Writer: Mark Waid / Artist: Humberto Ramos / Marvel Comics
Yooooooo, you know you’re going through it when you open up the page and see your heroes up in police headquarters like it’s an episode of Law and Order: Special Heroes Unit. The internet is ablaze with The Champions getting dragged for that attack on those homeless dudes that they didn’t even commit. The Freelancers are playing dirty on some Fox News shit and putting these alternative facts out into the universe and the kids are facing the consequences.
What I found interesting here was how Waid had everyone under pressure of the law coming down on them. The Vision is there with them as an alibi and provides evidence that can suggest the group’s innocence, and a group member points out why that evidence couldn’t be relied upon. Seeing everyone’s reaction to that was like when that one student reminds the teacher that they didn’t collect the homework — the loud groan and general “the fuck you dooooooin’, man?”. This group is still determined to clear their names as well as handle the rest of the situation without the help of Vision or any of the Avengers, which I’m down with.
Waid is making these Freelancers on some real gutter scumbag shit, man. They out here evicting cats out there homes under the law but with extreme measures. The entire team is truly the antithesis to The Champions. We haven’t gotten much more from these villain’s personalities, but their greed and abuse of power is all that’s needed to convey that they are about that fuck shit. I loved Ramos’ display of how each Freelancer member did their part of the job. The showing of how each one does the deed of getting their hands dirty in enjoying the misery they’re causing was perfect.
There’s a square up session that occurs between the two, and unlike in The Ultimates 2 book where the team of the Ultimates faced off against a team comprised of a group of beings with skill sets and powers to even the playing field, The Champions are able to run the Jewels on The Freelancers with ease, physically speaking… or so the fuck I thought. The final page reveals that the Freelancers are taking dirty fights to a level the Champions weren’t ready for. Where the Champions represent an ideal, The Freelancers represent how shit works in the real world, and they’re able to use the Champions’ own ideal or vision against them.
Waid and Ramos gave us a curve ball in a situation that’s going to need a long-term solution that isn’t punching someone’s face off. I’m feeling the direction that this creative time is taking with these heroes as we’re seeing challenges that aren’t just going to be something to physically overcome. These teen heroes are now going to have to figure out ways to win the long game, which will include legalities and perhaps working with a system that they’re trying to change.
Reading Champions? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.