And so it's come down to this... There's a part of me that never expected(or wanted, to be honest) this mini-series to end... It's won my Mini-Series of the Year award for two years straight now, and with good reason... This mini is everything a long-time Marvel fan such as myself could ever ask for. Cult favorite characters(the Young Avengers), along with a shocking return(the Scarlet Witch), coupled with awesome guest stars(Magneto, Quicksilver, Dr. Doom, the Avengers, the X-Men, etc), and really, what more could you ask for? Great art? Check. Fantastic dialogue? Check. A spellbinding story? Yeah, that gets a check as well. A part of me is actually afraid to open this final issue up, because I almost can't believe it can live up to the awesomeness of the prior 9(A:CC #1-8, plus that bonus issue) issues we've already received... Well, here we go, here's hoping this issue FINALLY gives me my first perfect score of 2012.
Avengers: The Children's Crusade #9(of 9):
Summary: This issue opens with Iron Lad begging the Avengers to allow him to take Stature into the timestream so he could try to find a doctor from the future to bring her back to life. The Avengers say no to that offer, since they already knew the damage messing with the timestream could cause. Iron Lad decides that he was going to take Cassie's corpse with him anyway, at least until Vision steps in and tells Iron Lad to leave Stature in peace. Iron Lad blows up at Vision, telling him that since he created him, he could just as easily take him apart, and with that, Iron Lad destroys Vision. With that taken care of, Iron Lad reiterates that he wanted to take Stature with him, but the Avengers are more determined than before to make sure he doesn't. Iron Lad then questions why his Young Avengers teammates weren't defending him, and is told by the Young Avengers that by messing with the timestream, he was acting like Kang... Iron Lad angrily corrects his teammates and tells them that he'd be BETTER than Kang ever was, before storming off into time. From there, Lord Summers reluctantly leaves the Scarlet Witch alone(since Dr. Doom all but confessed to being behind the Decimation event last issue), but not before telling her to make up for what she had done to mutantkind, lest he kills her himself. Wonder Man tells Wanda to be wary of the Avengers, since they weren't the same team she had once been a part of, before taking his leave. Captain America tells Wanda that she'd always have a spot with the Avengers if she wanted one, in a really nice little moment. Magneto and Quicksilver both want Wanda to go with them, but she turns down both offers since she wanted to try to make a life for herself... One that also included her two children. From there we fast forward a few days to the Young Avengers. Patriot quits the team, citing the deaths of Stature and Vision, as well as the mistakes he had made during his time with the team. To make sure he isn't tempted back into superheroics, Patriot then tells his ex-teammates that he was moving to Scottsdale, Arizona. Hawkeye(Kate Bishop) also quits, having lost her best friend in Stature. Wiccan then follows suit and quits the team, since he felt his best bet was to never use his powers ever again. Naturally, Hulkling quits to be with Wiccan, leaving Speed as the lone Young Avenger. And since one person does not a team make, the Young Avengers are officially disbanded. With that, months pass and Speed, Wiccan and Hulkling watch events unfold in the Marvel Universe, from Spider-Island to the return of the Human Torch. While Speed and Hulkling are excited by the changes, Wiccan remains melancholy through it all, still blaming himself for the events that led to the death of Stature and Vision. Hulkling finally has enough of that and tells Wiccan to snap out of his funk, before pretty much proposing to him. With that, Wiccan and Hulkling (FINALLY) kiss, but are interrupted by Ms. Marvel at their window... That's kind of creepy... She tells the two to get into costume and head out to Avengers Mansion. Upon getting there, they meet up with Speed and Kate, and are taken to the garden behind the Mansion by Captain America and Iron Man to see Scott Lang and a statue that was erected in honor of Vision and Stature. This issue ends with Cap telling the kids the one thing they had always wanted to hear from him since the very beginning of the first Young Avengers comic, that they were, and always would be, Avengers.
Thoughts: Well, what can I really say here? I guess I'll start with the obvious. This mini-series will always be amongst the first things I point to when people ask me what my all-time favorite comic book is. When people question what my favorite single issue ever is, I say “X-Men #25, the Fatal Attractions issue.” with no hesitation. And now when people quiz me on my favorite mini I'll be able to say, “Avengers: The Children's Crusade” with zero hesitation. So yeah, this issue didn't change my unbelievably high opinion of this mini-series. BUT(you had to see that coming...) this issue wasn't perfect. There were a few things here that I absolutely loved, and was SO pleased to FINALLY see happen(and longtime YA fans will know what I'm talking about right away), but there were other things that just kind of fell flat... Patriot, Vision, Iron Lad and Stature leaving(for various reasons) was a bit vexing. Wanda kind of disappearing annoyed me a bit. I'm especially confused by Scott Lang's rebirth... I mean it's cool and all, but with Cassie gone, I don't quite get it. So yeah, this issue wasn't perfect, but it was still better than most of the comic books I'll read this month(if not ALL of the comics I end up reading this month), and the ending, with Captain America, of all people, FINALLY recognizing the Young Avengers as Avengers was a nice way to end this mini. And if this is the last we see from these characters, be it for a while or for good, at least I'll always be able to say that yes, they all were Avengers.
Score: 9 out of 10.
Amen, Cap. Amen.