Avengers: The Children’s Crusade – Young Avengers #1 (Marvel Comics)
by Allan Heinberg, Alan Davis & Mark Farmer
What the–? I’ve been reading and enjoying Avengers: The Children’s Crusade (which is essentially writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung’s followup to their fun Young Avengers series from a few years ago), but I had no idea there was going to be a one-shot tying into that limited series. and honestly, there’s no good reason that this comic book shouldn’t just have been the latest issue in that series. It serves as a solid introduction to the Young Avengers (which seems several months late, doesn’t it, given that The Children’s Crusade has been underway for a while now?). It’s not a vital chapter in that story, which might be why it was published separately. Still, this felt a little like an attempt to milk another few bucks out of Marvel’s marketplace. My local comics retailer had put this comic in my account because I was down for the main series, but I was also set to put it back on the shelf.
And then I saw that Alan Davis was responsible for the artwork.
Despite my qualms about the necessity for the script or yet another No. 1 issue/one-shot separate from the main limited series, there can be no doubt that the artwork is fantastic. Davis’ designs for some of the adult versions of the Young Avengers are striking, tweaking classic designs in a way that brings a fresh quality to them while honoring the work of Marvel’s Silver and Bronze Age legends. The revival of some forgotten character designs (such as the Byrne-era Vision and the M2 Stinger) was a treat as well. Davis’ portrayal of the classic Sinister Six was a blast as well. The only respect in which he came up a little short is that the youthful characters in the flashback scene don’t look nearly as youthful as they should. 6/10