By Ben Morse
The Scarlet Witch changed everything.
She did it when she disassembled the Avengers.
She did it when she created the House of M.
She did it when she said “No more mutants.”
She’s about to do it again.
For the past year, AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE has chronicled the Scarlet Witch’s return in an epic adventure that has drawn in all of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as well as the X-Men, X-Factor, Magneto, Doctor Doom and more. With the pivotal issue #7 on sale Wednesday, September 21, we’ve enlisted writer Allan Heinberg to revisit the critical events and major players, as well as discuss what will happen next.
For anybody who has followed the Marvel Universe at any length, it should come as no surprise that with a player as powerful as The Scarlet Witch on the board and an epic as sprawling as AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE, Doom would be found at some point.
Victor Von Doom, monarch of Latveria and source of every hero from the Fantastic Four to the Avengers, made a dramatic and surprising entrance into the Crusade at the conclusion of issue #2, in which the “Scarlet Witch” the Young Avengers and Magneto located turned out to be one of his signature Doombots. Trailing their quarry to Latveria, our protagonists found an amnesiac Wanda Maximoff seemingly lacking in power, but engaged to be married to none other than Doctor Doom himself!
The arrival of the Avengers and intervention of Iron Lad spirited Wanda and company out of Doom’s clutches—or should that be protection?—but the not-always-so-good Doctor still has a role to play in this CRUSADE, one we spoke with writer Allan Heinberg about.
Marvel.com: Why did you want Doom in this series playing such a prominent role?
Allan Heinberg: To my mind, Doctor Doom was the only sorcerer powerful enough—and invested enough—to have been able to successfully engineer the Scarlet Witch's prolonged disappearance. And I also loved the idea that Doom's obsession with finding his own mother paralleled Wiccan's quest to find the Scarlet Witch.
Marvel.com: Do Doom and Wanda share any sort of history from past stories you’re tapping into here or are you creating this whole?
Allan Heinberg: If Wanda and Doom share a romantic history in the Marvel Universe, I'm unaware of it. I just loved the idea of Doom's initially having sought out Wanda to exploit her reality-altering power only to then fall in love with her. And I thought perhaps Wanda might remind Doom of his sorceress mother.
Marvel.com: What can you say about Doom’s motivations for his actions here? Are the Young Avengers right to view him as an out and out bad guy or is there some altruism at work?
Allan Heinberg: Doom's motivations are going to become very clear in CRUSADE #7. But I have to say that, where Wanda is concerned, I think Doom believes his motives are altruistic. He is still a psychopathic narcissist, but he's also a man in love. Or at least he's behaving like a man in love.
Marvel.com: How has it been to write one of Marvel’s most rich and celebrated characters?
Allan Heinberg: I was very intimidated by the idea of writing Doom. But at this moment in his life—and in the context of his relationship with Wanda—Doom can't afford to behave like a willful despot. At this moment, he's as vulnerable and as emotionally articulate as I've ever seen him. Though, of course, that could just be yet another pose he affects to get what he really wants.
Marvel.com: Is Doom’s part in this story done or will we see him again? Have we seen the full extent of his machinations yet?
Allan Heinberg: No, Doom is a huge part of the next issue and the one after that, and beyond...
Keep joining us all week long for more with Allan Heinberg as we gear up for AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE #7!