[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
On a faraway planet, an old foe breaks free of their imprisonment and swears revenge on Sam Alexander. On Earth, Ms. Marvel, Snowguard, and Sam are training the new Champions recruits. The training isn’t going well, and Sam quickly begins to feel like a third wheel. He meets up with Spider-Man, who quickly ditches him to go back to Dubai and investigate the ruins of their battle with Zzzax. Meanwhile, the rest of the Champions are called out to an anti-mutant protest outside Worthington Industries, and they find the crowd being rebuffed by a former X-Man.
Champions has gotten shockingly dark very quickly since Jim Zub and Steven Cummings relaunched the title. The brief deaths of Ms. Marvel and Viv Vision, their resurrection at the hands of Mephisto, and the apparent trade-off of more dead innocents has left Miles, Amadeus, and the reader wondering what the right and heroic decision would be for Spider-Man and Brawn given what we now know.
Champions is intended to be the more optimistic superhero title, but that doesn’t necessarily mean lighter and less serious as we’ve learned. Zub is making sure the reader learns that lesson with this comic.
The new recruits are still mostly falling to the background, mostly appearing all together instead of individually and focused upon. They still show some of their personalities though, and that’s appreciated.
The ending of this issue is an outright gut punch to Miles Morales, and the cliffhanger has the reader both eager for and dreading the next issue (but in a good way).
Steven Cummings’ artwork continues to impress with its extensive detailing and vivid expressiveness. The costumes look awesome, the characters iconic, and the action scenes kinetic. Marcio Menyz and Federico Blee a give the book an explosive and vibrant color treatment that really brings the overall aesthetic together in a wonderful fashion.
Champions #3 is another engaging and emotional issue for our young and eager heroes. The threat may be coming from within this time around, and it will get worse before it gets better. Regardless, this issue gets a recommendation. Check it out.
Champions #3 comes to us from writer Jim Zub, artist Steven Cummings, color artists Marcio Menyz and Federico Blee, letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles, cover artist Kim Jacinto with Rain Beredo, and variant cover artists Elsa Charretier with Sarah Stern and Mike McKone with Rachelle Rosenberg.