Released: May 3rd 2017
Received: Marvel Unlimited
Issues: Champions 1-5
I’ve read the backstory on most of the characters that are in the Champions. That includes the “guest star” they had in the last issue. I honestly think you could read this series regardless of that though. So if you haven’t read most of the kids’ stories, I think you’ll be ok; though obviously you’ll get more about their abilities and personalities if you read their individual series. The events in Champions follow the events in Civil War II, as it made obvious by some subtle and some not so subtle comments throughout. Civil War II isn’t required reading however, as long as you understand that the war had ramifications among the heroes and on how the public views said heroes.
In a series like this I anticipate the teams to change, so I’m going to list the current lineup: Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), the Totally Awesome Hulk, Nova (the kid), Viv Vision, Cyclops, and our “guest star” Gwenpool.
The younger members of the Avengers (Ms. Marvel, Nova, and Spider-Man) are tired of the way things are being run (not caring enough about the damage being caused, not caring about the little guys, and so on). They decide to group up and create a new and different superhero team that’ll be more proactive about the things they care about. They choose to bring in Amadeus Cho (the Hulk) as the brains and brawn, and thus he pulls in Viv to be their own personal monitoring team (she does have Wi-Fi after all). Cyclops pretty much invites himself along, which only about half the team seems ok with.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I really enjoy seeing how different characters interact with each other. It’s the reason why I inevitably end up reading series like this. Here we have a team of young, brainy, stubborn, and compassionate superhero teenagers. Needless to say, things can get a bit chaotic at times. I’m sure everybody has their own opinion about who actually leads the team (since obviously the team itself can’t agree upon it) but in my mind it’s Ms. Marvel. She started the ball rolling, and she’s without a doubt the heart of the group.
The Champions are more focused on fighting the day to day crime, the type that get overlooked by superheroes, but is so devastating to those that have to deal with it. This includes things like sex slavery, racism, woman’s rights, and other heavy hitting subjects. I respect the authors for taking that risk. Not only is it exceptionally relevant to a few of the characters on the team (Kamila and Miles in particular) but it’s just the right thing to do. So I’m going to give credit where credit is due: Thanks for caring guys!
I mentioned earlier that Gwenpool makes a guest appearance. Having read (and loved) her comics, I feel like they didn’t really get her character right. I mean, yes she’s absolutely a chaotic character, but there’s more to her than that. So while it was fun to see her appear there, I didn’t really love it either; though she was a good foil for the team, while she was around.
I imagine volume one was pretty heavily focused on getting us used to the characters and the way they cooperate with one another. I’ll be curious to see one volume two entails, and can’t wait until it’s on Unlimited.