Monday, April 2, 2018

Champions #19 Review - Marvel Monday

Young Hearts Run Free

Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Humberto Ramos

Release Date: March 28, 2018

Cover Price: $3.99

It's all change at Marvel these days and this title is no different. This is the last issue of what has been a good, if not great, run on this title from Waid and Ramos. Next issue will see Ironheart and the Unstoppable Wasp officially join the Champions, as well as the arrival of writer Jim Zub and artist Sean Izaakse as the creative team behind the title. So will Waid and Ramos go out with a bang or a whimper?

To be frank, this series hasn't really recovered since its crossover with the Avengers. Firstly I felt that crossover was a strange one. This book was the anti-Avengers and at the start of the series, it was made clear that the Champions were set up (after the events of Civil War 2) because the grown-ups couldn't be trusted. So a cross-over didn't really work, and the tensions with the Avengers, while hinted at, weren't developed.

Secondly, the title has been jam-packed with characters turning a team book that was finely attuned and balanced into a title weighed down by a cast of thousands. At least it is clear that that matter has now been resolved and we will get only an additional two members added to the cast in issue 19. Perhaps the additions were unnecessary but they won't give the sense of sheer imbalance that has pervaded the title in recent issues.

The central purpose of this issue is to hit the reset button on the Viv Vision character to return her to the same status as she had before the High Evolution attack. We have had her turned into a fully human character, Vision creating a "sister" for her in her old format, and that sister being infected by a computer virus and going crazy last issue. This issue sees Viv and her replacement sister fused together, effectively returning Viv Vision to the state she was in before the crossover. Which effectively makes the changes that occurred to her temporary and ultimately pointless.

Bits and Pieces:

I have loved this series and really went in to defend it on several occasions but it had lost its original sense of direction and niche. I'm not sure if new writer Zub and artist Izaakse will be able to reinvigorate it. So much of this title for me was tied up with Ramos' art. That's now gone, and it will be strange to see it depicted in a new style. I'll stick with it but this has become something of a rudderless ship, which needs correcting rather swiftly.



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