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Comic Book Review: Champions #1

Champions #1
Marvel Comics

Written by: Jim Zub
Art by: Steven Cummings
Colours by: Marcio Menyz with Erick Arciniega
Letters by: Clayton Cowlesn

As someone who’s a huge fan of Champions but has fallen behind with their ever growing comic book pile, I was super excited to hear that Jim Zub and Steven Cummings (the team behind Wayward, Image Comics) were relaunching the title with a new #1, promising a great jumping on point for new and old readers alike. Marvel teased something sinister and a dark secret that could destroy the team – but does this issue live up to the fantastic creative team and hype promised? Well, not quite…

This first issue was a great introduction to the expanded roster of young heroes with several new members joining this era of the team, lead by the fantastic Ms Marvel. The action kicked off immediately with three missions simultaneously taking part around the world, as Ms Marvel watches on, observing how well each group works together – improving the team’s tactics and strengths as they progress. It’s great to see that the Champions have turned into a global movement considering the original team only consisted of six members who were disillusioned by their own heroes, setting out to forge their own path to be better superheroes. However following the teams successful rescue missions, things start to take a turn for the worst as arguments broke out between the core members of the team – and that’s when I started to get lost!

Thankfully the majority of the second half of the issue revolves around the the core members of the team – but for some reason Miles and Amadeus seem to be really angry at Sam, while Riri is upset with Viv for kissing her in a previous issue. I know Marvel teased that something could destroy the team, so this might be to do with a mysterious event happening in the third mission, but unfortunately I can see there being a lot of confusion for first time readers who have just picked this title up. On top of this, it seems that only the last couple of pages are actually key to the plot, with an insane cliffhanger that left me a little baffled!

A huge plus for the issue however was the art from Steven Cummings, Marcio Menyz, and Erick Arciniega. The action panels featuring all of the different teams in their missions really came alive, especially considering how big the roster of the team is now! The highlight definitely had to be the beautiful splash panel featuring Ms Marvel, Spider-Man, Viv Vision and Brawn flying into battle to contain the energy monster below and save the surrounding people. Think the fantastic ‘Avengers Assembled’ moment! Cummings also excelled with the close-up panels – particularly when drawing Ms Marvel.

Overall Champions #1 would probably be a great issue if you’ve been a consistent reader of the title, however I really wouldn’t consider this a great jumping on book for those new to the series and that’s completely my fault for being behind on Marvel’s best team-up at the moment! I absolutely love this roster so I’m really glad that they’re expanding the series, but please please please don’t let Ms Marvel, Miles Morales and Sam Alexander fall out. That cliffhanger has definitely piqued my interest so I’ll definitely be continuing with the series!