Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Humberto Ramos
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letter: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 08/02/17
Plot: This issue takes place after Hydra’s siege on Las Vegas (see Secret Empire #2). Spider-Man, Hulk, and Viv Vision search the Las Vegas ruins for survivors. Fortunately Ironheart, Falcon, Wasp, and the new Patriot aid the heroes’s efforts. As the search progresses the quest for survivors becomes a search for hope.
Story: This issue had a great structure. The story has three main segments with different characters and concludes with a scene involving everyone. I enjoyed how each segment involved one Champion and at least one new character. This was an excellent way to audition possible new members to the team. Plus the new characters balance the team out since half of the team is involved with other aspects of the Secret Empire event.
The best part about this issue is the characters’ dialogue. Since the story does not feature any action scenes, it’s mostly interactions between the characters. My favorite interaction was Spider-Man (Miles Morales) with Ironheart and Patriot. Miles’s pep-talk to Patriot shows how much he has grown as a character. Plus Miles tone is very sympathetic when Patriot needs a minute to get himself together. This shows that Miles remembers what it’s like being a new hero especially when your first week involves a major disaster. With the way Mark Waid writes Miles Morales, I would not be surprised if he decided to make Miles the Champions leader in the future.
Another interaction I enjoyed was between Viv Vision and Wasp (Nadia Pym). It showed a nice balance of logic (Viv) and emotion (Wasp). Waid does an excellent job showing the determination and desperation in Wasp’s voice as she tries to find any survivors. Also while Viv doesn’t come off as cold, her more logical tone provides a more calm demeanor. Ultimately this ends when Nadia gets the idea for Viv to track any active cell phones in the city. However when Viv displays the map and nothing is shown, Nadia is crushed when Viv says that it is working properly.
The issue’s final scenes had a great realization of Secret Empire affecting the Champions’ main objective. The Champions wanted to help everyday people while the older heroes dealt with major catastrophes. Now that regular people have unwillingly accepted Hydra’s new order, the Champions have no choice but to work with the older heroes to end the bigger threat. While this doesn’t belittle the Champions original mission, it shows that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
Art: Humberto Ramos does an excellent job with the artwork. Ramos’s characters have excellent facial expressions. This allows the reader to match the characters’ emotions with their dialogue. Also Edgar Delgado did an awesome job with the colors. The use of bright and vibrant colors are a nice counter point for the issue’s dark setting. The best combination of Ramos and Delgado’s traits is the final shot of the heroes ready to take on Hydra.
Verdict: Eleven issues later and Champions is still awesome. Mark Waid writes excellent stories and dialogue for the young Marvel heroes which gives them depth and relatability. Plus Humberto Ramos’s art shows their adventures in a dynamic style. Also this issue did an amazing job showing how Secret Empire changes the Champions’s motivations for now. Overall, Champions is a must read Marvel title.
Rating: 5 out of 5