Review: Champions #16

Following their staggering loss in their adventure with the Avengers, the Champions decide to double down on their mission to make the world a better place – but they know now they can’t do it alone! That’s right – it’s time for a membership drive!

I was very excited to see the solicit for this issue.  Who doesn’t wan’t to see one of their favorite teams expand and add new members; makes for more story possibilities, new interactions and dynamics on the team, and maybe some tension or romance. But I got way ahead of myself as this issue was more on the team reaching out to potential members to see if they were interested, and the responses were pretty much what I expected. However, what I didn’t expect was the separate story being told in this issue involving Vision and his daughter, and it was this story that really got me hooked, and pushed the membership drive story to the back burner.

Mark Waid presents us with a real struggle now being faced by Viv Vision and her father (spoilers ahead if you haven’t caught up…and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for??) During their last mission, Viv sacrificed herself to stop the High Evolutionary from destroying Earth; thinking her gone, Vision built a new “body” in order to “get” Viv back; but no one knew that she was transported to a different plane, and was able to escape and return back to her world…but she is now human, and there is now another android Viv. PHEW, a lot, I know. This story explores, by both Viv’s perspectives, what the other is thinking and feeling about now having a ‘twin’. It’s very interesting, seeing how both Viv’s are processing their new situation and adjusting to it. We also see a real struggle for Vision, having to balance the treatment between his daughters, in order for them to feel equal and not left out. It’s a really good read and really interesting to see how the same situations pose very different problems and effects on the two Viv’s. Personally, I’d love to see a whole issue devoted only to this story (maybe even two) but Waid really does a great job of weaving this more serious story within the fun and excitement of the team looking for new members.

As usual, Humberto Ramos delivers on the art in this book. I am a huge fan of his work, and have mentioned many times that he is the perfect artist to bring these characters to life. His style fits perfectly with the tone of a young teen book, but manages to convey the emotions and expressions of the characters that really meshes with the story being told. Another home run for Ramos in my opinion.

Overall, you guessed it, I loved this issue. But not for the reasons I thought. I was so excited for the new member search that I did not see the story involving Viv coming, and it totally grabbed my attention it made that the central story for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved seeing the team reaching out to potential members, and it was fun to see how the meetings took place, but it definitely played second fiddle to Viv and her struggle. And that is what has always been a driving point for me and this book; the writing and story telling is consistently solid. We get great action mixed in with witty banter, character development and stories that readers can relate to. Who hasn’t had to deal with feeling different or out of place? Or have to face a new challenge and not knowing where to start? This book is so much more then heroes going out to save the day and that is why it will continue to be one of my favorite Marvel titles out right now.

Story: Mark Waid  Art: Humberto Ramos
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0  Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE issue for review

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