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.
We’ve spent a week looking back at the pivotal players and events of AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE, but the time for talk has almost come to a close. Tomorrow, issue #7 hits stands and the landscape changes once again.
For a final time prior to the release of this latest chapter, writer Allan Heinberg took the time to enlighten us on his grand plan and what a certain group of mutant heroes who crashed the party at the end of last issue have in store.
|AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE #7 preview art by Jim Cheung|
Marvel.com: Where do the X-Men stand on the issue of The Scarlet Witch, particularly in contrast to the Avengers? How does their full involvement beginning with issue #7 change the tone of the story?
Allan Heinberg: At this point in the story, the X-Men assembled on the lawn of Avengers Mansion all share Cyclops' point of view: that The Scarlet Witch needs to be held accountable for her actions and brought to justice by the mutant community. But the Avengers have their own ideas about how to deal with Wanda, and those don't necessarily involve just handing her over to the X-Men and walking away. So, the X-Men's involvement obviously complicates an already complicated situation and provokes these heroes to act in ways that aren't necessarily very heroic, all in the name of justice. But is it justice? Or is it revenge?
Marvel.com: What position will the X-Men’s arrival place Magneto in? How tough are things going to get for him?
Allan Heinberg: Magneto is already in an impossible position. He has to choose between his two families: his biological family—Wanda and Pietro—and the X-Men, who've become more of a family than he's ever had. And his position in the Marvel Universe is going to be determined by the choice he makes.
Marvel.com: What is Wanda’s immediate goal?
Allan Heinberg: Wanda's only goal is to restore the mutants whose lives she destroyed at the end of House of M. And she'll do whatever she has to, to make that happen.
Marvel.com: How unified are the Avengers right now?
Allan Heinberg: The Avengers are by no means unified on the subject of Wanda Maximoff. They all want to find her and contain her, but then the question becomes, "What do we do with her once we've found her?" Wolverine and Captain America have already bumped heads on the subject. And I think most of the team is similarly divided. Everyone agrees that The Scarlet Witch is a threat, but how do you go about neutralizing that threat? Everyone wants to hold Wanda accountable for what she's done, but how? What is the punishment for those crimes?
|AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE #7 preview art by Jim Cheung|
Marvel.com: Will X-Factor prove to be—pardon the pun—a factor or are they observers here?
Allan Heinberg: The members of X-Factor are as divided as the Avengers and X-Men. Madrox has already stated his point of view on the subject: he'd just as soon leave Wanda to her fate, whatever that is. But Wanda has just restored Rictor, so Rictor is going to be invested in helping Wanda do the same for all the other de-powered mutants. Either way, the X-Factor team now finds itself in the middle of a volatile conflict between the X-Men and the Avengers. And this X-Factor team has always been very independent. Madrox and the others are not going to start taking orders from Cyclops.
Marvel.com: How will Doctor Doom find his way back into this story?
Allan Heinberg: Doom's love for Wanda will soon put him at the center of the story, right between the warring Avengers and the X-Men.
Marvel.com: Now that Wiccan has found his mother, what does he want? How about Speed?
Allan Heinberg: Wiccan's goal was not only to find his mother, but to help her reclaim her position as a hero in the Marvel Universe. He still doesn't believe The Scarlet Witch could have been responsible for the events of "Avengers: Disassembled" and House of M and so he's determined to find out what really happened; how someone as good and as compassionate as The Scarlet Witch could suddenly turn on her friends, her family, and her entire species. At this point in the story, though, Wiccan is mostly concerned with helping Wanda stay alive.
|AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE #7 cover by Jim Cheung|
As for Speed, he's been very skeptical about the idea of The Scarlet Witch being his mother, but after the events of CRUSADE #6, I think Speed's feelings about Wanda and the lengths he's willing to go to, to protect her are going to surprise his teammates—and himself.
Marvel.com: With all the big action taking place, will we get to see more development as far as the triangle between Stature, Iron Lad and Vision?
Allan Heinberg: Absolutely, the Stature-Vision-Iron Lad triangle explodes in CRUSADE #8 and is finally resolved in #9.
Marvel.com: What will Scott Lang’s role be moving forward?
Allan Heinberg: You'll have to keep reading to find out if Scott Lang actually survives the crusade.
Marvel.com: They’ve been somewhat off to the side for a while now, but do Patriot and Hawkeye still have parts to play in this story?
Allan Heinberg: The tension between Hawkeye and Patriot which began in CRUSADE #2 comes to a head in #7, and the outcome is devastating.
Marvel.com: What else can you tease for the final portion of this series and its fallout?
Allan Heinberg: CRUSADE #7 sparks a war between the Avengers and the X-Men over the fate of The Scarlet Witch. It also reveals the fate of the de-powered mutants, the secret origin of Wanda's latent reality-altering powers, and the hidden truth about her involvement in "Avengers: Disassembled" and House of M. It also features the debut of a powerful new super hero in the Marvel Universe.
Issue #8 tells the story of the final, bloody battle between the Avengers, the X-Men, and X-Factor over the fate of The Scarlet Witch, whose tragic outcome will be the death of an Avenger.
Issue #9 deals with the aftermath of that death and the loss of several other heroes, as well. It sets the stage for the next big Marvel Universe event and spins the Young Avengers off in a brand-new direction.
We thank Allan Heinberg for joining us and encourage you to pick up AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE #7!