Writer: Mark Waid / Artist: Humberto Ramos / Marvel Comics
Hydra Captain America is fucking up, y’all. We’ve known that during Secret Empire that Inhumans are being put internment camps, but this shit is messed up beyond belief. We’re introduced to a very Pleasantville-esque town with the mailman delivering mail with a cheery demeanor. It’s quite clear this is an Inhuman town and as he uncovers a few Inhumans talking about breaking out, that noise gets dead real quick.
Cut to a worried Spider-Man, Amadeus, and Viv desperately searching all corners of the dark side of the internet (which is now being encrypted by Hydra) for traces of their teammate, Ms. Marvel. Spider-Man knows something is wrong and that she may be in one of the Inhuman internment camps. The ghost of a clue leads the remaining champions to the Pleasantville internment camp, one of which Amadeus is familiar with the origins. The prison break turns into a dilemma as the plan doesn’t play out the team thought it would.
Waid continues to introduce more elements of social issues into the series (I mean, have you seen 2017 America?) which become put under a limelight in Hydra-era Captain America’s future that conservatives want. The pros and cons for these prisoners upon leaving and staying is what drives a divide between one another. A fight breaking out feels out of place with the tension, and unneeded. I won’t get into the stance that some take for staying, but it’ll most definitely be a “the fuck?” type of reading of the situation for these marginalized characters.
Ramos’ drawing of the frustration Miles faces is a great example of the skill in showcasing emotions from a fully-masked character. Ramos is able to make everyone look badass or vulnerable no matter the character. Also, the diverse cast of Inhumans I was truly fucking with. There’s also a great scene with Amadeus that goes dumb hard as he plots the course for the team.
There’s an issue of secret identities being handled poorly that sticks out to me this issue as the team searches for Kamala with the coincidence of “Kamala” being the name chosen randomly by a scared Muslim girl; or that it’s public knowledge that Ms. Marvel’s first name is Kamala (which I am doubting) being why it was chosen. That was a pretty big hang up for me. All in all, you can see Waid trying to keep the book themes current with what’s happening with life imitating art currently. There’s still some handling that needs to be addressed with the approach for a better execution.
Reading Champions? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.