REVIEW: Champions #2 “…Hope You Survive The Experience”

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CHAMPIONS #2
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler: Humberto Ramos
Inker: Victor Olazaba
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 11/02/16
Rating: Rated T
Price: $3.99

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In the wake of the reality shaping Secret Wars the Avengers were disbanded and no longer funded by a now broke Tony Stark so a new team assembled. The team consisted of the old guard; Iron Man, Captain America (Sam Wilson), Thor (Jane Foster), and Vision. Three next gen characters also joined, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Nova (Sam Alexander), and Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan).

Not long after the new team formed, a new Inhuman named Ulysses emerged with the power to predict the future. They were thrown into a hero Civil War over Predictive Justice. With many of their idols on opposite sides, the next gen teens felt torn, and ignored. They felt that their mentors and idols had forgotten about the everyday person and left the team. The teens decided to band together to form a new team and was joined by Hulk (Amadeus Cho) and Viv Vision. Together they did more than formed a team, they started a movement and was dubbed by Social Media, #Champions!

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Plot: The Champions go away on a team building camping trip to learn about each other. The team gets a new prospective member in the young Cyclops!

Story: FINALLY Marvel has a teen team book I can get behind! First of all this is what I have been wanting since the three next gen characters were said to join the main All-New, All-Different Avengers. I always said that they would work better as a teen group.

Mark Waid always handled the next gen characters really well forming Marvel’s teen trinity. This dynamic has not been seen since Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends! Their chemistry is so natural and flows from their individual personalities. Now he has added to the team with the Totally Awesome Hulk, Viv Vision, and finally young Cyclops. I can’t wait to see how young Cyclops who is that natural born leader archetype plays off of Ms. Marvel who right now seems to be the leader.

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I loved that Waid has them feeling each other out, also learning about their strengths and weaknesses. Ms. Marvel leads the team through this and I loved that she wanted to do it to learn cool combos. I can just see them coming up with something like the next gen of a Fastball Special. We also got to explore their individual personalities here, like Amadeus showing off, and Viv’s inexperience.

The romantic pairings already started here with a potential love triangle between Amadeus Cho, Viv Vision, and Sam Alexander. I can also see one forming between Scott Summers Kamala Khan, and Miles Morales, depending on how the interdimensional relationship with Spider-Gwen goes. Things can get really complicated with the romances in this book, which could lead to some high drama. But the relationships I am most looking forward to are the friendships.

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I like how we are already seeing subsets form, and how they relate, like Viv pointing out that Cyclops was willing to take on someone, or something  eight times his size. Cyclops is my favorite X-Men, and he has been driven into the ground lately, but he is also a favorite of Waid’s who wants to use this series to bring out that classic true blue hero in him.

Art: The art here was an excellent fit. Humberto Ramos has a nice energetic youthful style of art that meshes well with this team. Each character has a distinct personality that shines through, even without the script, and that is all on the art. Ramos uses their whole bodies to convey their emotions allowing us to have this animated series feel with them.

The colors here really help sell the art. This is a night time issue and they are camping in the woods, so it is really dark, but Edgar Delgado makes them pop. He uses the bright colors to strike out from the dark shadows so the characters seem brighter and full of fun.

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Verdict: Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this issue and as of now place it at the top of my Marvel books. This is a fun series that is very new reader friendly, and great for all ages!

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