Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways

Written by Zeb Wells
Illustrated by Stefano Caseli

Young Avengers was a great concept that was starting to stray a bit but had a lot of potential.
Runaways is a great series by Brian K. Vaughan.

Put them together in a crossover written by a new writer, keep them away from the actual Civil War plot (despite them appearing in the core book), and the next thing you know, you have a recipe for a book that damages both properties.

This book starts off with the obligatory fight scene, interrupted by both teams being attacked by a shady government operative who wants to take the alien members of the groups to use for his experiments.

The two teams must band together in a slap-dash fashion in order to save their friends who are about to be tortured in the worst manner possible, which I frankly have a problem with in a comic set for a younger audience. They come through things in the end, battered and bruised but completely oblivious to the rest of the Civil War going on about them and slapped on the cover.

Had this been a non-Civil War crossover, I'd have disliked it based on the fact that Wells seems to disregard everything Vaughan had done with Runaways save a few throwaway lines here and there. But the fact that there was so much potential for these kids to try and "stop" the war based on their ideals or be torn between what's right--the law--and what they feel they need to do and neither of those things received anything but a casual nod.

As a result, this one's just a bad idea that can be skipped easily. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but the execution is lacking. I worry about how the Runaways will fare without Vaughan to guide them.