A Spider-Man Podcast

Champions #7 – REVIEW

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Champions #7 opens with Ms. Marvel reeling from the social media backlash against the Champions. Motivated by greed and self-indulgence, the Freelancers – the opposite number to the Champions – roughed up a pair of homeless men in Champions #6. The cliffhanger final page had the men identify the Champions as their assailants. Keeping pace with the instantaneous social media flow, the personal tech in the pages of Champions are aglow with the accusations leveled against the teen team in quantity and frequency as prolific as the results of a wrestling championship or the backlash of a soda commercial.

As suspects in an attack, the Champions are being questioned, but they have the Vision in their corner. Viv’s father, the synthezoid eternal Avenger the Vision offers to corroborate the teen team’s tale, but that attempt is sabotaged by Viv, recalling for readers the origin of this Champions team in the process.

Writer Mark Waid has set up a formidable team to match wits and fists against the Champions, even if they are a bit shallow. The Champions, unfortunately, wind up flustered enough to stoop to the level of their competition, falling into the mental and physical traps that the Freelancers set for them. That makes for an entertaining tale and bolsters the socially aware aspects of Waid’s Champions, but it does so by reminding readers the Champions are, first and foremost, kids. They still have a lot to learn about themselves and their world.

Ramos’ art, as always, captures the wide-eyed energy of youth. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it more than once in my reviews of Champions, but Ramos, with his extreme exaggeration and cartoony countenances, on a team of teenaged heroes is perfect casting. Sometimes Ramos does leave me wanting more drawing, as his focus on the characters is so very thorough that the backgrounds are frequently left to colorist Edgar Delgado’s imagination. During the fights, however, Ramos does a solid job with rubble (not George Pérez-level rubble destruction, mind you, but solid), dynamic poses, and strong storytelling. Delgado infuses the series with new-box-of-crayons level intensity from the cover all the way through to the next issue page at the end of the issue.

Champions #7 continues to deliver a fun story with fun characters, including Miles Morales. Miles is a supporting character in this tale, injecting wisdom or humor as only a Spider-Man can. This is a team title, and like all team efforts, sometimes certain members ascend into greater prominence.

Waid and Ramos have given readers easily digestible chunks of Champions adventures from Champions #1 through to now, with no apparent end in sight. Many of those issues seemed to be done-in-ones, but Waid has woven depth and history into those stories, giving this series cohesion that only becomes visible as it continues on. The only way this creative team could infuse more history into this title would be to have guest appearances from Angel, Black Widow, Ghost Rider, Hercules, and Iceman (and maybe Darkstar).

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