When I began the newly published Avengers: The Children’s Crusade collection, I did not expect it to be one of the best superhero comics so far in 2012. For one, I’m not a huge Avengers fan. Yes, I’m thrilled at what I’ve seen so far of Joss Whedon’s directorial adaptation set to release in May, but the team (comprised of Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man) always seemed too goody-two-shoes for me. Secondly, Children’s Crusade stars what I thought to be glorified side-kicks, the Young Avengers.
Let me tell you, Omni readers: I was wrong.
Children’s Crusade turns the Young Avengers into a must-read team; it picks up long lost threads from Avengers Disassembled and House of M and resolves them with aplomb; it makes me care where the regular Avengers team goes from here; it features an extended guest appearance by X-Factor, still the best X-Men team on the stands; it turns Doctor Doom, often a one-note villain, into an at once sympathetic and hated character. The book does far more than this, but I cannot say too much more without spoiling all the great plots and subplots that writer Allan Heinberg (screenwriter for Gilmore Girls, among other notable television shows) effortlessly weaves to a satisfying close by the oversized hardcover’s end.