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Avengers: The Children's Crusade is a Marvel Comics miniseries starring the Young Avengers, featuring The Avengers, the X-Men, and the return of the Scarlet Witch. The miniseries is written by Allan Heinberg and illustrated by Jim Cheung.

The "Children" are the Young Avengers, a group created after House of M and the Scarlet Witch's disappearance, with two members (Wiccan and Speed) who may be her lost children. They want to find their mother and use her to restore the damage she created with her declaration of "No more mutants", but they are not the only ones on her tail: Magneto (her father), Quicksilver (her brother) and Wonder Man (her lover) want to find her as well. The Avengers want to find her, but to kill her: as far as they're concerned, she's Too Powerful to Live. As she had decimated the mutant race, the X-Men are also not feeling too friendly toward her.

The series lasted for 9 issues (September, 2010-May, 2012). Should not be confused with the Revolution episode "The Children's Crusade", the historical event which occurred during The Crusades, or the Vertigo Comics Crisis Crossover The Children's Crusade.

Avengers: The Children's Crusade contains examples of:

  • Actually a Doombot: The woman who was in Transia that was occasionally featured here and there, leading to Hawkeye being accidentally Robosexual.
  • Action Mom: Wanda became one.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The final two issues cast some doubts on the the events of M-Day, with the heroes discussing who really is to blame for depowering 99% of the mutants on Earth. Though Doctor Doom plainly admits that he had been manipulating all of the Scarlet Witch's actions, the statement is vague enough that she believes his recent power boost has made him delusional. Furthermore, while Magneto and Quicksilver quickly accept Wanda's innocence, Wolverine rebuffs that "A man in love'll say anything."
  • And Then What?: Has its own page.
  • The Atoner: Wanda, once she regains her memories. At the end, she says that she plans to spend the rest of her life trying to help the people whose lives she destroyed.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Teddy is the epitome of this trope in The Children's Crusade. Normally kind, generous, even-tempered, and polite to a fault, he spends a lot of time threatening people over the course of the series. Of course, this is directly proportionate to the amount of time Billy spends being threatened or in danger, as that is one of the very few things that is guaranteed to set Teddy off.
  • Big Bad: Doctor Doom becomes this in the final portion of the story after becoming a Physical God (again).
  • Big Damn Kiss: After multiple Young Avengers stories where their relationship was talked about, around, or just plain ignored, Wiccan and Hulkling finally got an on-page kiss in the final issue of Children's Crusade. The art team devoted almost a whole page of the comic to show it.
  • Blunt "Yes": Wiccan gives one of these to Scott, although he does follow it up with an explanation.
    Scott: So, what am I supposed to do, Speed? Welcome Wanda back and say, "It's okay. I know you didn't mean it. You can be an Avenger again, and we'll just pretend you didn't destroy millions of lives."
    Wiccan: Yes.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: Certain events that took place in the story (The deaths of Stature and the Vision) led to the disbanding of the Young Avengers.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The Avengers and the X-Men (although especially the X-Men) are incredibly lucky that Wanda and Billy are, in fact, good people, because it is absolutely staggering how willing both teams are to risk seriously pissing off one mutant who has the power to reshape the world with a sentence and another mutant who they suspect could do the same thing. Emma Frost even goes so far as to attack Wanda's children, despite how horrible that was the last time around.
  • Canon Discontinuity: A Canon Discontinuity of a Canon Discontinuity! Initially, the Scarlet Witch had the mutant power to influence the chances of certain events, and then sorcery as well. Avengers Disassembled turned her into a Reality Warper, but not with a power upgrade: her powers had always been reality warping. The Children's Crusade restored things to the former way: the reality warping were just New Powers as the Plot Demands.
    • Because the story was delayed for years, the Avengers team and their costumes don't match up with any particular period of the Avengers comics. The first issue even carried an editorial disclaimer admitting that Iron Man and Captain America's costumes didn't match the way they looked in the comics at the time.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Patriot does not like at all to work with Magneto, and complains that the group is now "the Brotherhood of Young Evil Mutants". To which Magneto asked, "Are you a mutant?"
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Issue #9 references Spider-Island, Schism and the return of the Human Torch.
    • Wonder Man's opposition to the Avengers (a trait he'd suddenly developed at the start of Bendis' then-ongoing Avengers run) is also acknowledged.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Basically, everybody's reaction when they saw Wanda about to get married to Doom... and more, when she returned to him after recovering her memory.
  • Distressed Dude: Wiccan. First he's taken into protective custody by the Avengers despite his protests, then Speed rescues him against his will, followed by Magneto showing up and trying to haul him and Speed off right before Wolverine attacks and tries to kill Wiccan. Later Wiccan gets captured by Dr. Doom only to be rescued by his amnesic mother, almost killed by Wolverine again, recaptured and tortured by Doom, then rescued by his pissed off grandfather. Finally Emma Frost tries to mind control him and Speed into going with the X-Men, only for their mother, no longer amnesic, to kick all the X-Men's and Avengers' asses and haul her kids and their friends off to Latveria where they are marginally safer.
  • Genocide Backfire: The Scarlet Witch returned... but did not find a welcome committee. In fact, the X-Men want to execute her for the genocide of the mutant race, and the Avengers to kill her for the threat she is to reality.
  • Identity Amnesia: When found, Wanda did not remember who was she or what had she done.
  • Heroic BSoD: Billy has one after Cassie and Vision die, blaming himself for everything that's happened. He slides into a state of severe depression that lasts for months, and it takes Teddy proposing to him to snap him out of it.
  • I Will Tear Your Arms Off : Teddy threatens Pietro with this if Pietro tries to talk Billy into doing anything stupid.note  Teddy does not look like he's joking, and from Pietro's Death Glare but otherwise lack of response, Pietro didn't doubt Teddy's seriousness either.
  • Killed Off for Real: Jonas!Vision. Stature is killed during the final battle, but was brought back to life in AXIS.
  • Legacy Character: The alternate future Iron Lad visits has Patriot as the new Captain America, Kate Bishop as the new Hawkeye, Speed as the new Quicksilver, Wiccan as the new Sorcerer Supreme, Hulkling as the new Captain Marvel, Samantha Wilson as the new Falcon, and Steve Bradley as the new Bucky. Stature has taken on her identity of Stinger from the MC2 imprint.
  • Light Is Not Good: Doctor Doom, of all people, becomes this when absorbing the source of Scarlet Witch's powers.
  • Love Triangle: Stature, Iron Lad and Vision. But Vision is a robot with the brain patterns of Iron Lad, which make it... weird. But, hey, that's just the "Young Avengers" reenactment of the love triangle of the Scarlet Witch, Vision (the former Vision) and Wonder Man.
  • Male Gaze: This cover. Hey, Doom, watch your fingers!
  • Mama Bear: Do not, do not, mess with Wanda's children. No matter how docile she's being, she will rip you a new one if her sons are in danger.
  • Moral Myopia: The X-Men are motivated by revenge, and the Avengers are trying to protect the world by someone they deem too powerful/unstable. They seem to be forgetting that this is the motivation of every Well-Intentioned Extremist or Knight Templar they've ever fought.
  • Mr. Exposition: Iron Man explains the Young Avengers (and the new readers) all that has been happening with the Scarlet Witch from Avengers Disassembled up to that point.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Wolverine's opinion on how best to deal with both Wanda and Billy. While his desire to kill Wanda is justifiable to an extent, there's no excuse for his gleeful desire to kill Wiccan. The first time Wolverine tried to kill Billy, Billy had done nothing wrong, and the Avengers weren't even sure how powerful he was or if he even was Wanda's son — for all they knew at the time, they'd already seen the extent of his powers at the beginning of the series, and killing him would just have been a pointless cruelty.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
    • Wanda and Dr. Doom were about to restore the powers of all mutants, with Wiccan preventing Doom from stealing the power. Patriot did not trust it, so he interrupted the spell... with awful results. She could not finish the spell, she lost the power to try again, and Doom got it. Perhaps the X-Men should go after him as well.
    • On a smaller note, Emma Frost really shouldn't have gone after Wiccan and Speed. Wanda was perfectly willing to let the X-Men do whatever they wanted to her, but the second her kids were in danger, the gloves came off. Considering what happened the last time Wanda's sons were lost to her, Emma definitely should have known better.
    • Subverted when Quicksilver tried to kill Magneto with wood spears. He missed, and killed Wanda instead, who just happened to be in the plaza as well. But nobody called him on it, because it revealed her as a doombot.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The official title is Avengers: The Children's Crusade, which would suggest the Avengers are the main characters. While the Avengers are indeed involved alongside many others, it's the Young Avengers who are the protagonists of this storyline. The Avengers seem to be the ones baring the title for their marketability. It should be noted that the trade paperback indeed corrects this to Young Avengers: The Children's Crusade.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: A giant all-powerful Dr. Doom, forcing the heroes to surrender or die? Didn't that happen before? It was actually lampshaded.
  • Only Sane Man: After the Avengers attack the Young Avengers and Billy teleports his team away to stop the fighting, Luke Cage is literally the only person to point out that the Young Avengers — Wiccan included — hadn't actually done anything wrong.
    • Luke's wife Jessica Jones takes over this role in issue # 7 when the Avengers and X-Men start fighting.
      Kate: We have to get out there.
      Jessica: Because that's what the world needs: more super heroes beating the crap out of each other for no reason.
  • Papa Wolf: Whether he's doing it out paternal feeling or some hidden agenda, Magneto does spend a lot of time running to his children's and grandchildren's rescue in this series.
    • He also reacts purely defensively to the Avengers' totally unprovoked attack on him, not even lashing out at Iron Man when Tony blasts him in the chest, but when Wolverine goes after Wiccan, Magneto immediately goes on the offensive for the duration of the fight.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Wiccan's reaction to Doom trying to marry Wanda.
    Wiccan: We have to get you some place safe where no one will try to capture you — or kill you — or marry you.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Wiccan gives the Avengers and the X-Men both barrels toward the end of the series in regard to their treatment of Wanda despite knowing she was possessed at the time. As he points out, they've all been forced to do horrible things under mind control, evil spirit possession or some other kind of malevolent influence. Or, as in some other cases, they did horrible things of their own will. It makes them back off, and quite a few of them look ashamed.
    Scott: So, what am I supposed to do, Speed? Welcome Wanda back and say, "It's okay. I know you didn't mean it. You can be an Avenger again, and we'll just pretend you didn't destroy millions of lives."
    Wiccan: Yes. After all, Magneto's killed untold thousands... and you made him an X-Man. Miss Frost was the queen of the Hellfire Club—and a murderer. Rogue was a terrorist for the Brotherhood of Mutants. Gambit was a member of the Thieves' Guild. And Wonder Man, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Vision all started out on the wrong side of the law... but I personally can't imagine the Avengers without them. And how many times has one of you been possessed by an evil spirit... or mind-controlled and forced to do things you would never do—to hurt people—to kill people—even people you loved? I'm not saying you should pretend it never happened. But I do think you should look at the whole picture. Whatever her crimes, Wanda Maximoff has saved lives—and saved the world—more times than we probably even know. She has proven herself again and again to be a hero. And what happened to her is bound to happen to every single one of us someday, if it hasn't happened already. The question is, how do you want to be treated when it happens to you?
    • In issue # 3, Wonder Man gives a quieter one to the Avengers over their treatment of Wanda after everything she's done for them.
    "Sorry, Carol, but there's no way I can do what you're asking me to do as part of a team. And certainly not a team that continues to blame the Scarlet Witch for its own mistakes. I am going to try to find her before Wolverine does. Not because you asked me to... but because I owe her that much. We all do."
  • The Scourge of God: The Sons of the Serpent, the Punch Clock Villains in the beginning of the story. They use the Bible to justify racism and murder.
  • Shout-Out: To that other comics franchise.
    • After Wiccan teleports the Young Avengers to safety, Ms. Marvel insists that they have to follow them, to which she receives this reply.
      Spider-Man: How? Unless you're the kind of marvel that can summon magic lightning.
    • Also
      Speed: I'll be back in a (runs into his uncle) flash.
      Quicksilver: The name is Quicksilver.
  • Start of Darkness: Stature's death pushes Iron Lad over the edge, causing him to vow that he will become a greater master of time than Kang ever was.
  • Superhero Packing Heat: The new Captain America and Bucky seen in the future timeline use handguns.
  • The Bus Came Back: With someone who had took the bus to his home some time ago, Iron Lad
  • Time Travel Escape: The return of Scott Lang
  • Together in Death: Stature and Vision died in this story. The Young Avengers opted not to try to reconstruct the Vision, as Cassie would still be dead.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Wolverine and Cyclops are both written as much more antagonistic and unreasonable than they usually are.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Dear Emma, do you remember what happened the last time anyone tried to mess with Wanda's sons?
  • Too Powerful to Live: Wolverine makes it very clear that this is his opinion of Wanda and Wiccan. It's also why the Avengers want to kill Wanda.
  • Trope Telegraphing: Stature wants Wanda to bring her father back to life, but Vision points that such magic feats always have a great price, such as dying. And he also pointed that he would not want to live in a world without her. Yes, you got it right: Stature dies at the end of the story, so does the Vision, and the Young Avengers do not try to rebuild him for that very reason
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Mostly averted; disturbingly, not a single Avenger speaks out against Wolverine's desire to kill an innocent teenager essentially for the crime of existing. While none of the Avengers outright voice their agreement, not a single one of them — not even Captain America — disputes Wolverine's assertion that Billy should die. The closest anyone comes to calling him out is when Simon incredulously asks Steve why he made Wolverine an Avenger.
    • Wiccan has a few things to say to both the X-Men and the Avengers about their horrible treatment of Wanda in addition to their double standard.
  • Wolverine Publicity: The main characters are the Young Avengers, the Scarlet Witch, Magneto and Doom. So why does the cover feature Wolverine?
  • Wowing Cthulhu: For the Young Avengers, Wiccan's display of power in the beginning served for this purpose with the Avengers.
  • You Killed My Father: But even so, Stature has been really sympathetic with Wanda. No Roaring Rampage of Revenge, just ask her to bring him back (after all, the Scarlet Witch had already brought the deceased Hawkeye and Wonder Man back to life.)
    • She also says this word for word to Doctor Doom, when she assumes that his attack killed her newly revived father again.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Heavily implied by Hulkling to Captain America after Cap essentially bullies Billy into submitting to the Avengers' testing.
    Teddy: Captain, I understand you're concerned about Billy. But if anything happens to him... your primary concern should be me.