Review: Champions #1

Champions_1_CoverFollowing the fallout of Civil War II, Avengers Ms. Marvel, Nova and Spider-Man strike out on their own – joined by Cyclops, Viv Vision and the Totally Awesome Hulk! Six young heroes determined to change the world – and they’re only the beginning!

I’m just going to start off with the bad. This is the first comic that really is meant to kick off Marvel‘s post-Civil War II world. The problem is we’re another 2+ months out from knowing how that event ends, so there’s a lot of questions left out there and some references that leave you scratching your head.

But, that little bump aside, Champions #1 firmly plants a flag as to what it is, a return to positive heroes who do more than just punch the bad guys and cause damage. These are heroes who also stay around to help clean up, fix their mess, and, more importantly, let the justice system do its job.

Written by Mark Waid, this first issue is beyond enjoyable with a fun positive vibe that seems to bounce along at a solid pace. These are heroes without the killing squarely aimed at a bit younger crowd or for folks who want heroes that might punch the bad guys, but also have a clue they’re causing damage when doing so. The series seems to take on that conundrum that exists in superhero comics where you have heroes that can do amazing things, but they never use those powers for basic things, like fixing the building they just damaged.

Spinning out of All-New, All-Different Avengers, the series’ heart is its core heroes of Ms. Marvel, Nova, and the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man that all have seen the Avengers for what they are, a wrecking crew. The discussion and events that lead into their teaming up feels natural and honest with some heartfelt moments peppered throughout. I can’t say for sure this is how kids of that age talk, but Waid also doesn’t attempt to painfully write their age either. It all works, and works really well.

Waid is helped by Humberto Ramos‘ art which is absolutely amazing. He’s helped by inker Victor Olazaba and colorist Edgar Delgado for a combination that’s some of his best recent art. There’s some flashbacks which are colored kind of like old-time films in a slight brown tint that look amazing. Ramos’ art also adds to the youthful energy of the characters and comics with colors that feel like they pop off the page.

I had no idea what to expect going into this series and coming out the other side… it’s awesome. It has an energy and vibe that’s missing from a lot of comics. It has action, humor, solid banter, and more importantly characters that feel very aware of what they’re doing. Marvel has position the series to be the center of what comes next and if this is any indication of what’s coming, bring it on.

Story: Mark Waid Art: Humberto Ramos Ink: Victor Olazaba Color: Edgar Delgado
Story: 8.5 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review