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In the wake of Civil War II, Kamala Khan forms a new team of heroes to fight crime in a way that the older generations never could! While also learning some sweet team-up moves along the way of course. Our Scott Place is here with the Comiconverse review of Champions #2!
Review: Champions #2
After the dramatic formation of the Champions in Champions #1, Ms Marvel decides to take the team on a camping trip to get to know each other. But of course not everything goes to plan and the rivalries between the young heroes and the dramatic entrance of young Cyclops appears to thrown numerous spanners in the works for the new team!
After being quite disappointed by the first issue of Champions, I was very apprehensive about the second. What would writer Mark Waid do next? Would it be more street level crime fighting?
Would the Champions be rushed into fighting an important classic Marvel villain, as other recent Avengers teams have done? Would character and team development be ignored in favour of bombastic adventures?
Luckily all of my fears were unfounded as Waid used this issue to really establish the team and their relationships by taking them on a camping trip!
One of the biggest strengths of this issue is how Waid used it to allow the reader to naturally gain an understanding of the characters. Sometimes team up books can feel forced as companies throw together their most popular heroes in impossible situations and hope that the audience’s love of the characters can substitute for team development. However this issue really showed that Champions will be on the opposite side of the spectrum as Waid organically shows the inter-personal relationships between the heroes and hints at further tensions between them. For example, it appears that Amadeus Cho will be used to his full potential in this series as his pride and arrogance may bring him to blows with the other the other hopeful team leaders of Ms Marvel and Cyclops – three similar characters but with really different personalities.
Though many readers are likely to be familiar with Ms Marvel and Spider-Man, Waid uses this issue to give a quick overview of the powers of more lesser known heroes such as Viv Vision and Nova. While much of this exposition could feel clumsy and misguided, the youth of the heroes and the relatableness of a bunch of awkward teens getting to know each other allowed the developments to feel more natural. Furthermore, the blend of action and dialogue really allows Humberto Ramos’ art to shine and its a marked improvement over the first issue with more nuanced depictions of the characters alongside his amazing art of their powers.
Finally, the big plot point of this issue is the introduction of the time-displaced young Cyclops. As someone who has been a big fan of the All-New X-Men, I was really excited and curious to see how Waid would deal with the introduction of such a traditional and iconic Marvel character to this team of newcomers. I have to say, despite Scott’s secret creeping on the group (how did he find them?) Waid did this perfectly both as an introduction of Cyclops as a courageous and well-meaning individual and through using it as a way to further show that this team is something different from their predecessors. While the team had a minor conflict with Cyclops and some team members were really uncertain about him considering the infamy of his older self, Waid used this as an opportunity to show the teen heroes acting rationally and discussing issues a team – something which feels incredibly novel coming off out of Civil War II. Also Ramos’ art style really fits Young Scott Summers and I have huge hopes of this book being able to show Cyclops at his best outside of the current confusing X-Men continuity.
Overall, Waid’s blend of team development and action resulted in a much more consistent and enjoyable issue which fully allowed the characters to shine and develop the already strong team dynamic. With a fun cliffhanger and the burgeoning friendships and rivalries within the team, Waid has created a really promising foundation for this series and I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Scott Place is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @ScottReads
Source: Marvel Comics
Waid and Ramos create a fun issue which allows readers and the team members to get to know the Champions, fully supported by Ramos’ fantastic art which worked amazingly with the blend of action and dialogue.