Writer: Mark Waid / Artist: Humberto Ramos / Marvel Comics

Can we just talk about how this is still one of the best team books on the shelves? I don’t care what publications, Marvel, Image, DC Comics, what-the-fuck-ever. Champions is undefeated in Waid building up all these team members individually or all in one shot. We’ve essentially seen the dynamic of how the team gels together as well as one member being more at the forefront of an issue as well. This time around we got Viv taking the reigns. We saw that she was grounded by Vision last issue, I’m assuming this issue takes place either before that or she somehow got out. I wasn’t really sure.

Waid is such a student of the game man, we got memories of Viv looking back at the time with her family before tragedy struck (from the Vision series written by Tom King) as well as father-daughter bonding moments. Viv explains how she isn’t built for nostalgia, but that feels like she putting 10 on 100. We get to see Viv on an undercover mission of her own. As she is scoping out the freelancers she runs into a new hero on the scene, Red Locust. We then get a team up that calls back to an older situation the Champions faced way back in their debut issue.

Ramos man, I love this guy’s work. Not only does he make this new character Red Locust look awesome and quirky upon her debut but we get a range of emotion from Viv through her facial expressions as well. They are subtle, but you can see her demeanor shifting at certain beats. I love how bright the book is too, “The colors Duke! The colors.” (Anyone remember that commercial? Ed Note: No, just you.)

Waid and Ramos aren’t doing anything new here aside from putting a toe tag on what you thought a team book could be and should be. Champions is the book these legacy heroes have been needing to separate them from their adult counterparts as well as show us readers who they are outside of their usual surroundings.

9.4 binary feels out of 10

Reading Champions? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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