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Champions #20: Review

May 2018
Jim Zubkavich, Sean Izaakse

Story Name:

Northern lights part 2

Review & Comments

4 stars

Champions #20 Review by (June 2, 2018)
Sila and Silap Inua are 2 versions of the names various Eskimo peoples use to describe a supreme deity in their mythology. Unfortunately for the character in this issue I believe the original is male.

Master of the World's plans to become master of the world have most often been foiled by Alpha Flight. But he also tangled with the Sub-Mariner-funded version of Heroes For Hire, and with the Avengers during the Kang Dynasty saga. In the post-Secret Wars III universe he took the guise of Philippe Beaulieu during Civil War II to undermine Alpha Flight's new role as space watchdogs.

Alpha Flight was the Canadian supergroup introduced by Chris Claremont and John Byrne in X-Men #120. They've had several series and a variety of line-ups. They've been wiped out at least once but in true Marvel fashion were resurrected later.

The post-SW3 incarnation of the group works for Captain Marvel on the Alpha Flight space station. Only Aurora, Puck and Sasquatch carried over from the old Alpha Flight.

Snowbird was in the old-style team in their 2011 (and last) series, and more pre-SW3 apps after that. During SW3 on Battleworld she was a member of A-Force. Post-SW3 she's only been seen here and the Hunt For Wolverine 1-shot.

Talisman was in 1 issue of AF(2011) and some of their later pre-SW3 apps. Her previous regular AF gig was in the Omega Flight mini-series where she and Sasquatch led a new team while the rest of AF were dead. Since SW3 she's been in several issues of Dr Strange's 2015 series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Champions #20 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue the Champions flew in their Mobile Bunker to Northern Canada to investigate some anomalous ice readings. When they got there they found a base creating a hill of ice. They were attacked by drones and Nova (Sam Alexander) got lasered through his chest.

But also last issue we saw an Inuit girl Amka Aliyak invade the base the previous night. She found a woman captive in a transparent globe. Now we hear the woman say she is Sila, the sky, the wind, the weather and the soul of the North, and we see her surrounded by images of various animals. She doesn't know how she was trapped here, and Amka says she'll try to set her free.

But 2 drones attacks Amka. Sila tries to make the drones stop but 1 of them activates something which causes her pain. Until Amka grabs the drones and smashes them together against the side of the globe. There's an explosion of energy which Amka's friend Pilip sees from outside. Sila is free and comforting the severely injured Amka, who now recognises her as Silap Inua from old myths. Many drones converge on them but Sila takes Amka away in a blaze of energy which obliterates the drones.

In the present dazed Nova tries to fly home to a hospital but collapses in midair and falls into the sea. Ironheart holds the drones off while Viv Vision goes super-dense and plummets after him. Wasp (Nadia Pym) sends some drones into the Microverse. Spider-Man (Miles Morales) webs some and drags them into the Bunker for Hulk (Amadeus Cho) to crush.

Ironheart tells the others to go help Nova and Viv while she draws the drones' fire. Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) doesn't want to leave her alone, but Riri Williams insists. But the decision becomes moot when the Master of the World calls the drones off and Viv surfaces with Nova in a critical condition. The Master offers to get Nova's injuries treated and Viv goes with some drones to take Sam inside.

The Master says that the drones were only defending the site and the important work he's doing. He claims to be creating new Arctic ice to halt climate change. What we saw last issue was high-tech scaffolds supporting the growth of new glacial ice which is then attached to existing glaciers. He tells them how 40,000 years ago he came across a crashed spaceship of the advanced alien Plodex who saved his life and genetically enhanced him. It is their superior tech that enables him to do this job.

Hulk is suspicious because the Master of the World is known for the villainous ambition of his name. The Master points out that he needs a viable world to be the master *of*. So it is in his interest to save Earth from global warming so he can take it over in the future. Ms Marvel asks when the takeover will happen and the Master says he's immortal and thinks long-term. Spider-Man suggests the team need to discuss this.

Inside the base medical facility Sam Alexander has amazingly recovered from his injury. Viv is with him and he's surprised when she calls him by his name. But she says his mobile calls to the team are registered under his real name so it's obvious. She holds his hand, because her 'father' Vision said that physical contact helped the sick. Sam cheekily asks her for a date but she slaps him down.

Outside the rest of the team discuss. Kamala is in 2 minds. Nadia thinks a good thing is a good thing even if a bad guy does it. Riri has experience with Dr Doom turning hero as Iron Man while Tony Stark was in a coma but is still not convinced. Amadeus and Miles think the Master's threatened takeover is a problem  for the next generation of Champions. Team leader Ms Marvel decides to give the Master the benefit of the doubt.

He shows them around the place. In the factory drones make more drones. They go past a crater which MotW says happened while they were testing defences. (But we know it's a result of the Sila incident.)

Then they hear people chanting slogans "Our land! Our rules! No more factories!" Pilip is back with many more Inuit protesting against this invasion of their territory. But Pilip calls Hulk and Ms Marvel over and tells them about Amka going in last night and never coming back. The Master joins them and claims that never happened. He tries to tell the protesters what he's doing for the world but they won't listen.

He curbs his anger while the Champions are watching, but Ironheart spotted his initial reaction and is back to mistrusting him. Spidey slips away to see what he can find out. Hulk, Ms Marvel and Wasp try to mediate.

But then another flying ship arrives and drops several things towards the ground. Ironheart's armour AI identifies the ship as Alpha Flight's omnijet. And the descending figures turn out to be Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), Puck, Sasquatch, Snowbird and Talisman.

Sean Izaakse
Sean Izaakse
Marcio Menyz
Stefano Caselli (Cover Penciler)
Stefano Caselli (Cover Inker)
Rachelle Rosenberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

(Amadeus Cho)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Kamala Khan)

(Sam Alexander)

(Walter Langkowski)

(Miles Morales)

(Nadia Pym)

Plus: Champions, Ironheart (Riri Williams), Master of the World, Puck, Snowbird, Snowguard (Amka Aliyak), Talisman.

> Champions: Book info and issue index

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