“The main characters are Wiccan and Hulkling, a young gay couple who have inspired a lot of love and a lot of NSFW Tumblr art. There’s also Kid Loki from my last book, Miss America and a female Hawkeye. Plus there’s Noh-Varr, who’s sort of an alien hipster. The way some kids are obsessed with Japan, he’s obsessed with Earth. David Bowie was the primary influence on Noh-Varr, specifically The Man Who Fell to Earth, a splash of Ziggy and a lot of lithe sexuality. Now Bowie’s back too. On any scale I care about, Bowie is a superhero.”
– writer Kieron Gillen, explaining Marvel’s new Young Avengers to readers of The Guardian
Two years is a long time to wait for closure. And while it might not have been exactly two years since we started Avengers: Children’s Crusade, there were months that felt like we were on this journey forever. Months where you picked up an issue and wondered where everyone in this book was in the grand timeline of the Marvel Universe, how long ago this was supposed to be set from the books we were reading at the time and, especially with the earliest of issues, where we were all going by the time we hit the final issue. What was this crusade for?
Way back when at issue one we find Billy Kaplan, the magically-powered Wiccan, at a crossroads: his unexplained and undefined magical powers were chafing in a Marvel Universe full of super-science, genetics and good old fashioned genius. The potential was there for the Avengers and/or X-Men to have another fiasco on their hands and came to step in. While the adults bickered (and honestly came across as really rash and hostile as opposed to say the approach taken with the Avengers Academy kids, just saying), the Young Avengers teamed up with Magneto to find the one person who knows about having out of control & mistrusted magical powers: Wanda Maximoff.
Early on, this mini-series was presented as the final word on the disgraced Scarlet Witch and the truth behind M-Day. Reading the series over now that the complete picture is here, Allan Heinberg was very clearly here for one reason, but what was it?
WARNING: Avengers: the Children’s Crusade will be discussed to the point of utter spoilage. Please grab your copies and read along!
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That roar you hear is the collective jubilant shout of legions of Tumblr users upon reading this week’s Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9. You see, after nearly seven years as (arguably) Marvel’s highest-profile gay couple, Teddy (Hulkling) Altman and Billy (Wiccan) Kaplan finally had their first on-panel kiss. And, boy, was it a doozy, capping off a heartfelt apology turned possible marriage proposal. That’s right, Marvel Universe could be heading toward its first superhero same-sex wedding — but given how long it took Teddy and Billy to just kiss on the page, we probably shouldn’t look for those embossed invitations anytime soon.
Still, as Gay League notes, “These boys get more action than Rawhide Kid – and without a mature readers label to boot!” Of course now that they have kissed, what’s left for all of those fanfic artists to draw?
Read the full sequence below, and check out one of the more entertaining reactions to the Big Moment.