Complete review here!
If I had any worries about the quality slipping in this miniseries, especially when compared to the original run of the Young Avengers, they were quickly dispelled in the first few pages of the book. The sassy humor is there right off the bat as the team battles the Sons of the Serpent, and Heinberg knows exactly where to inject it even as things get more and more dangerous for the team during their hunt for the Scarlet Witch.
I also loved how this book was so much about family — both about the ones we are born in and the ones that we make for ourselves. It’s something that a lot of gay people go through, and it’s nice to see that no matter how dysfunctional Billy’s two families may be, he still has both of them in the end.
If there’s something I had a bit of a struggle with, it was appreciating the bigger story happening beyond the pages of “The Children’s Crusade”, as well as catching up with all the things that have happened to characters that I last saw probably more than a decade ago. I mean, I didn’t even know that Nightcrawler and Banshee had already died! And the only reason I appreciated the tension between the X-Men and the Avengers is because “Avengers Vs. X-Men” was so heavily promoted it’s hard to not know about it.
Jim Cheung’s art, as usual, is top notch. I especially liked how he frames action scenes, especially during the big Avengers/X-Men confrontation over what to do with the Scarlet Witch. It’s a style I’ve really grown to love that I admit I was a little apprehensive when the sneak previews for Gillen and Mckelvie’s take on the Young Avengers first came out.
Near the end, I found myself tearing up as both of Billy’s families started falling apart. After going through so much to make himself whole, here he is seeing all of it break apart right before his eyes. It’s gut-wrenching, and you understand why Billy goes into a months-long depression.
But what really made me cry was how Teddy drew Billy out of that depression. Blame it on my being an old and alone person, but love being the reason Billy goes on? MY HEART HURTS.
Also, how happy am I that I finally get to read a comic with a gay kiss in it?
In case it’s still isn’t obvious, I really loved “The Children’s Crusade”, perhaps more for what it means to me as a gay man rather than for the role it plays in the greater Marvel universe (Some people online seem to have found it boring?). The same magic that got me hooked on the first run is still there, and has definitely made a lifelong Young Avengers fan out of me.