Tag Archives: champions

Joe Ryan’s What To Buy for July 11

Joe goes over his top picks for comic books and trades for the week of July 11th 2018.

UPDATE: I missed mentioning Relay #1

Comics I Pull:
Amazing Spider-Man #1
The Punisher #227

Other Comics Featured:
Superman #1
Suicide Squad #44
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #48
Hawkman #2
Champions #22
Daredevil #605
Ms. Marvel #32
New Mutants #5
Old Man Logan #43
Plastic Man #2
Black Science #37
Oblivion Song #5
Farmhand #1
Bloodshot Salvation #11

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

Preview: Champions #19

Champions #19

(W) Jim Zub (A) Sean Izaakse (CA) Stefano Caselli
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 11, 2018
SRP: $3.99

A WIDER WORLD Part 1
• IRONHEART 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!

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

Preview: Champions #18

Champions #18

Story: Mark Waid Art: Humberto Ramos
Ink: Victor Olazaba Color: Edgar Delgado Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover: Humberto Ramos, Edgar Delgado
Editor: Tom Brevoort Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 28, 2018
SRP: $3.99

CHAMPION FOR A DAY Part 3
• The 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?

Preview: Champions #17

Champions #17

(W) Mark Waid (A/CA) Humberto Ramos
Rated T+
In Shops: Feb 28, 2018
SRP: $3.99

CHAMPION FOR A DAY Part 2
• Red Locust is back, and she’s brought some friends! Meanwhile, the Champions’ global influence is spreading – but is that a good thing?

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

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Paul

Top Pick: Avengers #676 (Marvel) – Who or what is this Voyager? The statue of the founding members of the Avengers had a new addition to it at the end of Secret Wars, and now Voyager has ‘returned’, with everyone seeming to know her. I wasn’t a huge fan of this when it was done with the Sentry, so this type of ‘introduction’ did make my eyes roll. BUT, I am intrigued in this story; what happened to the Earth? Who moved it and why? And I just love seeing all the various Avengers assembled (LOVED seeing Lightning, formally Living Lightning, again).

All-New Wolverine #29 (Marvel) – I’m loving this ‘Orphans of X’ storyline. It is a scary thought to think of all the people who have been effected by battles involving the X-Men, but even scarier to see them come together so organized to take them out.

Champions #16 (Marvel) – I am just in love with this title, as anyone who has read my reviews can tell. I am partial to the original line up but I am very excited at the prospect of a new member or members joining their ranks. The team has met up with some interesting teen heroes on their past adventures, so I am looking forward to seeing who will step up to the challenge. I just hope this isn’t one of those “interview the newbies but by the end realize we’re fine as we are” issues. I will not be pleased.

Generation X #86 (Marvel) – Yes, I am a glutton for punishment for still reading this book. I just can’t let go of my Gen X’ers and this issue promises the return of an original member. That is really the only reason this title is on my list.

X-Men Gold #20 (Marvel) – I love it when the X-Men go on space adventures, and this latest story has been pretty good. I’m really happy to see lesser used members like Ink and Armor being part of this team, as it makes for a different dynamic. Unfortunately, our team is now stranded on a unknown planet and the solicit promises a big ‘status quo’ altering event at the end of the issue. I’ll definitely be reading to see what happens.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Days of Hate #1 (Image Comics) – I’ve read this first issue and hours later I’m still reflecting on it. A hell of a start. It’s the future and things have continued to go in the same direction it’s going now. Hate crimes are rampant and there’s a hint about another Civil War. This is a dystopian future that’s all too real.

Fence #3 (BOOM! Studios) – One of the best new series out last year. The comic is about students at an academy in a fencing club. A fantastic mix of sports manga with a western sense.

James Bond: The Body #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Every bruise and scar on James Bond’s body has a story. That concept has me intrigued as to how it’ll translate into a come series. Lots of potential with this one.

Strangers in Paradise XXV #1 (Abstract Studios) – Celebrating 25 years with a brand new series. America’s favorite couple is back!

Transformers: Optimus Prime #15 (IDW Publishing) – Onyx Prime is back!

 

Shay

Harley Quinn #35 (DC Comics) – Frank Tieri has a good track record writing female characters. Looking forward to seeing what he does with Harley post the Palmiotti/Conner run.

America #11 (Marvel) – The start of the “Midas Wars” and America protecting her homes.

Preview: Champions #16

Champions #16

(W) Mark Waid (A/CA) Humberto Ramos
Rated T+
In Shops: Jan 17, 2018
SRP: $3.99

CHAMPION FOR A DAY Part 1
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!

Preview: Champions #15

Champions #15

(W) Mark Waid (A/CA) Humberto Ramos
Rated T+
In Shops: Dec 20, 2017
SRP: $3.99

WORLDS COLLIDE Part 6
• The Champions/Avengers team faces its first real casualty in their ongoing struggle to prevent two planets from colliding – and that fatality changes the game!
• The conclusion of WORLDS COLLIDE!

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