Just when they’re starting to get their footing, here comes another batch of morons to fight. But the Avengers are noticing the pattern. It’s almost like someone’s keeping them distracted by sending all these goons at them. Hmm…

Avengers Vol. 2 #8, pages 19-21. June 1997. Collected in: Heroes Reborn: Avengers http://www.amazon.com/dp/0785123377

Wait, what happened? Everything’s readable all of a sudden? Oh. Right.

It’s almost like Clint and the rest of the Avengers are starting to wake up from a dream. They’re in a ridiculous situation, but now they can realize it’s ridiculous (like Clint with the bad faux-Shakespearean Norse-talk). It’s all uphill from here.

Avengers Vol. 2 #8, pages 4-10. June 1997. Collected in: Heroes Reborn: Avengers http://www.amazon.com/dp/0785123377

Meet Wonder Man. Meet Scarlet Witch. Meet a whole ton of people that show up for no reason.

I think if today’s Clint ever heard himself say that, he would flip his shit.

Avengers Vol. 2 #7, pages 18-22. May 1997. Collected in: Heroes Reborn: Avengers http://www.amazon.com/dp/0785123377

When we see Clint again he’s in some kind of Danger Room program. I’m not sure how he’s alive after the Hulk, but I’m not sure how Hellcat’s breasts are doing that upside down either. The simulation seems to be Clint reliving an old, pre-Avengers mission he and Patsy were on. This Grim Reaper, Eric, was on the team too, but they lost him.

It’s tempting to say none of this makes sense, but let’s start with what we know. Franklin Richards made the Heroes Reborn reality subconsciously and dropped the Avengers and others into it. This scene kind of resembles something you’d see in the X-Men books, only… dumbed down (not to mention, again, Clint’s Wolverine costume). And we know from books like She-Hulk that Marvel Comics exist in the Marvel Universe and that kids like Franklin would’ve read it. Is it possible that Franklin’s subconscious was trying to give Clint a cool backstory, but he didn’t have much to draw on aside from comic books, so his—what, 6-year-old?—mind tried to make Clint’s life look like a comic book from the 90’s, and it came out kind of terrible?

Avengers Vol. 2 #7, pages 13-14. May 1997. Collected in: Heroes Reborn: Avengers http://www.amazon.com/dp/0785123377

What is hiding behind Clint’s mask? We may never find out because Hulk just snapped his fingers and futzing broke him.

Avengers Vol. 2 #4, pages 16-18. February 1997. Collected in: Heroes Reborn: Avengers http://www.amazon.com/dp/0785123377

Not sure where Kate is, instead of doing some trick arrowing that would’ve stopped this. Maybe looking for some Latverian coffee?

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2, pages 22-24. November 2010. Collected in: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade by Allan Heinberg http://www.amazon.com/dp/0785135499

Eli thinks they need the Avengers. Kate doesn’t. Eli’s all about belonging to a legacy, honoring those that came before you and doing right by them. Kate’s independent streak runs right in the face of that. Isn’t that the dichotomy of being a Young Avenger right there? Young, brash, you against the world… but also Avengers, part of a tradition going back many, many years, taking on the responsibility of fighting threats that no one of them could fight alone. Can they Assemble on their own, or do they need the grown ups?

The Uncanny Von Trapps is the name of Tommy’s next band.

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2, pages 8, 10-12. November 2010. Collected in: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade by Allan Heinberg http://www.amazon.com/dp/0785135499

Kate, people get wrecked for talking to Magneto like that. But no, Kate the Eight has to stubbornly speak up. It’s her way, just like Clint.

Magneto is telling the truth here though. And he rarely bothers to be dishonest anyway, and not because of his immense power (which is pretty immense). It’s because he gets mad about what’s wrong with the world, but that also leads him to cross lines that make him an extremist as far as most people are concerned. Magneto’s a fascinating character and I could probably devote much more text to him, who he is, his effect on his children… but that doesn’t have much to do with Hawkeyes, does it? Let’s just say Magneto getting pissed is on a whole other level from Kate and Clint getting pissed.

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2, pages 2-5. November 2010. Collected in: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade by Allan Heinberg http://www.amazon.com/dp/0785135499

Aww, man, all the feels. All of these guys here for Billy. Like Kate said, family sticks together. You’re in a family, there’s not very many ways out.

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1, pages 19-21. September 2010. Collected in: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade by Allan Heinberg http://www.amazon.com/dp/0785135499

Leave it to Kate to say the things nobody wants to say; Billy does need to work on his control. At least she’s nicer about it than Clint. There’s something to be said for being diplomatically outspoken.

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1, pages 12-14. September 2010. Collected in: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade by Allan Heinberg http://www.amazon.com/dp/0785135499