Avengers: The Children's Crusade #3

Issue Date: 
January 2011
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: Art Adams & Justin Ponsor

Brief Description: 

In Transia, Magneto, Quicksilver and the Young Avengers discover that the robot Wanda they encountered is in fact a Doombot. Magneto reveals Dr Doom's origin to the Young Avengers, while they debate whether or not to go to Latveria, where they assume the real Scarlet Witch is being held captive. Later that night, Wiccan attempts to cast a spell to transport him to Latveria, when Quicksilver catches him in the act. Quicksilver attempts to bond with his supposed nephew, before Wiccan's teammates arrive, and his boyfriend, Hulkling, is not impressed. Hulkling warns Quicksilver to stay away from Wiccan and not to give him any ideas about going to Latveria. Meanwhile, at Avengers Tower, inactive Avenger Wonder Man has been summoned, as the Avengers believe he, given his closeness to the Scarlet Witch, may have some hope of finding her. Wonder Man is not keen to help the Avengers given the way they blame her for the team’s own mistakes. But when Wonder Man learns Wolverine wants to kill the Scarlet Witch, he attacks Wolverine, and flies off on his own, announcing he is going to find the Scarlet Witch before Wolverine does. Wiccan cannot sleep, and writes a letter to Hulkling, before transporting himself to Latveria, where, upon landing in the castle grounds, is surrounded by Doombots. Wiccan disguises himself as the Scarlet Witch and claims he got lost from. The Doombots take him to the Scarlet Witch's quarters, where the apparent real Wanda attacks Wiccan. He explains to her that he is a super hero and come to rescue her. But when the Scarlet Witch claims she does not know Magneto or Quicksilver, Wiccan deduces that she has amnesia, or is faking it. But Wiccan gets another shock when the Scarlet Witch reveals that she is getting married tomorrow - and Dr Doom appears, announcing that the Scarlet Witch is getting married to him.

Full Summary: 

The inn at Mount Wundagore, Transia. "The Scarlet Witch is a Doombot?" one of the Young Avengers asks as they stand around a table, along with Magneto and Pietro "Quicksilver" Maximoff, while the destroyed robot that was supposed to be the Scarlet Witch is laid out in front of them. "We don't know that" Quicksilver points out. "We know she's a robot who looks exactly like a Doombot" Tommy Shepherd a.k.a. Speed points out. "My point, "nephew",is that this machine could easily have been planted here by someone who wants us to think it"s a Doombot"™ Quicksilver replies. "Somemone like me, perhaps?" Magneto asks.

Quicksilver points out that his father and Doom have been rivals for decades and asks what better way to motivate an invasion of Latveria than by convincing Wanda's children that he is holding her captive there. "Judge for yourself, Pietro" Magneto replies and uses his power to open the robot up, and asks "Who but Doom has the technology to create such a device? And who but Doom has the power to make it seem as if Wanda simply disappeared - leaving no trace of her or her magics?" "Doom's tech can do that?" Billy "Wiccan" Kaplan asks. "No--¦but his sorcery can" Magneto replies.

Magneto announces that like Wiccan and Speed, Victor Von Doom lost his mother at an early age. Magneto adds that, like their mother, Cynthia Von Doom practiced witchcraft to fight for the lives and the rights of others, but in the end, she lost the fight, her life and her eternal soul. Magneto explains that Victor was already a gifted scientist and turned his attention to the mystic arts to reclaim his mother’s soul - until his efforts to combine science and magic backfired, burning him in the same fires that consumed his mother - and damning him to live the rest of his life as Doctor Doom, the self-proclaimed King of Latveria, the master of science and magic - and the most powerful man alive.

"Apart from you, father" Quicksilver remarks. Magneto frowns as he declares that the only person more powerful than Doom, is Quicksilver's sister - the Scarlet Witch. He remarks that Wanda possesses the unique ability to transform reality to suit her whim. Magneto points out that whoever controls Wanda controls the very fabric of existence - "As you well know, my son" Magneto adds. "If Doom has Wanda, we would know by now. We'd all be scurrying around like Doombots, doing his infernal bidding"™ Pietro exclaims. "How do we know we're not?" Magneto asks. Quicksilver replies that he would assume Doom would have better things for him to do than stand around arguing with his father. "Really? I'd have thought he found the perfect way to torture you" Magneto replies, causing Pietro to frown.

The new Vision and Kate "Hawkeye" Bishop stand behind Quicksilver as he asks what his father suggest they do. "Declare war on Doom? Storm the castle?" With Teddy "Hulkling" Altman and Eli Bradley a.k.a. Patriot stand behind Magneto, who announces that he thinks, between the nine of them, they would make a rather formidable search and rescue team. "That's your plan?" Quicksilver asks. Cassie "Stature" Lang stands next to the new Vision as Quicksilver continues: "To lead a group of children into what is almost certainly a death trap?" Quicksilver declares that in all these years his father has not changed a big. "Have you? It would almost be touching, if it weren't so demonic".

Patriot points out that the Young Avengers may be children, but that they are not stupid enough to risk starting another world war by engaging Doom. "I am" Wiccan exclaims. "Wiccan is" Speed mutters. "No, I mean, I'll go" Wiccan explains. "I'm with Tommy on this one" Hulkling remarks as he stands beside Wiccan, his boyfriend. Wiccan asks why they need risk sending everybody when he can magic his way in, get the lay of the land, and get out. "Doom will never know I was there" Billy declares. "That's because you're not going" Teddy tells his boyfriend.

Magneto addresses Wiccan as William and tells him that he appreciates the offer, but if they go, they go together. "And who exactly will be leading this expedition, Magneto?" Patriot demands. Magneto replies that Patriot may lead if he likes, but that he suspects Hawkeye might have something to say about that. "That is, if she were speaking to you" Magneto points out. "I wasn't suggesting that I -" Patriot begins. "Quite right. If we're up against Doom, we'll need our most powerful and experienced soldier taking point" Magneto declares. "That would be you, but -" Patriot begins. "Thank you -" Magneto interrupts, before he too is interrupted by Quicksilver, who exclaims "Not so fast, father" and points out that while Magneto is obviously the most experienced player on the field, he is not the most powerful. "Or did you not see the news footage of your grandson magicking all of Midtown Manhattan into a come with a wave of his hands?"

"That was an accident2 Wiccan declares, hanging his head. Quicksilver replies that he knows, and remarks "Imagine the kind of damage you could do if you really applied yourself. Perhaps even enough to frighten my father into behaving honorably for once in his life...rather than betraying us the moment he gets what he wants". Magneto replies that his only desire to secure the safety and well-being of his daughter. Quicksilver points out that he has heard all that before, and declares that this time he hopes it is true, for his father's sake. "Because otherwise, you'll have to deal with Wiccan. And if he's anything like his mother... then God help you" Quicksilver declares.

Shortly, Magneto leads the Young Avengers through the inn, telling them that he hopes they find everything they need in their rooms. He points out that the accommodations re a bit rustic, but they will do for one night. "I suspect you all have a great deal you'd like to say about me--behind my back, of course-- so Ill leave you to it"™ Magneto declares, before continuing on down the hall, leaving the Young Avengers alone. "Um guys…where’s Billy?" Stature asks, looking around. Kate points out that he was just here. "You don't think he " Patriot begins, but Teddy declares "I think wherever he is, I'm going to find him...and then I'm going to kill him".

Outside, in the dead of night, Wiccan stands on a ledge, magical energy swirls around him as he chants "I want to go to Latveria" over and over, when suddenly, Quicksilver races up alongside him. "Mind if I join you?" Pietro asks, pointing out that if Wiccan has never been to Latveria, he will need someone to show him around. "And, of course, someone to keep you from being tortured and eventually murdered" he adds. "I wasn't - I was just -" Wiccan begins, but Pietro tells him that if he intends to lie about it, then he suggests that in the future he doesn't announce his intentions every time he casts a spell. "You'll find your enemies are easier to defeat if you haven't just told them what you're about to do to them. The element of surprise and all that" Pietro remarks.

"Sometimes saying it out loud helps me focus" Wiccan explains, before Pietro admits that he thought he would have more in common with Wiccan's brother, the speedster, and reveals to Wiccan that he is here, disobeying his father's orders the moment he turns his back. "I'm impressed" Pietro adds, but suddenly, a voice calls out "Really? I'm disappointed--and not just because my idiot boyfriend is behaving every bit as irresponsibly as the Avengers predicted he would. But because you
you're encouraging him, Quicksilver!" Hulkling exclaims as he and the other Young Avengers appear nearby.

"How do you not get that if Doom is powerful enough to have captured the Scarlet Witch he's not likely to be threatened by a tenth-grade wizard and a guy who can run really fast?" Hulkling exclaims. "Teddy -" Wiccan begins, while Quicksilver asks if he may interject."You may not" Teddy tells him. Teddy announces that he has tried to be supportive of Billy's connecting with his family, because Billy supported him through the Kree-Skrull jamboree that was his family reunion. "But you know what's even crazier than a Kree-Skrull jamboree?" Teddy asks. "Taking time out for this particular tirade?" Quicksilver asks, arms folded.

"THE MAXIMOFF FAMILY!" Hulkling declares. "You people are every bit as toxic as I thought you'd be, but you're nowhere near as smart!" he adds. Hulkling tells Quicksilver that if he wants to sneak off to Latveria without him, then he is welcome to, as the less he and his friends have to do with Quicksilver, his father, or Doctor Doom, the better. "But if you somehow convince my idiot boyfriend to go with you--I WILL RIP YOUR LEGS OFF!" Hulkling warns Quicksilver. "Do we understand each other, Pietro?" Hulkling asks, standing close to Pietro, who frowns. "I thought so. C'mon, Billy" Teddy calls out.

Meanwhile, inside Avengers Tower, half a world away. "So, what's your next move?" someone asks. "We're going to find the Scarlet Witch--thanks to Wonder Man!" Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man announces. "Why me?" the inactive Avenger Simon "Wonder Man" Williams asks. "Because your connection with Wanda was stronger than anyone else's" Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America points out, while Logan a.k.a. Wolverine, Carol Danvers a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, Luke Cage and Peter "Spider-Man" Parker round out the rest of the present Avengers. "What about Quicksilver? Or the Vision? They were married -" Simon begins, but Iron Man interrupts him, "You are part of her, Simon" he tells his friend. "What does that mean?" Simon asks.

"It means you died. You sacrificed your life to save Wanda's by absorbing the blast from a Kree ion cannon. And then, years later, she brought you back to life by sheer force of will. Your whole existence is the last remaining vestige of the Scarlet Witch's magic on this plane!"Iron Man declares. "So, you thought you'd use my energy signature to try to locate her" Simon remarks. "Exactly" Iron Man tells him. "And then what?" Simon asks. "You mean -?" Tony asks. "I mean, what exactly do you plan to do with Wanda once you find her?" Wonder Man asks. "Or haven't the mighty Avengers figured that out yet?" Cap and Iron Man look at each other, perplexed, before Wolverine announces that they are going to kill her.

"Logan -"Cap begins, but Wolverine unsheathes his claws, and declares "You want to make me the bad guy for saying it out loud, Cap, that's fine. But the last time we had this debate, we ended up as slaves to Magneto-Land". Wolverine points out that the Scarlet Witch murdered their friends, stole their lives, and then took out about a million mutants. "And not one of you can tell me she won't do something like that - or worse - again. So the only permanent solution is to kill her. And if were smart, we'd get rid of Wiccan, too"Wolverine declares. "You made this man an Avenger?" Wonder Man frowns.

"What happened to you, Williams? Did the Witch cast a spell on you, too? Or are you hoping she'll pick you over the robot? Cause from where I'm standing, the robot's looking more of a man than you'll ever be!"Wolverine exclaims, to which Wonder Man suggests to him that he might want to stand back, and look again, as he punches Wolverine through the wall and down onto the street below. "Guess I hit a nerve"Logan mutters as he gathers himself. "You all right?" Cap asks. "Are you serious?" Wolverine replies. Cap extends a hand to help Wolverine up, pointing out that Wonder Man does have Sentry-level strength. "No, I mean--are you serious about Wanda?" Wolverine exclaims, grabbing Cap’s hand and putting his adamantium claws to Cap's neck. Logan declares that he doesn't think Cap is serious, and reminds everyone that Cap was in love with the Scarlet Witch, too. Cap suggests they concentrate on finding Wanda, and then they can worry about how to proceed. "You don't have to worry about a thing. At least, not if I find her first" Wolverine boasts as he walks away.

"Logan! Get back here!" Cap calls out, but Iron Man tells him to let Wolverine go, as they don't need him for this mission, they need Wonder Man. "What do you say, Simon? You in?" Tony asks. "Absolutely not" Simon replies. "Simon -" Carol begins, but Wonder Man declares that there is no way he can do what they are asking him to as part of a team, and certainly not a team that continues to blame the Scarlet Witch for the team's own mistakes. Wonder Man walks away from the others, announcing that he is going to try to find Wanda before Wolverine does. "Not because you asked me to--but because I owe her that much. We all do" Simon declares as he takes flight.

Back in the inn at Mount Wundagore Billy and Teddy are in bed. Teddy has an arm over his boyfriend, and is fast asleep, while Billy lies wide awake. He carefully gets out of bed so as not to wake Teddy, puts his costume on, and writes a letter to Teddy:

Dear Teddy,
You are without a doubt the best boyfriend in the entire world.
You're kind.
You're generous.
You threaten to maim people for me.
You're forgiving. At least I hope you'll be.
You'll be angry at first.
I know I'd be angry if you did anything even remotely this stupid.
But please don't worry.
Its not like I'm planning to invade Latveria, confront Doctor Doom and rescue the Scarlet Witch tonight.
At least that's not the plan.
I promise there will be no castle-storming whatsoever.
Just a little on-site recon.
Besides, Doom's palace will be so heavily guarded I probably won't be able to get anywhere near it.
However, it occurs to me that if you're reading this, something may have gone terribly wrong-- because the plan to was to come back and destroy this note without your ever knowing I had gone.
Which means, of course, that your idiot boyfriend has probably been captured by Doctor Doom.
I'd tell you not to risk your own safety by coming to rescue me, but I know you will anyway, because - as previously stated - you are the best boyfriend in the entire world.
All my love (and apologies),
Billy xx

An instant later, Billy has teleported himself to Latveria, and flies down toward the sprawling castle. He flies around it, and lands in the castle grounds - where he is promptly surrounded by a group of Doombots. Billy tells himself not to panic, and knows that he can just magic himself back to Transia. But decides that since he is already here, he might as well see now far he can take this - and he casts an illusion spell around him. "Sorry to have disturbed you, but I seem to have gotten lost. Would you mind showing me back to my room?" Wiccan asks - appearing as the Scarlet Witch!

"For the record, I am not the sort of person who enjoys dressing up in his mother's clothes--but I have to say--I think I made quite an impression" Billy thinks to himself, as he notices the Doombots' eyes all light up. As the Doombots lead Wiccan back to the Scarlet Witch's room, Billy thinks to himself that either the Scarlet Witch really is here, or Doom is on to him. As he closes the door, he drops the illusion - and a hand reaches out from behind him, "Or even worse--I've just had my ass kicked-- by my mother!" Wiccan tells himself as the Scarlet Witch grabs Wiccan and throws him to the floor.

"Who are you? And what are you doing in my room?" Wanda demands, putting a foot on Wiccan's chest to hold him to the ground. "I'm..." Wiccan begins, wanting to say "I'm your son". He stutters again, while thinking "I'm the son you thought was dead, but whose soul migrated into the body of a gay, Jewish Avengers fan boy who grey up on the Upper West Side". He stutters as he tries to find an explanation once more. "I'm an idiot" Billy tells himself, before informing the surprised Scarlet Witch that he is here to rescue her from Doctor Doom.

"And how do you intend to do that?" Wanda asks, allowing Billy to stand up. "Well,--in spite of the fact that you just threw me on the ground and pinned me there with your high-heeled boot, I'm actually kind of a super hero" Wiccan announces. "Reallyâ" Wanda remarks. "In training" Billy adds. "Clearly" Wanda points out. "But I have powers and everything" Billy informs her "˜Powers?" Wanda asks. "Magic powers" Billy reveals, before introducing himself as Wiccan of the Young Avengers. "We met once before - outside the Mansion? You probably don't remember me, but I'm a huge fan, and I'm here on behalf of your father and -" Wiccan begins, before the Scarlet Witch interrupts him, telling him that is impossible, as her father is dead.

"No. He'™s fine. He's worried about you. Quicksilver is, too, but -" Wiccan begins, while Wanda asks "Who?" "Quicksilver? Your brother?"Wiccan replies. "Young man, I'm afraid you confuse me with someone else. My name is Wanda Maximoff" Wanda replies. Wiccan smiles and replies that he knows, and that remarks that right now, she is either pretending to have amnesia so she can make a new start, which he tells her he more than understands, or suggests that she actually does have amnesia and nothing he is saying makes any sense to her at all, which he is sorry about. "Either way, we have to get you out of here" Wiccan smiles.

Wanda smiles back and tells Wiccan that she appreciates his concern, but assures him that she is quite safe. "In fact, I'm getting married tomorrow" she reveals. "You're what? To whom?" Billy asks, surprised. "To me!" a voice announces as a certain figure, flanked by Doombots, enters Wanda's room. "Dr Doom!" gaps Wiccan".

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)
Wonder Man (inactive Avenger)

Scarlet Witch

Doctor Doom


In Flashback Images:
Victor Von Doom
Cynthia Von Doom

In Flashback Images:
Scarlet Witch & Wonder Man

Story Notes: 

When Magneto reminds Quicksilver that whoever manipulates the Scarlet Witch has a hold of altering reality he probably refers to Pietro's role in the "House of M" disaster.
Wiccan met the Scarlet Witch before he discovered his powers as told in the young Avengers special.
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.

The Scarlet Witch has been seen twice since "House of M" - in New Avengers (1st series) #26 when Hawkeye found her in Transia, and in the "Endangered Species" crossover, when the Beast also found her in Transia.

Wiccan caused much of Manhattan to go into a coma in Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1.

Wonder Man died, not just saving the Scarlet Witch's life, but the world, in Force Works #1. He was resurrected by the Scarlet Witch in Avengers (3rd series) #2-3, 10-11.

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