Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Cover: Humberto Ramos & Edgar Delgado
Being a guy who’s not a Cyclops fan, the cover of Champions #2 brings a smile to my face and gave hope that the pages inside would be just as great. Hoping that Waid can build a team and tap into what makes them great on their own then mix it together to make them worth reading month after month. Especially since this is one team book that I was most looking forward to since it pretty much the kids giving the adults the middle finger and striking out to actually fight bad guys instead of each other.
Waid brings some flavor to the “getting to know you” part of team building in this issue and it’s such a breath of fresh air and fun. His dialogue captures their voices and allows new readers a perfect way to see the powers of each member as you get to know them. Ms. Marvel seems to be moving into the role of team leader but it’s happening on her own terms as we get a meta moment describing how female characters have been used in the past. She also outsmarts the smartest guy on the team and it’s one of the top moments in the issue. The conflicts that do take place around the campfire are perfect from character to character. There’s genuine teenage moments going on and it’s just nice to read a Marvel comic with young heroes that is reminiscent of the classic stories but feels very fresh as these legacy characters step up to protect the world. Even with the inclusion of young Cyclops here Waid makes his entry both cool and necessary. At least for the character himself. I still don’t like the guy but he’s on a different path away from the X-Men and being here on this team makes sense.
When you also get art from Humberto Ramos in an already great story then there’s no excuse not to pick this up. He’s been on fire since the 90s when Crimson came out and he’s continued to only improve over time. There’s not one lackluster scene here and in an issue filled with so much enjoy it’s the page showing how high Hulk can jump that made me laugh. Solid art that also provides a great comedic beat. Delgado’s colors add that extra kick to the art especially during Cyclops scenes.
A story filled with campfires, jokes, and first kisses is one of the best to come out of this new line of Marvel comics. Champions has a strong story with eye melting art and a diverse cast of the greatest legacy characters around. You should go ahead and pick this one up.