Written by Mark Waid
Art by Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, Edgar Delgado, & Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
In Champions #1, Kamala (Ms. Marvel) has had enough of her current team. She feels that the Avengers aren’t helping people the way they should, so she quits the team. This leads her to try to reconnect with Sam Alexander (Nova), and Miles Morales (Spider-Man).
Together, the three heroes track down other young heroes who may be able to help them with their new mission: help people not just by saving lives, but by making life better for those they save.
Reading Champions #1 was a strange experience for me. This is the first current Marvel comic I’ve bought in at least 3 years, maybe longer than that. I was one of those people that got sick of reading about heroes fighting heroes over and over again. Not to mention, I was tired of reading nothing but big events.
So picking up a new Marvel book was a big deal for me. In fact, I only picked up Champions #1 because my comic guy recommended it to me because he knew I liked Mark Waid’s work. And it is due to Mr. Waid’s writing, that I absolutely loved Champions #1.
If there’s been one constant in my nearly 30 years of reading comics, its Mark Waid. Whether it was his epic run on The Flash, or even his shorter than expected gig on the X-Men in the mid 1990’s, Waid has been a constant in my comic book reading. And even after all these years, Waid still knows how to write young heroes.
Regardless of the era, Mark Waid always gets the lingo of younger characters. He knows what they’re into, and what’s going on in their lives. But above all Waid knows how to write about their friendship. And that’s why Champions #1 worked for me.
Even thought I’ve never met some of these characters, Waid makes theor friendship and their chemistry instantly likable. Some of the issue’s best moments are the subtle ones: a meal with family; riding in a food truck; the kids reactions when Vision answers the door. These little moments made me laugh out loud.
Then there is the art by Humberto Ramos. He’s no stranger to drawing young people, check out his understated Out There comic from the early 2000’s if you don’t believe me. Anyways, his pencils capture the character’s youthful exuberance in many scenes, and his facial expressions are insane.
The action scenes in this issue showcase Ramos’ ability to show movement and keep the story going. Meanwhile, the ink work by Victor Olazaba make Ramos’ art pop, and they keep the story from becoming gloomy. Even when the story has a dark moment, Ramos and Olazaba keep things light by maintaining the youth and energy of its main characters.
The first issue of Champions has a ton going on, which is nice compared to other first issues of this era. Champions #1 featured a wonderful team formation story, one that moves fast and hints at what may come next. But what I liked best about this comic is that MarK Waid brought me back to Marvel.