As Children’s Crusade is the successor to Human Revolution, this article may contain spoilers. So if you haven’t played Human Revolution, come back later!
Issue #2 of Deus Ex Children’s Crusade picks up exactly where Issue #1 left off. The augmented terrorists built bombs into children, and when the raid in the previous issue went south, they set one off. The bomb unleashed calamity, claiming lives of humans and augmented alike. A member of task force 29 was also among the casualties.
Tempers fly and cracks form within the task force. Mac blames the deaths on Jensen’s perceivably rash actions. As a man who hates augs, Mac’s relationship with Jensen was strained from its inception. Now, with the blame and suspicion looming overhead, the two are at each other’s throats. Mac is clearly painted as the villain in the scenario; he threatens a woman, stereotypes augs and is all round heartless. Jensen, on the other hand, resumes his role as the unconventional hero, urging the task force to rescue a child being held hostage by the terrorists.
Jim Miller, director of task force 29, obliges Jensen’s urges. He approves a trip to the Glasshutte – a European aug ghetto – to resolve the situation. Jensen is sent in alone. Being an aug, Jensen is the task force’s best bet at peacefully resolving the situation. Of course, things turn violent: punches are thrown and lives are lost. The comic ends with Jensen exiting the compound with the kidnapped girl in his arms.
The issue continues the darker, violent themes that emerged in the previous instalment. But all in all it’s fairly unexciting. There are no unexpected twists; the story continues logically and the characters fulfill their archetypal roles. Mac is a bastard, Jensen is the brooding hero and Miller is the diplomatic PR face. Of course, Jensen’s narration provides insight into some of Miller’s decisions. He suspects that Miller’s support is merely an effort to establish a scapegoat. If things turn sour Jensen suspects he will foot the blame.
It becomes apparent that Jensen is very much a black sheep in the task force. In the previous issue, Jensen was the unproven ‘new guy’. But now, he’s the subject of both internal and external suspicion. And the discontent within the team only grows as the issue progresses. It seems likely that rifts will form. Perhaps Mac and Jensen may even come to blows? On a lighter note, the clever propaganda posters make a welcome return, advertising both sides of the humanity debate. Like before, they’re both artistic and clever, and much less predictable than this issue.
With its lack of significant turning points, or introductions Issue #2 of Deus Ex Children’s Crusade suffers from a sort of middle child syndrome. See, introductions and conclusions are almost always exciting, but at the moment the series hasn’t gained that much traction. The events in the first comic were interesting, but this issue just simmers in their wake. It does forebode the larger events that will occur in future issues. And hopefully when these events transpire the series will return to the excellent form of its first instalment.