Champions #13 – “Worlds Collide”

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Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Humberto Ramos
Inker: Victor Olazaba
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Price: $3.99

Release Date: 10/18/17

Champions #13 is a continuation of the Worlds Collide story from Avengers #672, in which our team joined forces with their old mentors once more in order to save Earth from a meteoric threat. While the rest of the Champions and Avengers try to stabilize the buildings of the world, Hulk and Hercules must face off against the monster inside the meteor.

Plot: Hercules and Hulk take on the Minotaur-like creature together and discover that it speaks and religiously serves his master, the Counter-Earth’s High Evolutionary. Vision, Cyclops and Miles Morales are busy evacuating bystanders from collapsed buildings and manage to make time for a conversation about Vision’s family problems.

The rest of the teams are scattered throughout the world, trying to set things right… Only it seems they may be too late, especially after two of their own disappear.

Story: There wasn’t much focus on characters or dynamics in Champions #13, seeing as there were a large number of heroes all needing to deal with a worldwide threat in one issue. The true villain behind these events has yet to emerge, but there is an enjoyable enough fight sequence with the Minotaur to tide readers over in the meantime, and other various acts of heroism throughout the story. One thing that could have been exploited more is how different powers or strengths combine in new team-ups, but perhaps that’s something that can be further explored as the crossover tale progresses.

Vision’s struggles to connect with his daughter (given the knowledge that he outlives her) were the highlight of the story, humanizing him and leading to a touching almost-confession that came just in time for the climactic final pages. Jeopardizing members of a team almost invariably makes for a good cliffhanger, but the stakes feel even higher when Viv and her father were on the verge of a breakthrough. Plus, the family drama gave Scott and Miles and opportunity to have have as the peanut gallery, commenting on the situation when they weren’t taking on the Earth’s ever-changing vibrations.

One problem I had with the story was the way in which certain characters, specifically ones that don’t usually appear in the series, came across. Based on Nova and Wasp’s interaction, for example, one would think Nadia was a no-nonsense gal who likes to stick to the case at hand without much chitchat. But in her recent solo run, she was an easily excited and overly friendly young woman who was energized by the interactions while on a mission. This seems to be a case of the Avengers changing her personality a little bit, but it’s still a shame.

Art: Ramos, Olazaba and Delgado continue to do some great work on the art for Champions #13, especially given how many different cities they must draw and manage to distinguish from one another. While they are successful for the most part, keeping the bright and vibrant colors that have defined the series so far, there are pages where the characters’ individual features and expressions are faded or downplayed. This is undoubtedly a side effect of there being too many characters to deal with on a single page, not to mention the choice to focus on the larger scope of the event at times rather than specific reactions to it, so it is understandable.

Aside from that, the big action pieces are all drawn with excellent attention to detail and in a way that lets them leap off the page. Whether it be Vision holding up a building, Spider-Man webbing civilians to safety, Ms. Marvel scooping people up with her huge hands or Thor wielding her mighty hammer…. The heroics in this series have never looked so good.

Verdict: Champions #13 contains the elements of an interesting crossover story and ramps up the action for an eventual showdown, but the best parts of it sometimes get lost due to dealing with so many characters and locations.

Star Rating: 3 out of 5

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