Monday, October 10, 2016

Champions #1 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Monday


Written By: Mark Waid
Art By: Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, Edgar Delgado
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 5, 2016
Publisher: Marvel

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

*Due to this issue taking place after the events of Civil War II, there may be plot points that allude to the events of that issue that have yet to occur.*

When the Marvel NOW! list was released a few months ago, this was one of the headlining books that they were really championing (pun intended) and with good reason. This book has been talked about endlessly since that release and I’ve been looking forward to it more than any other book that is slated to come out during Marvel NOW!. I doubt it was intentional but I think this book is really capitalizing on the feelings many comic fans are having towards Marvel right now. They believe that they aren’t doing the right thing and Champions is all about being true heroes once again that will do the right thing even when it’s difficult and to provide aid in more ways than simply fighting. It also helps that the majority of the team that we’ve gotten so far has been characters that are widely loved by audiences. However, will the book live up to the hype? Let’s find out.

The issue begins with Kamala Khan whose Ms. Marvel outfit lays in her closet unused for a little while. Kamala has been spending more time at home after the events of earlier that week. We flash back to that moment and we find the Avengers facing off against the Wrecking Crew. The Wrecking Crew has caused a train to derail and Ms. Marvel has been using her powers to protect the people on board. They are able to win the fight and save the train but the crowd that has gathered doesn’t want the heroes in their neighborhood due to them being seen as more destructive than even the villains alone. Kamala suggests that they attempt to help rebuild the rails and the destroyed sections but Captain America simply tells her that there are other people to do that and that it’s not their responsibility. However, Kamala disagrees and ends up leaving the Avengers.

Back in the present, Kamala takes out her phone and messages Miles Morales and Sam Alexander and asks to meet them at the usual spot and they agree. The three meet and Miles and Sam expect Kamala to give them a long speech about how they should stick together and that they need to rejoin the Avengers but Kamala quickly reveals that she has quit the Avengers as well. This is when we get a small flashback to when Sam and Miles left. Kamala then reveals that she has been thinking about putting a smaller team together with the three of them. Miles is initially against the idea but Kamala argues with him pointing out that they have been able to work together brilliantly when they were on the Avengers. Miles comes around and reveals that he may know someone who could join them.

We cut to Kentucky where a group of miners have been trapped under a collapsed mine and The Hulk is on the scene attempting to help them. He’s punching through the mine until he reaches the point just above the miners. He attempt to find a way around so they aren’t harmed when suddenly a very tiny Ms. Marvel appears, offering her help. Not far behind her is Miles and Sam. The four of them all work together and are able to save the miners and result in no injuries. This is when they tell Amadeus Cho, the most recent Hulk, about their plan to form a team. Amadeus has an idea of someone who can join their team but first they must repair the mine shaft. We then cut to a scene in Washington D.C. where Amadeus’ ride pulls up in front of a house. The three knock on the door and The Vision answers. Amadeus asks for his daughter and The Vision invites them in. Amadeus says that the team will need someone who can remain connected to the world and find ways for them to help out. Enter Viv Vision, the Vision’s daughter. Amadeus and she had been playing an online game together for a while and that’s why he thought of her. Viv joins the team and they immediately look for a mission. Viv shows them a situation going down in which young underage girls are being sent into slavery. The team goes off to stop the man behind it.

We cut to a scene in Baltimore where an evil clown (a villain that I don’t recognize) is talking with his buyer about the girls. However, his conversation is cut short when Sam tackles him and the team leaps into action. However, the clown had prepared for such an attack and he hits a button that detonates the shipping crate and sends it into the ocean below. The team ignores the clown for a moment in order to help the girls that are still inside the crate. Amadeus and Sam are able to put a plan into action and pull the crate out of the ocean, saving the girls inside. However, the clown isn’t down yet and a crowd has formed. He uses the opportunity to pull a gun and take a crowd member hostage. Sam and Miles are able to quickly separate the two and knock down the clown.

Back at the shipping crate, Amadeus rips it open and the girls are able to escape. However, upon inspecting the girls they find one that isn’t moving. The girls reveal that she hasn’t been moving for hours. Viv takes a look at her and unfortunately, they are too late. Amadeus erupts in a rage accusing the clown of murder. He begins pounding on the clown with the crowd cheering him on and just before he finishes the job, Ms. Marvel stops him. Ms. Marvel gives a small speech to not only her team but also to the crowd who seems to be live streaming the event. She admits that while the clown is a criminal and might even deserve a severe punishment, it is not her job nor is it the job of any superhero to determine that. They have to turn him over to the authorities and let the system do its job. She talks about how they have power and so they have to be careful about how they use it. Before long, all the heroes’ phones start going off and there seems to be overwhelming support of their new team which the internet has dubbed The Champions. This is where the issue ends.

This issue was everything I wanted and more. Sure, they came on a little strong with the speech at the end but I honestly found it all very heartwarming and the story was awesome. We got heartfelt moments, moments with humor, serious events, and awesome fight sequences. What else can you ask for in a comic book? This was just a book that needed to be amazing and frankly, it did its job. Let me say that the art in this book is incredible and I know the pages on this review don’t exactly do it justice but trust me, every page is a joy to look at. Mark Waid just knows superheroes. He knows how to write each and every one of these characters and not miss a single beat. I hope he can continue to do so because if he does, it won’t be long until this series becomes a flagship title at Marvel.

Bits and Pieces

This issue is nearly the perfect comic as we get almost everything we could ever want from a comic book. The art is incredible and really jumps off the page and Mark Waid knows these characters inside and out. The only thing that holds this comic back is the fact that it has to set everything up and that can usually be a little tedious. However, this book does it in style and shines from beginning to end. I hope this series continues to have this kind of quality because this could be the beginning of something really special.



  1. Completely agree. Just when I'm starting to hate on Marvel they release an amazing book that instantly gets me excited again.

  2. I think the coloring is absolutely wrecking Ramos's art. I mean, you could've had anyone doing it with the amount of overkill on those pages. But it's still nice to see Ramos & Waid reunited again.