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Wednesday, September 21, 2011 

The abuse of Scarlet Witch continues in the "Children's Crusade"

USA Today talks about how Marvel has NOT abandoned the desecration of Scarlet Witch any more than DC has Sue Dibny and Jean Loring. More specifically, they also let know just who Wanda's been forced to hook up with now:
Superpowered teens Wiccan and Speed found their mother, the Scarlet Witch (aka Wanda Maximoff), without powers or memory but with a new fiancé: Doctor Doom. Thanks to the reappearance of Iron Lad and a rescue by the Young Avengers, Wanda remembers what fans have known since the "Avengers: Disassembled" and "House of M" story lines: that she killed Avengers during a murderous rampage and later depowered scores of mutants.

In comic shops Wednesday, Issue 7 of the nine-issue miniseries features Wanda and her mission to restore powers to the mutants she affected, as well as revealing the truth behind her reality-altering powers and her role in both "Avengers: Disassembled" and "House of M."

Cyclops and the X-Men know what kind of role the ex-Avenger played — not a good one, as they recall — so the action heats up when they appear on the scene, and Issue 8 is the bloody climax of a war between Doctor Doom, Wanda's dad Magneto and a whole host of heroes "that results in a tragic death and terrible losses for everyone involved," Heinberg says.

The final chapter spins the Young Avengers in an entirely new direction, sets the table for the next big Marvel Universe event, and resolves the final fate of the Scarlet Witch and her relationship to her family.
And we certainly don't need to waste time finding out; no matter the outcome, with these kind of people in charge, it could only be perfectly awful, and already is. The idea that she'd hook up with Doom is already sensationalistic enough.
Heinberg says he was trained early on that even so-called "bad guys" are the heroes of their own stories, which seemed particularly resonant to him in the case of the Scarlet Witch and her children. So there are no villains in Children's Crusade, where even the usually megalomaniacal Doctor Doom is a sympathetic character.
And that only compounds a frequent problem with today's mainstream storytelling: the villains in both Marvel and DC's books have increasingly been depicted in otherwise positive, sympathetic positions even if they haven't reformed, and even if their characterization makes it implausible. Why are we being asked to care about them more than the heroes? If I just hear that nonsense again about it being easier to write villains than heroes...ugh.
The events of Children's Crusade will be felt after it ends, Heinberg promises. By the time the final issue is out in January, it will have caught up with Marvel continuity and dovetail into big things involving the Avengers and the X-Men. [...]

Several more characters will meet their untimely demise, Heinberg says. "And, if the Scarlet Witch survives Crusade, I hope she'll continue to play an active and essential role in the Marvel Universe."
And tragically, if she does, it may be as a villainess, with even worse depiction than she had when John Byrne was writing West Coast Avengers in 1990. For now, this looks like another case of a character not seen in a few years who, when reappearing, does so only for what could be a most embarrassing story where she'll suffer from very bad writing.

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Thanks for the insightful piece on the USA Today article. It's amazing how a writer's view of a character can be so warped, based on the stories he prefers to others and the potential paychecks he gets from those preferences.

Below is a comment intended for the Crave Online review of #7. I couldn't post it there and no other appropriate spot has turned up, but I think you'd appreciate the attitudes:

I have to disagree with your assessment of the issue. The defects with the premise and plotting, and the blatant use of filler throughout the issues thus far, indicate that Heinberg is incapable, amateurish as far as writing fantasy fiction is concerned, lazy (the filler), or some combination of those.

The Life Force comes across as an incredibly clumsy kludge, an attempt to absolve Wanda of any responsibility for what happened in "Avengers Disassembled" while also avoiding the difficulties involved in coming up with someone who manipulated her.

The description of past events, via Wanda, isn't believable. Thinking that Dr. Doom is a sorcerer superior to Dr. Strange? Turning to "dark magic" in an attempt to rescue her children after being told that they never existed? Heinberg's plot conflicts with his own description of the twins in YOUNG AVENGERS #11. The only scenario in which the twins exist as actual children is the original one: Englehart's VISION & SCARLET WITCH maxiseries.

I'll spare you a list of more contradictions and conflicts -- but Heinberg chose an impossible task when he retconned both Englehart's and Byrne's storylines in YOUNG AVENGERS, and then tried to "fix" things by adding yet another layer of retcons in CHILDREN'S CRUSADE. The stack is so high now that one can't see the base, but the base (Englehart's V & SW) was free of errors. The errors in Byrne's and Heinberg's material don't nullify each other; they just create an unreadable mess.

If a fiction writer creates a fictional reality, what one sees in CHILDREN'S CRUSADE is the illusion of two cracked mirrors reflecting light into each other.


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