Writer: Mark Waid / Artist: Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba / Marvel
Yes! The crossover with the Avengers is done and Champions gets right back in its bag. We open up with a tale of two Vivs. The Viv we’ve known has been transformed into a human form and we also have the mecha Viv 2.0 that was granted life again due to Vision. They are now co-existing as sisters and the awkward can be cut with a butter knife. I love it. We see human Viv trying to adjust to not having her powers, the different sensations that come with having a human body, and new vulnerabilities. Viv 2.0 has her own things to deal with and hints at a plan of sorts down the line *cue the dramatic music*.
The team is now dealing with Viv’s situation in terms of the bigger picture. They’re trying to protect her feelings and fill the gap in the roster during Viv’s human transition period. You know what that means? We got a recruitment drive on our hands! We knew this was coming for a while. The team is going through heroes they’ve met before that have expressed interest or would be a good fit. Can we just appreciate the humor Waid keeps in this book?
Look, Miles Morales is kind of all over the place right now with Spider-Men II but we know Miles is dating a fellow student at his school now. In this series, Miles brought up Spider-Gwen joining the team and that she’s his girlfriend. Now maybe this takes place before Spider-Men II, but I really don’t care because the squad ROASTING his ass about his girlfriend from another dimension is priceless.
A great spin on the classic “my girlfriend/boyfriend from another state/school” line. I was rolling. The best part of this series relies on our heroes interacting with the likes of the other teen heroes they meet like Falcon II, Patriot, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and my personal fave, Red Locust. Waid is setting up dynamics for the team, as not all the meetings go very smoothly. You’re left wondering how he is going to write his way out of the two Vivs situation and then he throws even more characters into the mix. Waid’s strength is being able to let all members of the team shine, he’s great at juggling characters.
My favorite interaction is easily between Amadeus and Riri. Their whole conversation took place in upper echelon, nerd academic slang via formulas. The beauty was the reader understanding the gist of it. Gotta give that credit to Humberto Ramos yet again.
I love when Ramos is drawing a teen team book, he’s able to make the characters look so natural and accentuate their body mannerisms and facial expressions. Especially in fight scenes and dialogue. We don’t have to understand a word of the Hulk and Ironheart panel because we know what’s being said, and that’s not something you can have just any artist execute. Ramos makes scenes come to life brilliantly and effortlessly.
Champions continues to be the most fun teen team book on shelves. This run deserves to be mentioned with the likes of Young Justice, We Are Robin, and New X-Men: Academy X. Champions is the perfect platform for these legacy heroes to stand out not only as individuals but also as a team. Marvel needs Champions. The fandom needs Champions. Everybody needs to get familiar with this series. Period.