Champions #1

by Héctor A on October 05, 2016

Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler: Humberto Ramos
Inker: Víctor Olazaba
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel


Ms. Marvel, Nova & Spider-Man are an exciting group of characters. They've been since first showing up in All-New All-Different Avengers, but even though that book had good things going, it was somehow a Vision book first and foremost. Spliting that book's roster into Avengers and Champions makes more sense, this book can focus on the younger heroes and the other one (which has fantastic art by Mike del Mundo, by the way) can do Waid's throwback Avengers storyline. Marvel seems to be trying to make Champions one of its flagship books, with the endless salvo of variants which that entails.


There's been some fussing over whether Waid and Ramos (who are not teenagers, not at all) could write and draw this book properly. And I'm not a big fan of Ramos' style but his work here is better than his standard. Some of his faces are clunky and everyone's bodies are weird but the book does have that energetic quality that people like about his art. Delgado's coloring and Olazaba's inking are also better than they usually are, Delgado imbues the flashback scenes with an opaque tone, making them stand out against the more hopeful present in the book.


The shadow of Civil War II, which has ranged from “the absolute worst” to “actually, it's not entirely terrible” depending on who you ask, hangs heavy over the entirety of this first issue. The timing of the book is a bit awkward. With the event just starting to reach its climax, we are seeing the releases of books dealing with its aftermath. It feels like there is some missing pieces to this story. I think we can all agree Marvel shoehorning Civil War into its schedule less than a year in advance of the event was a mistake.


Champions #1's best attribute is its team dynamic. Kamala, Sam and Miles teaming-up on their own book was the big selling point of this series. Waid did enough to make them stand out in his previous Avengers volume and this first issue neatly bringing Viv and the Hulk into the fold. The bigger page count allows Waid to write two passages of the team working together as superheroes, cementing their dynamic and establishing Kamala as a leader of sorts. Waid somewhat inefficiently tugs at a larger theme of undue force towards the end of the book. Ultimately, Waid is commenting on Marvel's world so it feels a bit cheap and commenting on police brutality equating policemen with superheroes has never resonated with me, because superheroes always (including right here in this issue) punch the bad guys and cops.. don't.


All things considered, I'm not sure whether this is any better than All-New All-Different Avengers. Champions has a good premise but even though Waid and Ramos' work here is fine, but this first issue doesn't do anything but the bare minimum. Waid introduces a strong team dynamic but it remains to be seen whether this will be anything other than an above-average superhero team book.

Our Score:


A Look Inside