By Mark Waid, Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba and Edgar Delgado
It seems like every so often Marvel will take a chance on a new teen super hero book. Some last, some don’t. It’s hard to get readers to spend money on some of these newer and younger characters when they want to read about characters they’ve loved for decades. Champions is an idea that’s been done before, and this time they have some of the most popular young heroes on the roster. It’s still too early to tell if this book will go on to have a long run, but it has been off to a decent start.
Mark Waid is a true veteran of comics. You could put him on any book and almost guarantee a good story with good characters. On Champions he’s working with an already established crew of youngsters. If you get a political vibe from this issue, you’re not alone. Waid injects some social commentary here that deals with discrimination and corruption in the police force. While these issues are important, it would be wonderful if every other comic that comes out doesn’t take a jab at the current president. That aside, Waid allows the young heroes to show great maturity in how they deal with these problems, with the exception of Gwenpool who plays the part of the ignorant and clueless fool. Waid does give us a somewhat surprising ending to the issue, perhaps some wishful thinking of how he wishes the world would be.
The pencils this issue are handled by Humberto Ramos with inks by Victor Olazaba and colors by Edgar Delgado. There are certain things to expect when you see Ramos’ name as the artist on a title, one of which being exaggerated art. This issue Ramos keeps it fairly simple and doesn’t over do things. There are a couple of panels early in the book where Cyclops appears to have some fairly long arms that don’t quite fit, but that’s honestly a nitpick. All the characters look very good when Ramos draws them close. Ms. Marvel explaining corruption and injustice to Gwenpool is excellent. Ramos draws her perfectly, and the inks by Olazaba are not too dark. The colors by Edgar Delgado work really well here too. Usually a problem with a Ramos, Delgado and olazaba book is that things come off too dark and get muddy, but we don’t really see that this issue. The blue on Cyclops and Ms. Marvel’s uniforms look great, Gwenpool and Viv’s pink stands out and isn’t too bright, but bright enough to catch your eye. This is one of the finer issues by this trio. If you’re not a fan of their work on other books, you may be impressed with them here.
Champions honestly hasn’t gotten a ton of press since it’s debuted. This is a pretty decent little series though, but it is getting a bit political, which is a turn off. Mark Waid is an excellent writer and he’s teamed with Humberto Ramos, who is turning in some of his best work of his career right now. This is a series worth reading.