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Champions #8: Review

Aug 2019
Jim Zubkavich, Steven Cummings

Story Name:

Give and take

Review & Comments

4 stars

Champions #8 Review by (August 17, 2019)
The Champions Mobile Bunker crashed in Manhattan in #4, and was maybe transported back to Vision's house. But in this issue it looks more like it crashed there, knocking trees over in the process. Maybe that's connected with whoever's imitating Ironheart.

The Freelancers were previously seen working for Roxxon in #1.MU and #6-7 of the previous series, and then as instructors in a Hydra boot camp in the Secret Empire: Uprising 1-shot. In these earlier apps there was a 5th member Cursed Cass.

The cover is misleading in many ways. It includes the 5th Freelancer. It has Brawn, Ms Marvel and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) who are conspicuously absent inside. And it has Ironheart fighting the the Freelancers when she doesn't do that within, and moreover may not actually be in this issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Champions #8 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Ironheart lands at Vision's house to be met by Sparky the synthezoid dog and the sight of the wrecked Champions Mobile Bunker. She enters the CMB to find Viv Vision inside hooked up to machinery and in communication with an away team of Champions, telling them to wait until their targets do something illegal. Viv explains to Riri Williams that she's taken over leading the team from Ms Marvel who's taken some personal time off. Riri says they have to talk.

We join the away team a few minutes earlier in Muscatine, Iowa. They are Dust, Power Man, Red Locust and Snowguard in the form of a white owl. They are watching a military (ex-SHIELD) base Compound SK70 which Viv had learned on the Dark Web was going to be attacked. They see a vehicle approach the gate, and Amka Aliyak's owl-eyesight recognises them as 4 of the Freelancers (Crush, Hotness, Might and Panic). The villains gain entry because Panic makes the sentries see military brass. And we hear that they are here to steal random high-tech stuff.

It is at this point that Viv tells the Champs to hold their fire, and we hear her greet her visitor.

But the Freelancers' stealth is to no avail as their truck is blasted by a passing small spaceship. Inside are Sam Alexander and Kaldera. At the end of last issue they discovered that Sam's missing Black Nova Helmet was at this place on Earth, and have returned to get it. Remember that Kaldera wants Sam to get his Nova powers back so she can kill him in battle with honour.

Sam protests that the plan was to sneak onto the base and get the helmet without causing any trouble. But warrior Kaldera prefers a more violent approach, and she's happy when Might fights back by throwing a van door at them. However Sam stops her from shooting back by hitting the eject button.

Victor Alvarez has been complaining that Fernanda Rodriguez acts like *she's* the team leader. And Locust proves him right by shouting "Champions charge!" and 'leading' them into the fray. Panic tells Hotness to add to the distraction while she and Crush go grab some goodies. But Locust increases the damage to their vehicle by leaping on it - but not by enough to stop them driving through a fence. Dust and Power Man decide they better *had* follow their 'leader'. (And Victor tries to persuade Sooraya Qadir to change her super-id from Dust to Sand-Style.)

But keen-eyed Snowguard, disgusted at the lack of teamwork, has spotted their friend Sam Alexander falling from the flying craft, and she changes to winged human and flies up to catch him. Sam gives Amka a potted version of events since he left Earth with Kaldera in #4. The Nova Corps had confiscated his Helmet (Infinity Countdown: Champions #2) and Kaldera took him to get it back. But last issue they discovered that it had been stolen from the Corps' space base and returned to Earth. They tracked it's energy signature to here and now Sam's body reacts to its presence.

Meanwhile Kaldera and Might fight, and the alien assassin easily defeats the Freelancer. But Power Man steals her win by 'helping', and is surprised when the enraged girl turns on *him*. Hotness thinks he's got an easy win against a lady covered in cloth, but Dust turns to sand and snuffs his flames out. Back with the Freelancers' truck the other 2 are trying to shake Locust off the hood but she smashes through the windscreen and their air bags inflate. The vehicle finally stops. And Kaldera and Power Man both seem to be enjoying *their* duel.

While all this was going on Sam guided Amka to fly him to his Helmet. There's a surge of power from the building and Kaldera stops sparring with Victor, exulting that she can now regain her honour by killing Nova. And re-powered Sam appears in his Black Nova Helmet and the SuperNova uniform it gives him. But he just uses his defensive shield to ward off her blows while he apologises (again) for sneakily defeating her (Nova (2013) #9) resulting in her being punished by her boss. But then he adds that she has killed many times, so he now arrests her for her crimes by using the force field to englobe her.

Sam looks up because his Helmet had told him that Nova Commander Scott Adsit (cured from Kaldera's gunshot last issue) and the Nova Corps are here. They'll take the alien assassin away. But Adsit also wants the Black Helmet back again. However Sam reminds Scott that the current Nova Corps don't know how to make the Helmet work - and *he* does. The Commander backs down 'for the moment' and the Corps leave.

Victor congratulates Sam on facing down the Nova Corps, but Amka berates him for flying off alone with Kaldera in the 1st place - more poor teamwork. However Locust  is busy celebrating the victory of 'her' team.

Then they get a call from Riri telling them to come home to the not-so-Mobile Bunker because Viv is in danger. And we see the synthezoid girl lying blasted on the floor and Ironheart's hand blaster is smoking. But her shadow on the wall suggests that Ironheart may only be a false image.

Steven Cummings
Steven Cummings
Marcio Menyz
Kim Jacinto (Cover Penciler)
Kim Jacinto (Cover Inker)
Rain Beredo (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Sam Alexander)

Plus: Champions, Dust (Sooriya Qadir), Freelancers, Kaldera, Locust (Fernanda Rodriguez), Power Man (Victor Alvarez), Scott Adsit, Snowguard (Amka Aliyak).

> Champions: Book info and issue index

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