[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
The Champions have been born anew. With Ms. Marvel as leader, the team has expanded so that they can answer more threats and save more lives around the world. Among the new additions are the Locust, Power Man (Victor Alvarez), the Patriot (Rayshaun Lucas), Falcon (Joaquin Torres), and Bombshell. Their first outing finds the Champions split into three groups; one is in Mexico, the second is in Japan, and the third is fighting Zzzax in Dubai. Can this new version of the Champions work?
The Champions #1 relaunches (somewhat perplexingly) Marvel’s premiere team of young heroes with a wider member pool and with an implication that even more will join as time rolls on.
That’s a neat idea that fits the core idea of the Champions: an energetic young team seeking to make the world as best a place as they can. For that, you need as many hands as you can get.
There is a lot of strife in this first issue though, especially among the original members. Spider-Man and Brawn experience something that leaves them hostile to their teammates, and Sam Alexander is still struggling with no longer being Nova. Ms. Marvel is left to deal with all of this as their leader, and it’s no easy feat.
I’m personally happy to see Patriot, Falcon, and Power Man on this team. I worried that they may be lost to time, especially Falcon and Patriot after the cancellation of the Sam Wilson Falcon solo title. I’m hoping White Tiger may join after a time, as she and Power Man became something of a dynamic duo during Al Ewing’s Mighty Avengers and New Avengers runs.
Steven Cummings’ artwork is excellent, as it brings the sleek and energetic style this book deserves while still keeping the visuals layered and well-detailed. The costumes look especially good in this comic, and the vibrant color work of Marcio Menyz and Erick Arciniega improves the visuals even further with popping shades and tapestries.
Champions #1 is a promising and outright endearing new start to Jim Zub’s era on the title. The new members aren’t given that much page space, but they are still introduced in a defined manner while the core members are given some interesting character beats. This one easily earns a recommendation. Check it out.
Champions #1 comes to us from writer Jim Zub, artist Steven Cummings, color artists Marcio Menyz and Erick Arciniega, letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles, cover artist Kim Jacinto with Rain Beredo, and variant cover artists Lee Garbett, Michael Cho, Phil Noto, and Skottie Young.