General DC

Review: Champions #19

CHAMP-1Ironheart and The Unstoppable Wasp join the Champions at last! The team has grown but the mission stays the same – the Champions fight to make the world a better place for all! Writer Jim Zub (Avengers: No Surrender) and artist Sean Izaakse (Uncanny Avengers) reunite to push the Champions beyond their limits with any icy Antarctic adventure that will challenge everything they believe in! Don’t miss this first chapter of a new era of Champions – and the birth of a brand new hero!

Well, the creative team has changed. I am a huge fan of this book and have loved the ride it has taken me on.  When I heard that the team working on the book was changing, it had me worried. Not that this talent couldn’t do what they do, but worried if they could do what they do on this title. So I did my best to go into this issue open minded and see if it measured up. Short answer: no. Jim Zub does a fine enough job bringing us up to speed with the team and where they are now with their new members.  It just didn’t feel like anything exciting or page turning. The story is very generic, something we’ve all seen before and not done any differently. Same with the banter between the characters; nothing note worthy, just ok.

And Sean Izaakse’s art is fine. Some of his facial expressions look strange (especially some panels of Hulk) but that’s really the only knock I have against it. It looks ok, it’s good art. That’s all I can say.

I know I’m being pretty basic here but that’s really how this issue felt to me; basic. I know this is all going to come across as me sounding like a bitter fanboy, and ok maybe I am, but the magic is gone from the Champions. First, to get it out of the way, I hate this new Wasp (Nadia Van Dyne). There, I said it, let the hate commence. No, I didn’t read her series, but that was because what I saw of her in Avengers wasn’t enough to make me like her. I don’t have any real reason for the dislike, other then I just don’t like her. She annoys me. A lot. I am also not a fan of Ironheart joining the team. Her book I did read, or least I did when it started and stuck with it for a few issues, and it was good. I enjoyed her interaction with AI Tony Stark and how she was becoming the heir, as it were, to the Iron Man mantle. But it got old; Tony and Riri talking armor, flying off to fight a bad guy and then working on her armor in her garage. And repeat. And now here she is on this team, pretty much being the non-team player, working on her armor and being annoyed by having other people around. Then why join a team? Yes, yes, this will lead to character growth and development, but a few pages of her already just working on stuff and being annoyed by her teammates and I’ve had enough of her.

And it’s sad too, because there were other potential recruits that would have made better additions to the team, at least in my opinion. These were original characters that could have been fleshed out and added more depth to the storytelling. Red Locust, Patriot (Rayshaun Lucas), and Falcon (Joaquin Torres) are the three that really stand out to me; they had great origin stories, were new to the superhero scene and would really have fit in with the vibe and message of this book. I think the creative team missed a huge opportunity and just gave us something that was safe and that really just misses the mark.

And MAN do I miss Humberto Ramos‘ art on this book! His style was PERFECT for this title; it was youthful and bold and in your face. It really brought the energy and characters alive and it was a huge reason why I enjoyed this title so much. I really missed that in this issue.

Overall, as you might have guessed, I was underwhelmed with this new creative team and their debut issue. The story is generic with a “been there, done that” feel to it, and the art was just ok to me, with some really weird depictions of Hulk throughout. As I stated earlier, yeah I’m bitter about the talent changing on this book, but I really wanted to like this issue. I wanted great things for this title and for it to live up to it being one of my favorite books. I’m not so sure about it now. Am I giving it up? No, I won’t just let this one issue turn me off completely from a title I have raved about since issue one.  But I’m not optimistic about the direction it is going in. First impressions leave a lasting mark, and this new creative team did not leave a good one with this reader.

Story: Jim Zub  Art: Sean Izaakse  Color Artist: Marcio Menyz
Story: 5.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE issue for review