This story is part one of “Champions Reunited,” a story I’ve been looking forward to. I’ve been a fan of the Champions since very early in their original run, which began back in 1975. The team was an odd mix of leftover Marvel characters, none of them (then) heavy hitters. Under the capable guidance of Tony Isabella and Don Heck, and later Chris Claremont, George Tuska, Bob Hall, John Byrne and most prominently Bill Mantlo, this team of second stringers did something that hadn’t really happened before: they tried to intentionally build a super-team. They incorporated, bought a headquarters, had lawyers and accountants and PR agents, all with the goal of giving Los Angeles, a much-neglected venue at Marvel in the 1970s, a super-heroic presence.
I promised to share what I’ve been reading, watching and listening to. Here’s the first entry. Going for daily. Will post them under “I Just Finished…” Please jump in with your thoughts.
Cyclops loses it! Well, he doesn’t lose that.
Champions has strayed occasionally into the preachy, just a little. When the story opened with the team getting a call to handle a riot in Denver, I cringed a bit. Fortunately, the riot was not caused by the orange rays emanating from the President, but by a classic supervillain from a more innocent time–Psychoman.
Slim Summers takes a point blank shot of Psychoman’s emotional manipulation force, and spends the issue running the gamut of extreme emotions in a very fun way. A fun story about a fun team. Hopefully a new trend after the deadly dull tie-ins with Secret Empire these past couple issues. Marvel’s marketing arm still did everything they could to try and tie this standalone tale into Secret Empire. Their hype for this issue? “SECRET EMPIRE AFTERMATH! The Champions team was born from a fracture inside the Avengers. Now the events of SECRET EMPIRE have divided the Champions — and which ones are still with the team may surprise you!”
The Champions / Avengers War storyline starting next issue looks promising, with hints that Mark Waid is in control and free of Summer Tie-In restraints. I look forward to his tribute to the original “Summer Tie-In,” the Avengers / Defenders War of 45 years ago.