Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Humberto Ramos
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Release Date: April 5, 2017
Plot- The Champions face off against The Freelancers!
Story- Champions #7 picks up where the last issue left off, with our heroes staring at the aftermath of The Freelancers tearing apart their legacy! Well, legacy might be too strong of a word, but they’ve definitely started a movement that seems to empower and inspire. I really like this concept because for Ms. Marvel specifically, this is the kind of change she would want to incite, and with The Champions she is seeing their actions make a difference. That’s why it’s such a big deal when The Freelancers tarnish their names by using mental mojo on the homeless men they beat up, making them pin the crime on The Champions.
Something I really like about Champions, are the relatable references. They are of a breed that key the reader into real world connections, but aren’t exactly blatant enough to be “lame” for lack of better word. For example, the social media comments on Ms. Marvel’s phone as she’s scrolling through their hashtag in light of the recent news that the Champions are being up homeless are priceless. Lines like “tfw your heroes turn out fake #Champions” and “2017 I swear #Champions” are hilariously accurate. Stuff like that and the dialogue that represent the characters well are what keep us reading.
Plus, Mark Waid has a way with using page real estate well. He can flesh out a story well without any of it feeling like filler, drive the story forward, and still give us the quirky character interaction. Even still, as good as he is with all of that, this issue left me wanting more. It wasn’t that it felt like filler, but I didn’t feel the level of conflict I expected to from this issue. It was there with the Champions being interrogated by the cops, and we know what the stakes are, but I didn’t feel like they were challenged enough.
The Champions confronted The Freelancers with very little effort, which is fine all things considered. These are bona fide heroes of which many used to be on the Avengers. Plus, c’mon, they have a Hulk! Still, the win was too easy, and then they were too easily able to prove their innocence, with a full fledge confession from the Freelancers and everything. The victory felt a little rushed. And even though the Freelancers revealed that they stole their brand name, that revelation was executed a little strangely. I feel Mark was trying to force the “clearing of their names” instead of letting that conflict linger, even if the Champions did when the physical showdown. I feel like in writing, the deeper the conflict, the more engaging the story, and a little bit was taken out by that “no contest” victory.
Art- Time and time again, Humberto Ramos’s art shows up in a comic and I can’t help but love it. He has a way with exaggerated limbs and expressions that no one else can quite match. The cover of Champions #7 features the Champions facing off with the Freelancers. The images don’t mesh as well as they could. For example, Spidey seems to be staring at Cass’s stomach for no reason as he swings in, but it doesn’t really take away from the cover. It just looks typical overall. But those expressions are still something incredible to look at.
On a per page basis, I love every one. It’s a treat to look at. The level of detail as always, is meticulous and the colors are brilliantly displayed. I really love an issue where every panel is a party! It makes me wish all comics were done with this level of talent. I really enjoy it.
Verdict- The Champions throwing down with The Freelancers was something I was definitely looking forward to and it was fun to finally see, but it left me wanting more. I didn’t like how the fight wrapped up but I did like the expectation of what’s to come. My only home that the comic doesn’t continue to just be expectations, but deliveries on those expectations.
Star Rating- 4 out of 5