Okay, here's the story... Originally I was going to pair this comic with another Marvel book, but after reading it, I realized that this was one of those comics that deserved it's own post. Don't know why? Read on!
Avengers: The Children's Crusade #5(of 9): Writer: Allan Heinberg. Penciler: Jim Cheung.
Summary: This issue starts off with the Avengers, the Young Avengers, Wonder Man, Magneto, Dr. Doom and several Doombots all battling each other to get their hands on Wanda Maximoff(who still doesn't remember her past), the woman formerly known as the Scarlet Witch. Luckily for the Young Avengers, their former teammate Iron Lad(the teen who will grow up to become Kang the Conquerer) has arrived from out of the timestream to save Wanda(and Wiccan) from Wolverine, who had moved in to murder her... Damn that hairy little canuck! Iron Lad freezes Magneto and Doom in their places with his time manipulation abilities, and starts to gather the Young Avengers together. By the time he's gathered the team however, Doom has broken free and flown off looking for Wanda, with Magneto in hot pursuit. Where has Doom gone you ask? He's managed to track down Wiccan and Wanda on the outskirts of Latveria and is attacking Wiccan for attempting to steal his soon-to-be bride away. Magneto(as well as some of the faster Avengers) arrive on the scene and attack Doom, giving Iron Lad the opportunity to get close enough to Wanda and Wiccan to ferry them(and the rest of the Young Avengers) into the timestream and out of harms way. With Wanda gone, Doom stops fighting and tells the gathered heroes(and Magneto) that they had made a terrible mistake. Doom explains that he was trying to protect Wanda from all of the so-called heroes, and that now she was out there loose, with the ability to manipulate reality itself, with nobody but a bunch of children as her guide. Iron Lad decides to take Wanda and the Young Avengers back in time RIGHT before the events of the classic Avengers: Disassembled storyline, with the hope being that seeing the pre-destroyed Avengers Mansion would help jog Wanda's memory. Iron Lad also promises the team that while they'd be able to see everything going on, they wouldn't be able to alter it... Or at least that's the plan. Upon arriving at the Mansion, there seems to be a glimmer of recognition in Wanda's eyes, but she claims that no memories had returned to her. Ant-Man(Scott Lang!!!) walks outside and Stature(that would be Scott's daughter Cassie Lang) rushes over to Scott and hugs him and Scott hugs her back, meaning Iron Lad's time-cloaking technology had obviously failed. Before Iron Lad can figure out how he messed up, Jack of Hearts(!!!!!!) arrives at the mansion, signifying the beginning of Disassembled... This is just awesome beyond words... While the kids are panicking about getting out of the past before things literally blow up in their faces, Wanda freezes at the sight of her old teammate. While the kids(and a VERY confused Scott Lang) are waiting on Iron Lad to get his time machine working, Wanda approaches Jack and reveals that she did indeed remember him. Jack begs her to stop him, but before Wanda can react, Speed rushes over and drags Wanda away from Jack, just as he explodes, destroying the Mansion. Things temporarily fade to white, and the kids(and Scott) wake up in front of the Ant-Man memorial statue, which freaks Scott out a bit. Iron Lad checks his chronometer and discovers that they had managed to return to the present of their proper timeline, a timeline where Scott Lang had been killed in Jack of Hearts' explosion... Iron Lad has no clue how they returned to the present, nor how Scott was there, but his questions are answered by Wanda, now in full Scarlet Witch attire, announcing that she returned them all to the present, and oh yeah, she now remembers EVERYTHING!!!
Thoughts: You know, this comic was so unbelievably good that I had a hard time typing up this review... I literally couldn't type fast enough, and that's NEVER happened to me before. This comic was a masterpiece in every single aspect. The story was perfect. Simply perfect. If I were working at Marvel I'd throw ANY amount of money at Allan Heinberg and BEG him to write at least three ongoings a month. I mean seriously, this comic was flat-out perfect from beginning to end. I'm not saying really good, or even great, I'm saying PERFECT! On top of that, the dialogue was superb. Every character got a chance to speak, and there were little things, like Vision being jealous of the attention Stature was showing Iron Lad, that made this comic THAT much better. And the art... Jim Cheung is AMAZING! The scene where Wanda first lays eyes on Avengers Mansion, the look on Wanda's face, and her actions and posture from that scene forward was simply fantastic. I mean Cheung captured Wanda's slowly returning memories masterfully. And the scene with Jack of Hearts... It was... I'm running out of adjectives! I was just stunned by the sheer awesomeness of it all. And I haven't even mentioned how awesome the opening fight scene was or the battle between Magneto and Dr. Doom... Or Doom's speech to the Avengers... Or how awesome the scene where Cassie and her father embraced was... Or like a zillion other things. What more can I say? THIS is comic book perfection. THIS is the reason I read comic books. THIS comic is the best super-hero book on the market, period. If you're a fan of the Avengers then you MUST pick this issue up(and hell, the rest of this mini-series!)... As you can probably tell from this blog, I read A LOT of comics, and this was easily the best single issue I've read in at least 5 years. Easily.
Score: 10 out of 10. If there was a number greater than perfection, this comic would be it. Seriously, a 10 out of 10 doesn't really do this issue justice! That's how good it was.
Since this comic was SO amazing, I decided to post not one, not two, but FIVE scans from it... Enjoy.Simply amazing.