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16Nov/101

No Story Is Permanent

Wanda Maximoff is a Crazy Lady.

It's what we got to work with folks, because the slew of other traits that are tied to the character don't clatter as much as the tin can of Crazy Lady as the plot car drives away.  Since Avengers: Disassembled, a lot of characters talk about Wanda in the third person while she wanders through the landscape, interacting with people only through a point of weakness (being crazy, having her memories taken, acting out to save her children) or as a pawn for her brother/father/Doom to use.

I'm not saying other characters haven't been just as mistreated.  Carol Danvers was mind-controlled, impregnated and gave birth to a child who turned out to be the man she had been mind-controlled by in the first place.  Rapidly aging to adulthood, the child now a man, Carol was still in love with him in a very uncomfortable creepy way and left the Avengers to go live with her lover/son/guy.  That is messed up but how much do we talk about it?  Wanda changes probability to work the impossible and has kids with the Vision, only to be told later that her sons weren't real and she nearly destroys the Avengers and changes the landscape of Marvel for quite some time now.  Ms. Marvel has the benefit of being a character who looks good on posters I guess, because we like to sweep her messed up romance story under the rug.  We read up on it, wince a little bit in terms of plotting and how creepy it all sounds, but let go of it.

Hank Pym KILLED A WOMAN the issue before he most famously hit his wife, but we let go of that too.  He KILLED AN INNOCENT WOMAN.  From the back.  The Avengers were already going to kick him out, it was his terrible robot plan and the violence towards one of their own members that really nailed in his coffin.  Since then, he's tried desperately to shake that evil deed.  Quicksilver was the bi-polar villain for awhile;  he flipped from villain to hero to villain a couple of times before he settled in with Crystal.  He then, in a wildly out of character moment for someone who had been on such great terms with Attilan, started the Silent War through his actions of Son of M.  We again needed to look at it as a thing that happened to him, not defined him like Carol's creepy pregnancy romance and Hank's violent streak.

Character traits are repeatable, not moments in one's life that defines them.  If you go outside and rescue a cat from a tree, that doesn't make you heroic for the rest of your life.  If you rescued the cat because you stashed the loot from a bank robbery in that tree and the cat was in your way, that's a character trait.  You want your money and the action showed how you got it.  If you make a profession out of rescuing cats from trees, then it's a character trait.

We like the phrase "Moments that define us" because it's easier to label people that way.  But it's the plural that matters the most.  These are MOMENTS, actions repeated to show continued intent.  Wanda had gone mad before in the West Coast Avengers, but bringing it back years later after other continual actions that show her to be a good-hearted and rational person doesn't mean Crazy Lady is now her new modus operandi.  That's a heel turn for plot's sake, one should should have been working her way back from instead of being left on the sidelines.

In regards to Avengers: the Children's Crusade, all I can say is that it's very slow.  Bi-monthly isn'tdoing this book any favors because it's very deliberately paced to try and get a lot of character spotlights, most shone on Wiccan. If this was a Wiccan/Speed mini-series, I think I could let the other guys slip into the background but since it's the only way we'll hear of the Young Avengers, I read it with the intent of knowing a little more about what they're doing, thinking, or feeling.  Because the book  anptheis slower paced and so much time passes between issues, the details get lost and I remember Billy wants to find his crazy Mom who's used it yet another evil plot.  Now, I fully admit that we're only barely into this limited series and the next issue could be a huge fake-out and Wanda might find some final redemption in there.  But who wants to wait?  All I have to judge the book is what's been written out so far and this is all stuff I want to let go of.

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