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Champions #22: Review

Jul 2018
Jim Zubkavich, Kevin Libranda

Story Name:

Give and take Part 1

Review & Comments

4 stars

Champions #22 Review by (July 28, 2018)
Is Toni Ho still Iron Patriot? Her armour was wrecked in 'Avengers: No Surrender', but she had a new armour in Iron Man #598-600. Although it's unclear which order those events happened in.

Amka is understandably confused when Viv calls Nadia her great-aunt, based on Nadia being the daughter of Henry Pym who was the 'father' of Ultron who was in turn the 'father' of Vision, the 'father' of Viv.

The GIRL team will reappear when Nadia's Unstoppable Wasp series returns for 5 issues.

There's a chronology problem for Miles Morales. He was hospitalised in Spider-Man #240 where the Champions fought by his side. Those Champions included Amadeus Cho as Hulk and even Cyclops who quit in #18. He's still recovering in hospital now. But he and Ms Marvel were also in Hulk #717 which must be later because that's where Cho recently downgraded to Brawn.

Note:- the end of Sp#240, the last issue of the series, suggests to me that he's been invited to join Leonardo da Vinci's SHIELD replacement mentioned in the last issues of the Legacy Iron Man issues, as were Ironheart and Toni Ho in IM.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Champions #22 Synopsis by Rob Johnson

Amadeus Cho introduces his new slimmed-down Hulk form to some of the Champions (Ms. Marvel in costume with Riri Williams and Sam Alexander in civvies). He brushes over the events leading up to Hulk #717 where the transformation happened. (Kamala Khan and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) were actually there for the finale.) He's now adopting a new super-id Brawn. (Editorially to clear the air for the returned Bruce Banner Hulk.)

Riri has a new look too. Her Stark-tech Ironheart armour was destroyed by Thanos in the IC: Champions #2. Now she clicks a device on her wrist and her new armour builds itself around her - Ironheart 3.0, lighter, faster, more powerful. (And looking nothing like Iron Man to clear the air for the returned Tony Stark.)

This all increases Sam Alexander's downer. He too lost his super-suit in the ICC space adventure when the Nova Corps confiscated his Nova uniform. But *he* can't just create another 1. (He's told the team his real name now that his secret-id doesn't matter anymore.)

3 more Champions are at Vision's house where Toni Ho (ex(?)-Iron Patriot) has been treating Vision after Hulk smashed his head in (Avengers #685) during the 'No Surrender' saga. Wasp (Nadia Van Dyne) helped her repair the damage and give him a replacement solar gem power source. His 'daughter' Viv Vision helps him walk because nanomachines are still completing the internal repairs. She introduces him to Amka Aliyak (Snowguard), the team's latest recruit, and now she can formally get his permission for Amka to continue living with them at the house.

The Champions Mobile Bunker arrives to pick up the team members. Viv takes the Vision family's robot dog Sparky with her. When they're gone Toni and Vision discuss the truth. Vision's system is actually degrading. Dr Ho reminds him they could rebuild him from scratch as has been done before but he turns that down. His experiment in creating a synthezoid family (in the 2016 Vision limited series where his 'wife' and 'son' died leaving Viv and Sparky) has led him to accept his upcoming 'death' so that Viv can mature.

The team are eager to get back to their humanitarian mission. Wasp's GIRL science-gang have alerted her to a problem in Tanzania after the 'No Surrender' event caused earthquakes and poisoned water supplies, and they're now off to build a water filtration system for the village of Mbali.

Ms Marvel has sat this meeting out to console Sam Alexander. She reminds him how he opened up to her in All-New, All-Different Avengers #1 (before they split from that team to found the Champions). That was when he told her his real name, which she considers a form of the bravery he's exhibited so often since then - bravery which didn't come from the Nova helmet and its powers. She offers to tell Sam *her* real name (which the team don't know), but he tells her to save that for when it's not done out of pity.

Along the way they mention that the missing team member Spider-Man is still in hospital after the conclusion of his series in Spider-Man #240 (Legacy numbering). And the sneaky Ultron spider-bug is still watching them.

They arrive in Tanzania and meet Nadia's doctor-friend Hasina. Snowguard breaks the ice by amusing children with a light-show. Hasina shows them a ward full of people sickened by the contaminated water. But before they are allowed to start work on a filtration system they must attend a feast which Hasina explains is their way of paying for the Champions efforts.

Amka notices that Viv isn't at the meal (even though she doesn't need to eat she could pretend). She goes outside and finds her synthezoid friend thinking about Vision's recovery. She claims not to be worrying because she's switched off her emotions to avoid thinking about the 'deaths' of her mother and brother (in the Vision series) and her 'cloned sister' Viv 2.0 (in our #18).

But Snowguard detects the smell of magical energy nearby. Transforming into a white wolf she follows the trail, and Viv floats after her. They find something standing in the water covered in vines and floating lights. Viv tries to take a sample but she is burned and entrapped by vines. Amka becomes a more humanoid wolf to try a rescue.

The vines part to reveal Man-Thing at the centre. Viv feels fear (and we all know that whoever feels fear burns at the Man-Thing's touch). Her mind is flooded with all the memories/emotions she has suppressed and she falls into the water. Snowguard attacks and her howl alerts the rest of the team.

Kevin Libranda
Kevin Libranda
Marcio Menyz
R B Silva (Cover Penciler)
R B Silva (Cover Inker)
Nolan Woodard (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Kamala Khan)

(Nadia Pym)

Plus: Brawn (Amadeus Cho), Champions, Iron Patriot (Toni Ho), Ironheart (Riri Williams), Sam Alexander, Snowguard (Amka Aliyak).

> Champions: Book info and issue index

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