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Champions #25: Review

Oct 2018
Jim Zubkavich, Sean Izaakse

Story Name:

Warriors of the weird Part 1

Review & Comments

4 stars

Champions #25 Review by (October 12, 2018)
Max Dunbar helps Sean Izaakse with the pencils and inks. Nolan Woodard joins Marcio Menyz on the colours.

So it seems #24 *was* in between #23 and this issue, and Spider-Man rejoined the team in the long period while they tried to find a way to follow the missing Sam Alexander and Wasp.

The Siege Parallel sounds like it's related to the Siege Perilous and the Siege Courageous from X-Men tales.
The Siege Perilous was actually 1st encountered with Roma in the Captain Britain story in Marvel UK's Mighty World Of Marvel (1983) #13. She gave it to the X-Men in Uncanny XM #229. Rogue went through it with Master Mold/Nimrod in #247, landing her in the Savage Land. Colossus, Dazzler, Havok and Psylocke followed in #251 - Colossus became an amnesiac artist, Dazzler a movie star, Havok a Genoshan Magistrate and Psylocke got an Asian body. Wolverine destroyed the SP in #251.
The Siege Courageous turned up in the Avengers vs X-Men event as a teleportation device. It was later used in Wolverine & The X-Men #31-35 by the Hellfire Academy to upgrade their students.

The original Weirdworld followed the adventures of Tyndall of Klarn beginning in Marvel Super Action 1-shot and flitting through several venues. When Marvel invented a Weirdworld domain in Secret Wars III's Battleworld they included the original version as part of it.
Another part was Polemachus whose erstwhile ruler Arkon was trying to find it again. Arkon and Polemachus were created in Avengers #75.
During his quest Arkon joined forces with Warbow of the Crystal Warriors who was trying to rescue his leader Prince Crystar of Crystallium. This bunch originally starred in the Saga Of Crystar, Crystal Warrior series which Marvel created to promote their *own* line of toys. Stalax in this issue was 1 of the CW's there.
A tribe of Man-Things was invented in SWIII's Weirdworld, allies of the Swamp Queen (Jennifer Kale) (mentioned in this issue) against the villainous Baroness Morgan Le Fay.
After SWIII Weirdworld turned up in the Bermuda Triangle in the new Earth in a 2nd Weirdworld mini-series. It then went on to crop up in other series. Black Knight's 2016 mini introduced the Fangs Of the Serpent, and Squadron Supreme (2016) brought Modred into the mix and also brought back Tyndall from the original Weirdworld stories.

Will we find out why only Ironheart remembers their real identities?

I don't know if it's a coincidence but Barbara Rodriguez was brought from Miles Morales' cancelled Spider-Man series into last issue, and Rebecca Rodriguez was the heroine of the post-SWIII Weirdworld series.

Next issue's cover suggests missing Viv Vision and the real Man-Thing will surface as 2 of Eshu's minions.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Champions #25 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Riri Williams wakes screaming from a dream/memory of Thanos destroying her old Ironheart armour and refraining from killing her (Infinity Countdown: Champions #2). Viv Vision's robot dog Sparky floats in through the wall to comfort her. They go out to where Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) are letting Sam Alexander's mother know that they still don't know where her son and Wasp (Nadia Van Dyne) disappeared to (with Man-Thing in #23).

Viv arrives like Sparky to say her attempts to get mystical help haven't borne fruit. Dr Strange is off in space (DS(2018)#1-5). Dr Voodoo and Scarlet Witch are helping Quicksilver recover from being lost outside time (Quicksilver: No Surrender #1-5 after Avengers: NS). Wiccan (last seen in AV:NS#689) is off on a trip with boyfriend Hulkling. Talisman (last seen in our #20-21) can't be disturbed because she's preparing for an important ritual. And Magik (currently appearing in various X-books) is just not answering calls.

But the team have their own mystically-based member Snowguard (Amka Aliyak) who may be able to do something. Brawn (Amadeus Cho) has flown the Champions Mobile Bunker to a place where she senses great power (back in Canada where she and her super-powers come from?). She is contacted by her patron goddess Sila - the source of her powers (#21). Amka explains what happened in #23 and says she needs extra power to find her friends. Sila recognises Man-Thing from Amka's memories as the guardian of the Nexus Of All Realities, and she gives Amka a gift.

When Amka awakes from her trance she has an object called the Siege Parallel. Amadeus can't detect any dangerous emissions from it, but Amka says passing through this portal isn't safe - it can change you. But all the team vote to take the risk. Viv leaves instructions with Sparky to give them 48 hours and then ask her father Vision for help, and then the Champions all step through the expanded Siege Parallel.

Riri wakes up in a forest wearing her new Ironheart armour, but it has been partly transmuted to chain mail. And she faces a horde of sword-wielding humanoid warrior-rats - who seem to know her as a paladin called Ironheart. She finds a mace by her side which glows with power when she picks it up - and handily dispatches 1 of the rats. The rest mob her, but help arrives ...

... in the form of the Shadow-Spider who swoops in with cloak flying and hurls knives at the foe. As he agilely bounds around the rats elect to run away. The Spider recognises Lady Ironheart, well-known throughout Weirdworld, but is surprised when he calls her Miles. No-one is supposed to know his name. He's also never heard of the Champions - the Shadow-Spider works alone.

Amadeus Cho is also awoken, but like Miles he thinks this is his world. He's a tusked green orc named Brawnhammer and the Fangs Of The Serpent lizardmen want him at work in the service of Eshu. Like the other captives he has a capture-collar round his neck which will kill him if he tries to escape. And anyone who says the Swamp Queen will come to their rescue gets punished. Most of the captives are digging for crystals, but Brawnhammer has a different task. He is taken to a forge where he helps a gorilla named Drewdy make metal weapons.

An alarm goes off and we see that the crystal mine is under attack by a pair of Man-Things (neither of them will be the original) and an antlered white wolf that we know as 1 of the forms Snowguard can take. As the Man-Things battle the lizardmen to steal some crystals Snowguard turns into a white bird and flies into the forge. Reverting to her large wolf-form she strains to tip over a vat of lava. Brawnhammer tries to stop her because it'll kill slaves as well as guards but she doesn't care, so he takes a large hammer weapon and attacks her with it. Amka hesitantly thinks she recognises Amadeus, so that's why she only knocks him out and takes him and the hammer with her when she leaves with the Man-Things carrying large crystals.

Amka has switched to her human form when they meet with a red-cloaked sorceress in a forest who uses magic to sever the collar that is choking Cho. Gratefully he tells them his name is Brawnhammer. The woman in red introduces Amka as Snowgore and announces herself as the Mystic Marvel (who we know as Ms Marvel). She welcomes him to the Resistance to Eshu's rule, who BHammer thought were a myth. But they are spied on by a small winged red-skinned being who flies off to report to her master. He calls her Nadia and we might recognise him as Modred the Mystic.

Meanwhile a lizardman fetches Stalax, a Crystal Warrior of Crystalium, from a dungeon to choose weapons (an axe and a wooden shield) and enter an arena. There he faces an armoured warrior with a bucket helmet and a sword. They fight until Stalax catches the sword in the edge of his shield and wrenches it away. But a voice tells the armoured guy to use his training. He leaps above the swinging axe and his hands glow with power. He thrusts those hands into Stalax' chest and the Crystal Warrior is converted into a crystal sword.

The winner removes his helmet and we see a green-skinned version of Sam Alexander. Watching him beside Modred and Nadia is another figure who he calls father. Throughout the issue there has been a voiceover who we now see is the Master Of The World (from previous issues since #20) - whose real name is Eshu.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Kamala Khan)

(Miles Morales)

(Nadia Pym)

Plus: Brawn (Amadeus Cho), Champions, Ironheart (Riri Williams), Master of the World, Modred the Mystic, Sam Alexander, Snowguard (Amka Aliyak).

> Champions: Book info and issue index

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