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Champions, The #10: Review

Jan 1977
Bill Mantlo, Bob Hall

Story Name:

One Man’s Son is Another Man’s Poison!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Champions, The #10 Review by (April 19, 2023)

Review: Action packed issue overlooks the fact that, on their first mission as a publicly recognized team, the Champions were captured by their enemies and they could not have escaped if it weren’t for Darkstar suddenly switching sides. Fortunately, one need never know about that last part in these pre-Twitter days. All’s well that ends well, even though nothing is resolved with the Yuri plot and the only person who can prove he was deceived is dead. The logistics of the climactic battle are dubious and is anyone concerned about the fate of that Air Force jet the guys jumped from and forgot about? And does the USAF casually lend aircraft to oddly dressed strangers, including one with a burning skull for a head? More of the usual dumb entertainment from 1970s Marvel!

Comments: Part four of four parts. Title is a pun on the saying, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” Crimson Dynamo (Yuri Petrovich) is next seen in CAPTAIN AMERICA #352. Titanium Man returns in IRON MAN #113-115. Griffin next appears in MARVEL TEAM-UP #78.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Champions, The #10 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The male Champions (Hercules, Angel, Iceman, Ghost Rider) are trapped in a metal vault by Darkstar’s Darkfield, with Titanium Man and Crimson Dynamo for backup. The heroes awaken and fight back and Darkstar becomes too tired to hold up the field any longer so the three baddies teleport away. Herc tears open one of the metal walls to reveal earth—they are underground. But Herc’s actions trigger an earth tremor. The villains appear on a visual scan informing them that they have been buried in the San Andreas Fault; any violent action on their part could trigger an earthquake. Herc throws himself at the screen, causing another tremor. They try to explain the danger to the entire state to Herc but he doesn’t get it; Ghost Rider blasts him with Hellfire to stop him but Herc sees this as GR revealing he is an enemy….

The baddies return to their plane, piloted by Griffin, with Black Widow, Ivan Petrovich, and Alexei Bruskin in chains. Yuri Petrivich confronts his father, reminding him of his crimes in an extended flashback. Scientist Ivan was bribed to defect to the West but he refused. Their car was ambushed, Ivan’s wife was killed, and his son Yuri kidnapped. The boy was raised by the Americans as a secret agent while they tried to brainwash him to hate his home country. Yuri was able to contact the Soviets who rescued him and he learned his father had defected, making him a traitor. But Alexei Bruskin tells Yuri the truth: his captors were Russian agents posing as Americans to instill a hatred of the West and his father—and Bruskin was in charge of the operation. Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man were outside the plane fighting Air Force jets and didn’t hear this last bit. Yuri won’t listen and hits Natasha; Darkstar tries to force him to listen and he blasts her. Darkstar then sends a bolt of dark energy to free the Champions imprisoned in the fault. Natasha fights the Dynamo and then disables the plane’s controls; Griffin brings them down offshore, near a waiting Soviet sub. The male Champions arrive in a jet borrowed from an Air Force base and they battle the baddies on the sub’s deck. To atone for his past crimes, Bruskin, shot by a Russian sailor, drops a grenade in the conning tower and dies. Herc clobbers Titanium Man, Darkstar turns against Yuri, Iceman and Ghost Rider pool their attacks to take down Griffin. Darkstar asks Ivan what to do with Yuri but he no longer cares about his son so she lets him go free. Darkstar takes them all home, including the captive Griffin and T-Man. But Ivan won’t explain why he let the Dynamo go free, leading Ghost Rider to wonder if they can make it as a team, keeping secrets from one another….

Bob Hall
Frank Giacoia
Don Warfield
Dave Cockrum (Cover Penciler)
Dave Cockrum (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Ray Holloway.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Warren Worthington)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider

(Johnny Blaze)
Ivan Petrovich
Ivan Petrovich

(Ivan Petrovich Bezukhov)

Plus: Champions, Crimson Dynamo (Yuri Petrovich), Griffin, Titanium Man.

> Champions, The: Book info and issue index

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