The recent iterations of Champions have been something I’ve generally enjoyed. They always had a solid concept of the “next generation” of heroes stepping in and doing what the adults can’t, won’t, or don’t think is important. The basic mantra has been it’s their future and they’re fighting for it. That concept has been the underlying idea for the various volumes. The execution has varied, often sidetracked by “events”. The latest volume, the third since 2016, takes the premise of the team and lays it all out there. Champions #1 plants a flag and wears its attitude and purpose on its sleeve.
Written by Eve L. Ewing, Champions #1 kicks off as part of the “Outlawed” storyline. Unlike other events, “Outlawed” is squarely focused on the younger generation of heroes. After an accident by Viv Vision causes massive destruction, a law is passed outlawing younger heroes unless they have a mentor. The story is a bit too similar to what happened in Marvel’s first Civil War but unlike that event, this one is much tighter in those impacted.
Ewing brings the Champions into the era of David Hogg and Greta Thunberg and all of the other Millennials and Generation Z who are making their voices heard fighting injustices. This is “kids” fighting for their future. But, Ewing does it right. Not every member of the Champions is in board and many disagree with how things are going about. Ewing doesn’t present this generation as a monolithic viewpoint.
The story Ewing presents is solid. It feels like it takes a lot from stories we’ve seen in the past, Pump of the Volume comes to mind as one, but it’s all done so well. The story keeps readers on their toes and who winds up in which corner and each individual’s viewpoints are presented so that the comic isn’t so cut and dry. It keeps readers on their toes and keeps things interesting.
Simone Di Meo provides the line art with Federico Blee on color and Clayton Cowles lettering. The art is fantastic delivering a youthful energy about the story and also delivering emotional punch. The panel work is fantastic keeping the visuals interesting and packing in a lot. The angles and breaking up of the page delivers a “flash/swipe” like feel that adds to the energy of the comic. The style of the comic as a whole is a bit exaggerated in everything but it enhances the story. Instead of falling into a comical space, the facial expressions and body language helps nail down the emotional punch Ewing is going for. It’s needed to make it all work and a different style would have the issue likely fall flat our be a bit more dour than it’s supposed to be.
Champions #1 is a hell of a debut delivering a start that wears its thoughts and heart on its sleeve. This is a flag planted as to what this series is about. And delivers conflict in that even the next generation isn’t in lockstep as to how they should go about making the world a better place. It’s a beginning, and probably the best so far of the three volumes. It not only has a vision for what it wants to say but how it’s going to say it. Much like Millennials and Gen Z, it understands its politics is a part of its story. Champions #1 has no problem talking about them and trying to fight for what’s right.
Story: Eve L. Ewing Art: Simone Di Meo
Color: Federico Blee Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics