The Buy Pile: October 2016 – Champions #1

The time has come, finally, where I can share my thoughts on the debut issue of my mostly highly anticipated series of Marvel NOW! 2.0. If I’m honest I’m finding myself struggling to connect with a team who, to all intents and purposes, are a dream come true.

As is sometimes the case, the first issue failed to grab me as others have done in the past (Heck, Justice League #1 was more gripping and I wasn’t even that keen on DC at the time). The issue opens with a flash back to an Avengers VS Wrecking Crew incident which ends with Ms Marvel quitting the Avengers after Captain America states that they aren’t in a position to help with the clean up. She meets up with her fellow former teammates Spider-Morales and Nova (Who had already quit for reasons unknown) where she proposes the idea of a team of similarly aged, like-minded individuals who want to not only save people, but help with the aftermath. They go first to a mine in Kentucky where the Totally Awesome Hulk is trying to rescue some miners. The trio help the Hulk out and manage to rescue the mine workers and then fix the mineshaft. With the Hulk now in their ranks, he takes them to the home of Vision, a former teammate (Less awkward then one might think). However, they aren’t there for Vision and instead request the aid of Viv Vision, Vision’s synthezoid daughter (It’s a long story that I know next to nothing about. It was detailed in Tom King’s critically acclaimed Vision title which was in the ANAD Marvel line-up. Might be worth checking out if you are a fan of Vision). Being a synthezoid, Viv adds some much needed tech support and, better yet, a crime location system. She finds a rather serious one straight off the bat: Young girls being trafficked by the villainous clown Pagliacci. They make short work of Pagliacci and his men but not before Pagliacci releases the imprisoned girls into the water. Thankfully, the Hulk and Nova manage to get the shipping crate out of the water. However, once all the girls are taken out to safety, one is discovered to have been killed whilst imprisoned. The atmosphere turns sour very quickly and the Hulk smashes Pagliacci against a wall. Encouraged by the crowds, he goes to strike the final blow but is stopped by Ms Marvel. She calls for enforcing justice without unjust force. The issue ends with a tantalising tease at possible roster growth and social media exploding with praise for the new Champions.

In reflection, the first issue was a lot stronger than I gave it credit for. The art work is unique and I can’t deny that I’m not overly keen on it but it is slowly growing on me. The underlying theme is something I can definitely get behind in a world with a rather heavy dose of senseless violence. The team’s chemistry is a little hap hazard at the moment but some of the heroes have had little to know interaction with the others so I can’t really hold it against them.

Above all else, I’m rather excited at where this series might be going. The sweet, sweet tease at the end of possible future members brought a wide grin to my face. The likes of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Falcon, Wasp and Ironheart possibly joining the Champions is a simply brilliant (Hopefully). They would become an even more formidable force for good against the threat of evil.

Despite having some doubts, I’m definitely going to give this series a good go. In fairness, I didn’t really start liking Waid’s ANAD Avengers title till issue 4 so this might be going the same way. If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them in the comments.

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