Champions #6 Review

by Charles Martin on April 21, 2021

Champions #6 Review
Writer: Danny Lore
Artist: Luciano Vecchio
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

"Open with action" is a good rule of thumb for any superhero story, and the Champions' creative team follows it here. 

We start with a super-powered crew breaking into a bank, opposed at the critical moment by the core Champions team. Clobbering and quipping ensue before the good guys triumph. It's a simple fight handled with great storytelling skill.

As befits their hazy legal status, the Champions bug out before the police arrive. And when they do, things take a turn for the complicated. That initial fight scene was not the clear-cut case of crime-fighters versus criminals that it seemed to be.

That introduction of surprise complexity is the perfect kickoff for this new arc. Nothing is as straightforward as it seems. The Champions got themselves out from under Kamala's Law, but they didn't succeed in getting it repealed. The team may be heroing together, but all is not well within the ranks.

And now Roxxon is striking back, making a play for the hearts and minds of young people with its Roxx On! social media platform. 

This comic goes into depth, great depth, maybe too much depth, about Roxxon's corporate machinations. The social media push comes from a clutch of villainous characters who receive nearly as much attention as the Champions here.

Danny Lore's script tackles a lot of character work and does it well. Reasonable motivations and concerns are brought forth in natural-sounding language, and the character interactions are particularly sharp among the heroes. There are a great pair of one-on-one conversations (Kamala/Viv and Miles/Riri) that inject terrific heart into the story.

Luciano Vecchio makes it all look insanely good. He has a talent for blocking his panels creatively, shifting the point of view "camera" to include a lot of high and low angles and even fisheye effects. The dynamic layouts work equally well for action and conversation, adding welcome novelty to the quieter scenes.

The artist's clean lines are enhanced by powerful, highly saturated colours courtesy of Federico Blee. He uses the full range of the palette to emphasize the differences between settings. Mr. Blee also handles a near-overdose of fuchsia (besides Riri's armour and Viv's Synthezoid skin, it's also the dominant colour for the Roxx On! app) with skill, balancing out the pink with contrasting colours.

After its exciting combat start, this issue does veer heavily into conversation and build-up. I can see that all these words are important; this is a complicated team and its new antagonists are almost as intricate. And Mr. Lore's talent for realistic dialogue softens the blow, delivering tons of information without resorting to straight-up exposition.

I'm just entranced by the balance struck between action and plot development in the first few scenes. More of that, please! Hopefully, with all of this groundwork laid, future issues can steer back to that happy medium that combines thrilling confrontation with an insightful exploration of deeper concepts.

Champions #6 pits a still-fragile team of heroes against a merciless corporation that's determined to defeat them online. This issue has to devote lots of time and space to introducing the players and setting the stakes. But it does kick off with a great action scene, and the seamless way the creators segue from combat to conversation holds a lot of promise for future installments. As the pace accelerates, this arc is likely to turn into a real thrill-ride.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
There's a cool visual contrast between the established heroes and Mr. Vecchio's Roxxon baddies. His personal style is more evident in the new characters, creating a distinct artistic divide between good and evil.