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Avengers VS X-Men

Tuesday Q&A: Allan Heinberg

The writer of Avengers: The Children's Crusade prepares for the big finish and major ramifications

By Chris Arrant

AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE pits the Young Avengers against the likes of the X-Men and the Avengers over the fate of The Scarlet Witch, Wanda Maximoff. But now it looks like they’re going to get help from Marvel’s newest super hero: Victor Von Doom.

Set for release on December 28, AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE #8 shows the long-time villain in a whole new light after he receives life force powers summoned with The Scarlet Witch in an attempt to save her children. Now clad in all white with his facial scars healed, the newly unmasked “Victor” enters the fray. But while this penultimate issue promises a new ally for the Young Avengers, the final page of issue #7 foretells that one Avenger dies in the fight.

AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE #8 preview art by Jim Cheung

Writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung have been working towards this expansive story since YOUNG AVENGERS back in 2005, and as the issues count down to the long-awaited finale we’re told it sets off Marvel’s big event for 2012. Marvel.com spoke with Heinberg about the big shake-ups in this series, as well as changes in the teen heroes’ team itself.

Marvel.com: AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE #7 left off with Doctor Doom receiving Wanda’s life force powers, being reborn with no facial disfiguration and clad in white, going by his first name, Victor. What comes next?

Allan Heinberg: AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE #8 is the debut of Victor Von Doom as an all-new super hero in the Marvel Universe—at least as far as Doom is concerned. As far as the Avengers, the X-Men, and X-Factor are concerned, they're now fighting for their lives against a deluded, self-righteous, all-powerful Doom.

Marvel.com: What’s this new power done to him, exactly?

Allan Heinberg: It's revived and transformed him, burning away his ego and his insecurity, leaving only what is true and noble about Victor Von Doom.

Marvel.com: That last issue answered some big questions about The Scarlet Witch and her involvement in “Avengers: Disassembled” and HOUSE OF M. How long had this story been percolating in your mind, and how did it develop?

Allan Heinberg: Jim Cheung and I have wanted to tell this story since the beginning of our time on YOUNG AVENGERS in 2005. But we didn't start working on the specifics of AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE until March of 2008.

Marvel.com: In the middle of all this, the kids are still reeling from Iron Lad returning just a few issues ago. How does the team handle that?

AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE #8 preview art by Jim Cheung

Allan Heinberg: To be honest, the Young Avengers have been so overwhelmed dealing with Doom, Wanda, the Avengers, and the X-Men, that they haven't really had time to process Iron Lad's return. They will though, when things calm down a bit in #9.

Marvel.com: I’m not complaining, but Marvel has two Visions now, the younger one here as well as a revived one in AVENGERS. How do they co-exist?

Allan Heinberg: They're actually two different entities altogether who happen to share the Vision "software," as it were. The Young Avengers' Vision's "hardware" is from the 30th century. Whereas I think the adult Vision's current hardware is Stark Tech.

Marvel.com: And although the Young Avengers and Wanda managed to escape brewing war between the Avengers and the X-Men over her in the last issue, I have a feeling that’s not over. What can you say about the Avengers and X-Men’s involvement going forward?

Allan Heinberg: The conflict between the Avengers and the X-Men over the fate of The Scarlet Witch is far from over, which will put both teams on the wrong side of Doom in #8. And the conflict between the teams will come to a head in #9, laying some of the groundwork for the next big Marvel Universe event.

Marvel.com: What’s it like setting all these pieces into place, and doing it with the team you and Jim Cheung co-created, the Young Avengers?

Allan Heinberg: It's been a pleasure and privilege. I'm in awe of editors Tom Brevoort and Nick Lowe for doing all the heavy lifting and making it all look effortless. And I'm very grateful to Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Peter David, Matt Fraction, and Kieron Gillen for being enormously generous and patient with us.

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      I might pick it up if phoenix appears more in this


      phoenix looks great here


      I hear this ties into the x-men/avengers event


      I thought Hope Summers was getting the Phoenix Force that is why Bishop was all butt hurt about killing Hope Summers. The Scarlet Witch may have a big role now in this event. Crazy!


      Oh damn!!! I would never have made that guess myself. But once I read your call, I totally agree.


      calling it now, wanda gets the phoenix force!