Review: Champions #18

CHAMP-1The new order changeth! After a series of tragic setbacks and shakeups, the Champions are faced with a grim decision – is it finally time to disband and give up the fight?

As I’m sure our regular readers have seen on this site, I am a huge fan of this book.  Right from issue one this book hit the ground running and gave us a great team of heroes who wanted to go out and change the world. They didn’t want to just go out and stop the bad guys, they wanted to spread their message around; make everyone a Champion.  The last few issues, however, have been dealing with problems more close to home. Mark Waid wraps things up in this issue, and really makes this personal for the team and gets them back on track with their mission statement; make everyone the hero; a champion. As past issues have done, this one really highlights the bond of this team, the founding members anyway, but also does a good job of bringing in the latest recruits, really showing us that the Champions and their cause are here to stay. I’d be lying if I didn’t say i wasn’t a little hesitant to see which new recruits stick around; I have been with this team from the start, and they have a dynamic and connection that a new member can easily throw out of whack. But, they have done a good job introducing these new members and how they interact with the originals, so I’m hoping the transition will be smooth and the book doesn’t suffer.

And as usual, Humberto Ramos is nothing but stellar with the art in this issue, and the book as a whole.  This is combined with colorist Edgar Delgado and inker Victor Olazaba. I have long said that Ramos was the best choice for this book and I stand by that statement now. His style is absolutely perfect for a youthful group of superheroes with every page showing emotion and action and just really bringing the narrative to life. Of course, the colors and ink work play in connection with this, but this team has been nothing but excellent, bringing life to these characters issue after issue.

As I’m sure you can tell, I loved this issue. It brought the current story arc to a close and reaffirmed the strong bond this team has for each other. Yes, there is a change to the team line up and as much as I am sorry to see one character leave, and I am excited to see where this team goes next. But not only is the team line up changing in the book, but the creative team on this book is changing as well. And that has me nervous. Jim Zub will be taking over the writing duties while Sean Izaakse will be taking over the art. Waid and Ramos have really given life to this book, and I can only hope that once the torch is passed, Champions is still as great as it has been. I’ll remain cautiously optimistic and stay excited to see where this book goes next.

Story: Mark Waid  Art: Humberto Ramos
Ink: Victor Olazaba Color: Edgar Delgado
Story: 9.0  Art: 9.0  Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE issue for review