Monday, November 7, 2016

Champions #2 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Monday

Tonsil Tennis

Written By: Mark Waid
Art By: Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, Edgar Delgado
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 2, 2016
Publisher: Marvel

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

To say that Champions is one of the biggest books at Marvel right now would be an understatement. It seems to be one of the most talked about books in comics right now and with good reason. The first issue was nearly perfect in my opinion and the book is filled with likeable characters with a message that I think most comic fans are happy to hear again. The first issue set the bar really high for this series and ended up giving us most of our team. However, noticeably missing from the first issue was Cyclops who appeared on the cover. Considering the cover of this issue, I’d say that his absence will be quickly rectified. The hype for this book is incredible and I’ve been looking forward to more of this book since I finished the final page of last month’s issue so let’s stop waiting and just jump right into this second issue.

The issue begins with our team grouped around a campfire cooking various means and other campfire treats. Ms. Marvel has planned this little camping trip because she thinks that it is important for the team to get to know each other and to learn the extents of each other’s powers. This way, they are able to plan better for the future. Ms. Marvel explains her powers as does Spider-Man. However, when Nova gets to talking about his helmet, The Hulk steals it and teases him a little bit about it. It seems he’s the only one in on the joke as the rest of the team is unamused and even a little angry with him. He gives Nova his helmet back but not before egging him on even more to which Nova responds by using his powers on Hulk, knowing that it won’t legitimately hurt him.

Afterwards, the Hulk takes his turn and Ms. Marvel ends up asking him how high he can jump. In response to this, Amadeus takes it as a challenge and jumps up in to the air. The team waits for a moment to see if he’ll come back down soon. When he doesn’t, Ms. Marvel takes the opportunity to continue on with their discussion. After Viv shows of her own powers, the group starts to cool down but Ms. Marvel brings them back into the “team building” that she has planned, though she isn’t too happy about being a spoilsport. The team continues with some trust building exercises and eventually ends up around the fire again answering questions about each other. Things change a bit when Sam ends up asking Viv about her first kiss. Viv hasn’t experienced a romantic kiss but says she is curious about it and begins to lean into Sam.

Before their lips meet, they are interrupted by Ms. Marvel and things continue for a while before the Hulk suddenly lands on the ground next to them shaking everything. This is when a red beam suddenly comes out from the woods striking the Hulk. Nova immediately launches into action and attacks the area the beam came from. Turns out that it was young Cyclops who had traveled here from the past. In the attack, Nova knocks off his visor and Scott’s powers start going wild. The situation is quickly realized by everyone and Viv is able to control Scott’s powers while the rest of them retrieve his visor. Cyclops apologizes for his actions. When a giant being landed on the camp so suddenly, he assumed that they were under attack and leaped into action. Hulk gets in his face and is met with another beam attack. He gets mad but is held back by his team.

This is when Cyclops is asked about what he is doing there. He tells them that despite the unfortunate events that led up to this moment, he saw the message that Ms. Marvel gave out at the end of the last issue and he wanted to ask if he could join their team. Ms. Marvel tells him that she has to talk with the team about it and he agrees. The group discusses Scott and many voice their concerns. For one, the Scott that they knew was a villain but this new Scott is just a kid like them. Some say that they shouldn’t judge him for what he might do. The conversation ends when Viv states that despite the fact that he didn’t know them, he leapt into action against a threat stronger than himself when he thought they were in danger.

The group ends up welcoming Cyclops into the Champions and he gives them the same rundown of who he is and what his powers are just like the rest of them did. This is when the team decides to call it a night and sleep. Spider-Man teases Nova about Viv for a second and this is when the team realizes that Viv is missing. They begin searching for her and Ms. Marvel calls out for her. This is when the team finds her and is shocked by the sight that they see. They see Viv and Amadeus chose alone in the forest with their lips locked. This is where the issue ends.

This issue certainly doesn’t have the excitement that the first issue had by far. This is one of those issues that caters more towards new readers and that may be a good idea and may be more entertaining for them. That said, regular readers who are already familiar with these characters will find it a bit tedious. There are also a couple other issues that I have with this issue and one of them is Amadeus Cho. Granted, I’ve not known his character very long and I haven’t read much of his solo series but in this issue Amadeus comes across as kind of a bully. It was just an aspect of his character that I didn’t see in the previous issue. It seems like he’s just creating conflict for the sake of conflict. I know he’s the Hulk but he doesn’t have to act like a meathead. Perhaps that’s his character though and I’m just not familiar with it. In addition, the big cliffhanger was a bit of a disappointment. Sure seeing the page with Hulk and Viv making out was a shock at first but for the most part I know exactly how that conflict is going to go. Nova and Hulk are already at each other’s throats so the two of them are going to be arguing constantly now. In addition, Viv is most likely going to be indifferent to their fighting. It’s just a storyline that I’ve seen a million times and it usually ends up exactly the same way. Overall, the book is still good and there are some nice character building moments. However, it is mostly a comic to catch up new readers and give us a cliffhanger that will most likely haunt this book for a couple issues.

Bits and Pieces

This issue just doesn’t live up to the previous one. There are plenty of character moments that are nice and seeing how this group interacts with each other is nice. However, the majority of this issue is used to try and catch new readers up with previous storylines and introduce characters that regular readers already know. In addition, the cliffhanger while initially shocking seems like it could go very wrong if the creative team chooses to go down the most predictable route of storytelling. The art is still good and I understand that some issues are meant to provide context and build character. Honestly though, this was a massive drop in quality from the previous issue.



  1. I am not a Marvel Zombie. Accordingly, I appreciated the spoon-feeding of issue 2. I really do not know any of these characters. Not one. Except maybe Cyclops but I don't EVER remember him being so young. They seem to be building some rapport with each other and I think that I will enjoy getting to know them as this series progresses. We are only two issues in, so..... so far, so good.
    A minor observation and nit-pick: Why would they wear their costumes when they go camping? Does that not seem ridiculous? Miles actually planned on sleeping in his glorified underwear? Just seems off-putting. But perhaps it is a sign of just how much they all seem to be ill-at-ease with each other. Maybe next camping trip they will actually relax and wear jeans and T-shirts. It would have been a nice throw-back to the old Hulk if Amadeus wore a T-shirt with purple jeans.

    Just sayin'. :-)

  2. Wow... I could not disagree more strongly. This book gets about as close to a 10 rating as I can give. I usually don't go for the "light hearted feel good" type of comic, but this one has me.

    I do agree that the handling of Hulk wasn't so good. And I didn't like the artist's take on Nova either. Those things keep it down to a 9, but... I'm all in for this book!

  3. I completely agree with your review. Although I mostly liked it I had a lot of issues with it overall. I still like the team and I still like the buildup, but overall it was a let down after issue 1.