Avengers: The Children's Crusade #2

Issue Date: 
November 2010
Story Title: 

Allan Heinberg (writer), Jim Cheung (penciler), Mark Morales & Jim Cheung (inkers), Justin Ponsor (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit (letterer), Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive editor)
Cover: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Variant Cover: Travis Charest

Brief Description: 

Magneto confronts the Young Avengers, and attempts to “kidnap” his supposed grandchildren, Wiccan and Speed, announcing that he is taking them to Transia. The other Young Avengers debate at to the extent they want to get involved - Hulkling wants to help his boyfriend, but Patriot doesn’t think they should be allying themselves with a mutant terrorist. Before they can make their minds up, however, a group of Avengers - including Wolverine - attacks. Wiccan tries to explain that Magneto came for their help, that they are going to find the Scarlet Witch and make things right. This angers Ms Marvel and Wolverine, the latter of whom wants to kill both Wiccan and the Scarlet Witch. As the battle between the Avengers and Young Avengers rages, Wiccan decides to teleport his team and Magneto away - to Transia, leaving the Avengers to formulate their next plan of attack. In Transia, Wiccan disguises everyone in costumes from “the Sound of Music” as they approach the village. Hawkeye and Patriot debate their involvement with Magneto, while the Vision and Stature discuss what might happen if they find the Scarlet Witch, and she can bring Stature’s father back to life. Magneto locates his wife’s grave and gives the Young Avengers a very brief history lesson, about the birth of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, before he, Speed and Wiccan join hands around Magda’s grave and try to “reach out” to the Scarlet Witch. Wiccan detects that she is in the village, so Speed races to try and find her - instead he finds a furious Quicksilver, who warns the Young Avengers to leave Transia at once. Wiccan tries to explain that Magneto did not force them to come here, when Quicksilver grabs his supposed nephew and races off. They discuss their situations, before Speed catches up to them and challenges Quicksilver to a race. Quicksilver tells his supposed nephews that he plans to kill Magneto - and grabbing some spiked fence posts he throws them towards Magneto - who suddenly notices a woman in the village who looks like the Scarlet Witch - but she is struck by one of the fence posts - and revealed to be a Doombot!

Full Summary: 

‘Magneto…’ utters Tommy Shepherd a.k.a. Speed as he stands with his teammates in an alley near Avengers Tower. ‘You may call me Grandfather, if you like’ Magneto declares as he hovers over the teenage heroes. ‘Then it’s true…you are our grandfather!’ Speed exclaims. ‘Sure, when Magneto says it, you believe it’ Billy “Wiccan” Kaplan mutters. Magneto tells Tommy and Billy that if they are indeed the spiritual heirs of his daughter, Wanda, then he is their grandfather. ‘Come. We have much to discuss’ he exclaims as he encases Speed and Wiccan in a magnetic bubble, carrying them as he takes flight.

‘Wait! You can’t just -’ Speed begins, while Wiccan asks ‘Where are you taking us?’ Magneto explains that he is taking them to Wundagore Mountain in Transia. ‘Magneto, stop!’ Teddy Altman a.k.a. Hulkling calls out. But Kate Bishop a.k.a. the female Hawkeye tells her friend that Magneto is a terrorist. ‘They’re not the best listeners’ she points out, before turning to the Vision, who begins to analyze the magnetic structure that his teammates are trapped in. Cassie “Stature” Lang increases her mass to grab the bubble, while Teddy transforms into his winged Hulkling form and flies after Magneto.

‘At the risk of your killing me with a single glance, sir, they’re not going anyway ere with you’ Hulkling exclaims. ‘They’re going to have to, Hulkling’ Magneto replies. ‘That is, if they want to meet their mother. But it should be their choice, don’t you agree?’ Magneto replies. Wiccan “magics up” his costume as he informs Magneto that they have already been to Transia, and that the Scarlet Witch was not there. ‘How do you even know if she’s alive?’ Hulkling asks Magneto, who explains that Wanda’s powers stem from the life force itself. ‘when she cast her final spell, she was trying to restore life - not destroy it’.

Magneto explains that now he wants to do the same for his daughter, before pointing out that if Wiccan and Speed are his grandsons, they are the only connection he still has to his daughter. ‘Which makes you the key to finding her’ he declares, before removing his helmet, and asking if they will help him. ‘Do we look like idiots to you. Wait. Don’t answer that’ someone exclaims, while Eli “Patriot” Bradley exclaims ‘We are not helping a genocidal terrorist -’ he is interrupted by Magneto: ‘A former genocidal terrorist, actually -’, Patriot then continues: ‘ - recover the most powerful weapon on the planet’. Magneto quickly points out that the Scarlet Witch is not a weapon, but his daughter.

‘She’s daddy’s little girl, all right. She killed three Avengers and remade the entire world in your image’ Hawkeye points out. Magneto admits that what happened to Wanda was his fault alone, and that all he seeks is an opportunity to restore the balance and mutantkind in the process. ‘And we’re just supposed to believe you?’ Hulkling asks. Magneto declares that if he wanted to kidnap his grandsons, he would have done so after scattering the atoms of the Young Avengers with that glance that Hulkling mentioned earlier. ‘Instead, I’ve come asking for help. From children, no less’ he exclaims.

‘What do you want us to do?’ Speed asks. ‘Speed -’ Wiccan begins, but Tommy tells Billy that they should at least hear Magneto out. ‘We are not teaming up with Magneto’ Patriot declares, to which Magneto remarks that he does not recall inviting Patriot. ‘We’re a team. If you want me and Speed, you get the whole team’ Wiccan exclaims, to which team leader Hawkeye tells Billy that she does not recall volunteering. Suddenly, a blast of energy separates Magneto from the Young Avengers. ‘Guys! Look out!’ Wiccan shouts. ‘Get back!’ Magneto exclaims.

‘The Avengers!’ Stature shouts. ‘But who are they attacking? Magneto or us?’ Wiccan asks ‘I think that depends on whether we give them any trouble or not’ Hulkling tells his boyfriend as Wolverine a.k.a. Logan, Steven Rogers a.k.a. Captain America, Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man, Carol “Ms Marvel” Danvers, Luke Cage and Tony “Iron Man” Stark appear. Stature lifts Speed, Patriot and Hawkeye up to the rooftop where the Avengers stand ready. ‘I warned you to stay away from the kids, Erik’ Wolverine reminds Magneto, who tells Logan to stop this nonsense before someone gets hurt. ‘And by someone, of course, I mean you!’ Magneto declares.

‘I heard you were one of the good guys now, Magneto. I know it doesn’t come naturally to you, so here’s a tip…good guys don’t kidnap children!’ Iron Man exclaims as he unleashes a repulsor blast at Magneto. ‘Stark, Listen -’ Magneto begins, while Wiccan flies towards Iron Man, telling him that he doesn’t understand, before Wiccan throws up a force field to protect Magneto and announces that Magneto did not come here to fight, that he came here for help. ‘He wants to find the Scarlet Witch!’ Wiccan exclaims. ‘Why? So we can all go back to living in the World of M?’ Ms Marvel asks. ‘So she can make things right’ Wiccan exclaims. ‘Right for whom?’ Iron Man asks.

Wiccan points out that the Scarlet Witch is Magneto’s daughter and an Avenger, so asks why they cannot all look for her together. ‘Because the Avengers don’t want to find her, William. If they find her, they’ll have to kill her’ Magneto explains, warning Wiccan that the minute he steps out of line, they will kill him also. ‘I couldn’t have said it better myself’ Wolverine exclaims as he lunges at Wiccan, before Magneto casts him away. ‘Thank you, Wolverine. I think the young man understands who his allies are now’ Magneto points out as Wolverine falls to the ground.

Hulkling flies along and picks Wiccan up: ‘You do know Magneto’s only using you, right?’ he asks his boyfriend. ‘Of course. He’s Magneto. But I can’t let him know that I know or I won’t be able to use him back’ Billy replies. ‘As long as you’ve got a plan’ Teddy tells him. Suddenly, Spider-Man swings alongside them and asks ‘So, what’s the plan? To outsmart and fight the Avengers and Magneto at the tender age of, what, fifteen?’. ‘Sixteen’ Billy corrects him. ‘Kid, I was a teenage super hero, so take it from me…that is a terrible plan’ Spider-Man exclaims, before Ms Marvel cuts the young lovers off: ‘He’s right, you know. You kids are not going to win this one’ she tells them.

‘Is that a threat?’ Hulkling asks. ‘Nope. I just call ‘em like I see ‘em’ Carol replies, before telling the boys to take a look for themselves. The boys look down, to where Magneto and the Young Avengers are battling the Avengers. Wiccan tells Hulkling that Ms Marvel is right: ‘We have to stop this’ he exclaims. ‘How? By turning ourselves in?’ Teddy asks. ‘By finding the Scarlet Witch’ Wiccan exclaims. Hulkling tells him that he doesn’t think the Avengers would approve, to which Billy exclaims that he doesn’t think he cares. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been more attracted to you’ Hulkling smiles. ‘Try to hold on to that feeling, in case this doesn’t work’ Wiccan remarks.

‘What are you doing?’ Carol asks, to which Wiccan replies that he is not entirely sure. ‘Brace yourself’ he remarks, as massive burst of magical energy courses from Wiccan to the ground below, scattering the Avengers away from the Young Avengers - and when the Avengers gain their bearings, Iron Man points out that Young Avengers are gone - as is Magneto. ‘Yeah, but how?’ Spider-Man asks. Luke Cage mutters that he is guessing the magic lightning had something to do with it, to which Wolverine exclaims ‘It’s official: Wanda Junior’s getting on my nerves’.

Spider-Man asks what they do now, to which Ms Marvel suggests that they follow them. ‘How? Unless you’re the kind of Marvel who can summon magic lightning -’ Spider-Man remarks, but Carol suggests they call Dr Strange. ‘And then what? Declare war on the Young Avengers? They haven’t done anything wrong’ Luke Cage points out. ‘They’ve allied themselves with a known mutant terrorist’ Carol remarks. ‘He’s their grandfather’ Luke points out. ‘You don’t actually believe that’ Carol exclaims, frowning. ‘How else do you explain two magical speedy twins who look like little Magnetos?’ Cage asks.

Iron Man points out that they all knew the Wanda thing would come back to haunt them. ‘Which is why we shoulda gutted her when we had the chance’ Logan snarls. ‘Logan -’ Cap begins, to which Logan exclaims ‘I don’t know what you babies are crying about. We couldn’t be in a sweeter spot right now. We’ll let Wanda Junior find the Witch for us…and then we’ll take them both out!’

‘Everybody all right?’ Wiccan asks as the Young Avengers and Magneto materialize on a grassy landscape. ‘This was your revenge for my super-speeding you through that wall, wasn’t it?’ Speed mutters, while Hawkeye asks ‘Where are we?’ Magneto looks around and announces that they are at Wundagore Mountain, in Transia - the birthplace of the Scarlet Witch. The Young Avengers take in their surroundings, while Hawkeye asks Wiccan if he just magiced them halfway around the world. ‘He just made us all fugitives, is what he did’ Patriot exclaims. ‘Thanks to Billy, we just teamed up with Magneto, fought the Avengers and fled the country. We’re not the Young Avengers anymore. We’re the Young Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!’

‘You’re a mutant?’ Magneto asks. ‘That’s not the point. The point is Billy should’ve asked us first’ Patriot replies. ‘You’re right. I’m sending you guys home’ Wiccan announces, until Teddy puts a hand on his shoulder: ‘No, you’re not’ Teddy tells him. With tears in his eyes, Wiccan replies that this is his fight, that he is the one the Avengers want to lock up, he is the one who wants to find the Scarlet Witch. ‘And maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe she’s dead, or maybe she doesn’t want to be found, or maybe she’s not even my real mom. But what if she is? What if she’s out there and she’s in trouble, and I can help her put everything back the way it was’ Wiccan exclaims.

‘Then you should do it. And we should help you’ Hawkeye declares. ‘Kate -’ Wiccan begins, ‘Shut up. We’re a team’ Kate exclaims, before Patriot asks if Magneto is a member of this team. ‘Did he just leave the X-Men to become the oldest living Young Avenger? Or are we taking orders from him now?’ Magneto steps forward and tells Patriot that he needn’t worry about him. ‘If Wiccan is anything like his mother, he’s far more powerful than I’ Magneto declares, adding that his search for Wanda failed, which is why he is relying on them now. Patriot asks why they are in Transia, pointing out that Tommy and Billy already looked here.

Magneto declares that Wanda was born here, that this is where her powers were strongest, and that he thought it might provoke a kindred response in Wiccan. ‘Besides, it can’t hurt to take another look’ he adds. ‘True’ But since we’re fugitives now…would anyone mind if I made our wardrobe a little less…conspicuous’ Wiccan asks, before he magics up local attire for his teammates and Magneto.

‘Is that a guitar case or are you just happy to see me?’ Patriot asks as one materializes in Hawkeye’s’ hands. ‘Really Billy? “The Sound of Music”?’ Kate asks. ‘What are we, the Uncanny Von Trapps?’ Speed jokes, while Teddy announces that “the Sound of Music” is Billy’s favourite film. ‘It is not. It’s one of my favourite movies’ Wiccan smiles, before the group begins their journey. Magneto, dressed in a suit, leads the group along a dirt-track, while Stature and the Vision, dressed as a nun, follow, and Sped, Wiccan and Hulkling follow them, while Hawkeye and Patriot hang back from the others.

‘You know what I’m thinking?’ Patriot asks Hawkeye, who replies that she can guess, and tells him that he is thinking that none of this would have happened if he was team leader instead of her. ‘Yes’ Patriot replies, adding that he is also thinking about how much he is going to miss her when Magneto eventually betrays them, and the Scarlet Witch kills them - and he dies wearing an outfit last seen on Rolfe, the Nazi boyfriend. ‘Don’t be ridiculous - Teddy’s Rolfe, you’re Friedrich’ Kate smiles. ‘You actually know that?’ Patriot asks, surprised. ‘Who doesn’t know that?’ Kate asks.

Patriot tells Kate that the more pressing question is how they can let the Avengers know where they are. ‘We don’t Kate tells him, pointing out that the Avengers have made their position more than clear. ‘And they happen to be right’ Eli exclaims. ‘Were they right when they ordered us to stop being the Young Avengers?’ Kate asks. ‘Right now, I’m thinking they were’ Eli replies, to which Kate tells him that she will have Wiccan send him home. Patriot tells Kate that he is not leaving her hear, to which Kate replies that she is not going with him, and as she speeds up to walk with the others, she suggests to Eli that he figure out which team he is on.

Cassie walks alongside the Vision and points out that he has been disturbingly quiet. ‘That’s because you’re not going to like anything I have to say’ the Vision replies. ‘I’m a big girl - some of the time - I can take it’ Cassie jokes. ‘All right, but bear in mind, I am a synthezoid, so my perspective is primarily technological. I don’t profess to know much about magic’ the Vision exclaims, before adding that he does know that magic comes at a cost. The Vision tells Cassie that if the Scarlet Witch is able to bring her father back to life, he is afraid of what that cost might be. ‘You think it might be me?’ Cassie asks. ‘I think you would do anything for your father…but believe me when I tell you that your father would not want to live in a world without you in it. And neither would I’ the Vision exclaims. ’Vision ’ Cassie begins, to which the Vision turns his head, and reminds Cassie that he told her she would not like anything he had to say. ‘That’s where you’re wrong, Sparky’ Cassie replies, taking the Vision’s hand.

‘Our search begins here…at Magda’s grave’ Magneto announces as he stands at the grave stone, which has a plant growing over it. ‘Who was she?’ Wiccan asks. ‘My wife. Your grandmother’ Magneto announces.

Shown with flashback images:
Magneto explains that Magda left him when he, like Wanda, lashed out and lost control of his powers, causing the deaths of those who persecuted them. Then, nine moths later, Magda found asylum here on Wundagore, and gave birth to Wanda and Pietro, but Magneto did not even know she was pregnant. Then, when Magda died, the twins were raised by a Roma couple, Django and Marya Maximoff, until the twins’ mutant abilities emerged, and they provoked violence in those who did not understand them. That’s is when Magneto became their champion and protector - unaware of their blood tie, they twins joined his mutant Brotherhood as the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

Magneto explains that his zealotry drove the twins away, just as it did their mother. ‘Now my daughter has vanished - my son wants to kill me - and I can’t say that I blame either of them’ Magneto adds, admitting that he behaved unconscionably towards his family, taking for granted the very relationships he should have prized above all. Magneto puts a hand each on Wiccan and Speed’s shoulders and tells them that he promises not to make the same mistake with them. He tells them that they are his last hope of bringing his family back together and healing the wounds that have caused so many mutants and humans so much pain.

‘So, how do we do that?’ Billy asks. ‘You’re the mage, William. I was hoping you would tell me’ Magneto replies. Wiccan suggests they join hands and reach out with their feelings. Speed pulls back, exclaiming that he doesn’t have feelings and does not hold hands. ‘Careful, lad, or you’ll end up like me’ Magneto warns him. ‘I should be so lucky’ Speed replies, before Wiccan “magics up” their costumes, and the three take each others hands around Magda’s grave. ‘And I have a new favourite grandson’ Magneto remarks. ‘Don’t count me out yet’ Wiccan asks, before telling them to close their eyes and clear their minds. ‘Let’s try to focus on…the Scarlet Witch’ Wiccan exclaims, before announcing that she is here, in the village, that if feels like her, so must be her.

‘I’m on it’ Tommy exclaims as he speeds away, despite Billy asking him to wait. ‘Why?’ Tommy asks. ‘You afraid I’ll be the Scarlet Witch’s favorite, too?’ he jibes, before boasting that he will be back in a flash, he speeds around the village, checking for the Scarlet Witch - until coming to an abrupt stop as he is confronted by a similar looking man dressed in green and white - Pietro Maximoff a.k.a. Quicksilver! The arrogant mutant introduces himself to Speed and warns him that if he and his friends do not leave this place, his father will not be the only person he kills today.

Magneto flies the Young Avengers and himself over to Quicksilver and Speed and exclaims ‘Thomas, I see you’ve met your uncle. Pietro, allow me to introduce -’ he begins, but Quicksilver cuts him off, boasting ‘I know who they are, father’. Pietro announces that having seen Wiccan’s exploits on the evening news, he knows why Magneto has taken such a sudden grandfather interest in them. Quicksilver warns Magneto that if he does not release these children and leave his sister alone, he promises that the Avengers and the X-Men will join forces - but Magneto interrupts him: ‘You know where your sister is?’ he asks.

‘No’ Quicksilver declares. ‘But I know that if neither of us has been able to find Wanda after all this time, it means Wanda doesn’t want to be found’. He tells Magneto to relinquish the children and return to the X-Men, otherwise he will personally lead a crusade of Earth’s heroes against him. Wiccan approaches Quicksilver and calmly tells him that Magneto did not force them into this, that they came of their own free - he doesn’t finish his sentence, as Quicksilver grabs Wiccan and throws him over his shoulder, and speeds away from the others.

Wiccan tells Quicksilver that this is not how he was hoping they would meet. Pietro replies that the feeling is mutual, to which Wiccan asks him if he knows that kidnapping him is pointless. ‘I am not kidnapping you. I’m saving you from my father. I am taking you out of his clutches. Out of harms way’ Quicksilver explains, adding that Wiccan should feel free to thank him at any point. His cloak billowing behind them, Billy replies that it is not because he is not grateful, only he if he wanted to get away from Magneto, he would have done it magically - with magic.

‘I see. Just as you will when you decide it’s time to get away from me?’ Quicksilver asks. ‘Unless you want to turn around and go back’ Wiccan tells him. ‘And why in God’s name would I want to do that?’ Pietro asks. ‘Because I think you want to find your sister every bit as much as we do, if not more. And because there’s no reason why we can’t all work together’ Wiccan explains. Quicksilver smiles: ‘Oh, but there is. There’s my father. However…there’s no reason the two of us can’t work together’ Wiccan looks at Quicksilver, just as a voice calls out ‘Oh, but there is…there’s me’.

Speed races up alongside Quicksilver and Wiccan, and Billy smiles, as he explains ‘Quicksilver, this is my sort-of twin brother, Speed’. Quicksilver mutters that he knows who Speed is, and continues to race along - until Speed overtakes him, and exclaims that he is offended Quicksilver did not kidnap them both. ‘After all, you and I have so much in common, Uncle Pte. The super-speed, the brooding bad-boy thing the weird white-headedness…though I suppose it must be a blow to the old ego, knowing there’s a version of you out there that’s younger, better looking…and faster’ Speed declares.

‘If it’s a race you want, nephew…’ Quicksilver begins. ‘Do I get a say in this?’ Wiccan asks, still over Quicksilver’s shoulder. ‘…then a race you shall have’ Quicksilver exclaims, speeding off. ‘Yeah. I didn’t think so’ Wiccan mutters. ‘C’mon, old man, is that the best you’ve got?’ Speed asks, when suddenly, ‘What the Devil?’ Quicksilver calls out as a piece of the land moves upwards, causing Quicksilver to come to an abrupt halt. ‘The sudden promontory out of nowhere? That’s kind of your dad’s thing, isn’t it?’ Wiccan asks. Pietro remarks that Magneto’s powers appear to be stronger than ever. ‘Even at this distance. The man doesn’t age’. Wiccan remarks. ‘That’s good news for you. Genetically, I mean’.

Down below, Speed calls out ‘Hellooo, up there! I don’t know if either of you noticed, but…I won!’ he calls out. Speed boasts that he is faster than Quicksilver, to which Wiccan remarks ‘Looking on the bright side…’ ‘If we must’ Pietro mutters. ‘…it’s not as if your father just tried to kill to you’ Wiccan points out. ‘Race you back to the village?’ Speed calls out, while Wiccan suggests that Magneto may actually want to make up for his past. ‘Nephew. The last time I allowed myself to believe that…my father tried to kill me’ Quicksilver replies after putting Wiccan down, he then speeds off, with Speed behind him, ‘I’ll even give you a head start’ Tommy calls out.

Quicksilver grabs some wooden stakes holding a fence together and declares that this time his father will not have the opportunity to kill him. ‘Best two out of three?’ Speed asks. ‘Because he’ll be dead!’ Pietro shouts as he suddenly hurls several wooden stakes past some civilians and at Magneto. ‘Look out!’ Patriot calls out as the Young Avengers attempt to block the wooden stakes. But out of the corner of his eyes, Magneto notices a young woman - ‘Oh my God…Wanda?’ Magneto calls out. ‘Get down!’ Patriot shouts, pushing Magneto to the ground as more stakes fly towards them - one of which strikes the girl resembling Wanda through the back - with a strange noise.

Everyone gathers around and looks down at the girl, ‘Wanda…?’ Magneto calls out. ‘Is she…?’ Quicksilver asks. ‘…she’s a robot?’ someone exclaims. ‘Not just a robot…a Doombot’ the Vision explains as the mess of wires and circuitry stares back at the Young Avengers. ‘No wonder no one’s been able to find the Scarlet Witch…she’s the prisoner of DOOM!’….

Characters Involved: 

Hawkeye III, Hulkling, Patriot, Speed, Stature, Vision II, Wiccan (all Young Avengers)

Captain America, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Ms Marvel, Spider-Man, Wolverine (all Avengers)
Doombot Wanda

In Flashback Images:
Magnus & Magda
Wanda & Pietro at various stages
High Evolutionary
Django & Marya Maximoff
Magneto, Mastermind, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Toad (Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)

Story Notes: 

This series was planned some time in advance, and as such the costumes of Captain America and Iron Man do not represent the costumes they are supposed to be wearing.

Wiccan and Speed journeyed to Transia in Young Avengers Presents.

The Vision, Hawkeye and Ant-Man all died via the actions of the Scarlet Witch during “Avengers: Disassembled”.

The world in which Magneto and his family reigned supreme was the “House of M” [called the “World of M” this issue] and featured in House of M #1-8 as well as a myriad of tie-in issues in regular series and mini series.

Wolverine warned Magneto to stay away from Wiccan and Speed in the prologue to this series, the back-up story in Uncanny X-Men #526.

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