, his scars healed, and his green garb transmuted to white, Victor von Doom promises to remake the world into a paradise. He can't undo Scarlet Witch's spell that depowered mutants, because it's her spell. But he can make sure life is good for them.

Kate correctly deduces that Doom means to be a benevolent dictator. Victor is sure that the world will accept his rule when they know what he can do for them. Wanda says that the power will corrupt him, as it did her (leading to Avengers Disassembled, House of M and Decimation). Victor counters that he is made of sterner stuff then she.

He asks Wanda to marry him, as she was going to do in #4. He offers the YA a place as his family. Wanda agrees, but only if Victor will renounce the Force. Doom 'accepts' Wanda's choice, and sends her and YA back to Avengers Mansion, where the Avengers and X-Men are still sleeping (curtesy of the Witch last issue).

Iron Lad offers to take them into the timestream as a refuge. Stature (Cassie Lang) says she loves him, but she's staying here with her father Scott (Ant-Man) (who they saved from his Avengers Disassembled death in #5). And with Vision (who replaced Iron Lad in her affections after IL left in Young Avengers #5).

Scarlet Witch thinks they should go (if only for the sake of her newly-rediscovered 'sons' Speed and Wiccan). She will stay to help fight Dr Doom. But Patriot insists on staying too, because it's his fault Doom now has the power. And Wiccan thinks it's his fault (because he started the hunt for Wanda which resulted in her power resurfacing).

Speed offers the practical suggestion that they wake up the Avengers and X-Men (and X-Factor-ites) who are least likely to try to kill Wanda. But too late, because Emma Frost is awake. She returns the 'favour' and puts Wanda to sleep, but not as gently as the Witch did it.

Speed and Wiccan try to convince her (and Cyclops who's coming round too) that Wanda is no longer a threat since Doom took the Life Force. Emma reads her mind, and reluctantly agrees.

The rest of the sleepers are also now awake. And the realisation sinks in that Dr Doom is now the problem. Magneto wants his daughter awoken so she can help. Cyclops agrees, but only so she can face justice.

Speed angrily asks Cyclops what punishment he thinks will be enough for Wanda. Scott Summers can't answer. Speed then asks if Cyclops wants Wanda put on trial. She freely confesses her guilt. The Avengers she killed (Ant-Man, Hawkeye (Clint Barton) and Vision) are alive. In Decimation she only turned mutants into normal human beings. Scott counters that some of those mutants died because they lost their powers. And others died when Quicksilver tried to give them their powers back (in Son Of M and X-Factor).

Wiccan also points out all the Avengers and X-Men with criminal pasts. And all the ones who have done bad things when possessed or otherwise affected. And they have been forgiven and accepted.

As usual the discussion is interrupted, this time by the arrival of Victor von Doom. He awakens Wanda, and repeats his intentions to do good. Cyclops asks if he can heal the  mutants. Victor demonstrates (in a lying way of course) by removing Cyclops' need for his special eye-shield, and restoring Beast to his non-furry form. He also suggests he can bring Banshee, Captain Marvel, Jean Grey, Thunderbird and Wasp back to life.

But for now he returns Beast and Cyclops to their usual states, and says he will do all this if they accept his rule. Of course they reject his offer.

Von Doom grows to extremely giant size, and the assembled heroes attack, except the YA, Ant-Man and Scarlet Witch. Wiccan and the Witch propose to reopen the portal through which the Life Force came, presumably hoping to suck it back there.

Wanda wants a distraction (as if all those already attacking aren't enough!) Stature proposes she try to grow to Doom's height. Love rivals Iron Lad and Vision both leap in to go instead. But her father Ant-Man takes the initiative, and does the 'flying an ant into his ear' trick.

Doom really is distracted by this. Then Ant-Man tries to escape, but Doom appears to crush him between his hands. Meanwhile Wiccan and Witch have totally wasted the distraction and not started opening the portal. Cassie shoots up in height, and socks Doom in the jaw. But he retaliates by blasting her.

Only now do Billy and Wanda open the portal. Wanda expects the spell to claim a life, and tells Billy to run so she can sacrifice herself. But Doom basks in the glow of the portal, soaking up even more power. Until it starts to burn him, and he collapses. (It's another old tactic - give the baddie more power than he can handle.)

Now he is back to the green-garbed Dr Doom. Scarlet Witch tries to help him, but he pushes her away, hiding his face - scarred once more. He claims he never loved her, she was only useful as a vessel for the power. He says it was he he made her destroy the Avengers and the mutants. And then he teleports(?) away,

On the last page Ant-Man turns up alive. But the joy is short-lived as they notice Iron Lad and Vision crouching next to the lifeless body of his daughter Cassie.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Scott Lang)

(Hank McCoy)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Piotr Rasputin)
Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)

(Clint Barton)

(Teddy Altman)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

(Peter Parker)
White Queen
White Queen

(Emma Frost)

(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 (Billy Kaplan), X-Factor.

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

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