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Champions, The #8: Review

Oct 1976
Bill Mantlo, Bob Hall

Story Name:

Divide and Conquer!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Champions, The #8 Review by (March 22, 2023)

Review: So everything is all bollixed up and the big question is…why does Ivan Petrovich, a Russian, suddenly talk like Ben Grimm? Tough guy grammar and dropping the Gs from his speech? This is gone by next issue but not the heroes’ woes. So, why doesn’t Yuri Petrovich know how Russian patronymics work? How and why did a bunch of Soviet agents get mixed up with an American psychopath like Griffin? At least Rampage served as an expendable messenger. If they are there solely to recapture Black Widow, why do they stop to fight the Champions (other than because it’s their book)? None of this looks good for the brand spanking new team. And seriously, what about that kid in trouble from last issue?

Comments: Part two of four parts. Rampage returns in PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #17-18 then clashes with Wonder Man and Iron Man before becoming a regular villain for the Punisher. Hercules refers to cleansing the Augean stables, one of his twelve labors from ancient myth. “Petrovich” is consistently misspelled “Petrovitch” throughout this issue. Jerry Brown served as Governor of California from 1975-1983 and again from 2011-2019. Gaspar Saladino lettered the first page.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Champions, The #8 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Champions (Hercules, Angel, Iceman, Ghost Rider) with Ivan Petrovich, Richard Fenster, and Emerson Bale are in their headquarters when the villain Rampage delivers a set of photographs showing Black Widow a prisoner of the bad guys, along with her Soviet trainer Alexei Bruskin. Herc challenges Rampage who holds them off with threats, especially Ivan, telling him the mastermind behind the scheme is one he knows as the Outcast. Ivan reacts badly, slugging the baddie; Rampage presses a button on his armor to convey a message for this employer—but a bomb detonates instead. Darkstar and Griffin were waiting outside; the latter finds this latest development amusing but Darkstar regrets unnecessary deaths. Iceman creates a small blizzard to put out the fire and they discover Rampage is still alive; Ivan questions him but he has nothing more to say before passing out. Ghost Rider scoops him up to rush him to the hospital. Fenster reminds them that they are holding a public event inaugurating the new super-team and things don’t look good. They are all at a loss for what to do so the angry Ivan dashes out to handle things himself. The others clean up the damaged office….

At the baddies’ hideout, Black Widow awakens and faces Darkstar and Titanium Man. The baddies tell her that she is wanted “home,” back in the USSR. Griffin is impatient, eager to fight the Champions and Yuri Petrovich reveals himself as the new Crimson Dynamo (number 4) and seeking revenge against Ivan Petrovich, his father….

Ivan has created a tracking device than can follow the frequency of a black pearl and uses it to find the whereabouts of Alexei Bruskin whom Natasha is being held with. Iceman creates an ice slide through the city, following the trail….

Meanwhile, Ghost Rider is on his flaming cycle, rushing Rampage to the hospital. He drops him off and forestalls any questions with his sinister visage and threats….

Back at the office, the dedication ceremony is about to begin with only Hercules and Angel out of the group to greet the media and the public. With Governor Jerry Brown present, Angel launches into his welcoming speech, when suddenly Titanium Man, Griffin, and Crimson Dynamo arrive—and attack….

Bob Hall
Bruce Patterson
Don Warfield
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Karen Mantlo.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Warren Worthington III)
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, Rampage, Titanium Man.

> Champions, The: Book info and issue index

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