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Champions #1: Review

Oct 2020
Eve L Ewing, Simone DiMeo

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Champions #1 Review by (October 10, 2020)
Starling is the granddaughter of the original Vulture and has a version of his artificial wings. She appeared in 4 issues of Miles Morales, Spider-Man.

Cloud 9 was 1 of the Initiative recruits after Civil War (I). She was last seen in Iron Man #600 joining Leonardo da Vinci's replacement for SHIELD (which seems to have vanished).

Power Pack are going to have their own new series which will start under the Outlawed event banner. Presumably Mass Master escapes as well as Energizer to be in it.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Champions #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In the Outlawed 1-shot there was a battle at Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel)'s school between the Champions and a dragon and some mercenaries (probably both working for Roxxon Energy Corp). There was an accidental explosion which wrecked the school and appeared to destroy synthezoid Viv Vision as well as KOing the dragon. Kamala, in civilian guise, was seriously injured protecting a visiting young environmental activist. In the fallout the Underage Superhuman Welfare Act, aka Kamala's Law, was passed banning all teenage super-heroics. CRADLE (Child Hero Reconnaissance And Disruption Law Enforcement) was set up to police it.

As Miles Morales (Spider-Man) heads to Brooklyn Visions Academy he sees all the other teens reading about and discussing it. He's greeted by his friend Ganke Lee and a girl Jamilah (who I don't believe we've met before) who tells them that the Champions are about to make an official statement (which is news to Spider-Man). A teacher tells another student off for wearing a hoodie with the Champions' C-logo.

Miles and Ganke slip into a room where a student is using her phone to display the Champs broadcast on a big screen. (And we see lots of other teens elsewhere watching on their own phones.) The message is from Ms Marvel who sums up the situation but says the Champions will continue to fight the good fight - to stand up for the underdogs and for the environment, doing stuff that the adult heroes are too busy fighting each other to bother with. Miles tells Ganke, who knows about his secret id, that she didn't consult the rest of the team on this.

Jamilah bursts in and denounces the Champs as liars. She saw what they did to the Coles school when Viv Vision exploded and wrecked the place. And she's starting a local Chapter of the CRADLE Junior League here. A fight starts between her and a Champs supporter Kaylee and they both get suspended for a day (which apparently is enough to ruin their College chances). But Jamilah's club is a success.

That evening Spider-Miles is out web-slinging when he sees a purse-snatching in progress. He webs up the culprit and returns the purse, but it turns out to be a police sting operation. They try to arrest him but he web-slings away. As he leaves he hears them complaining that if they don't arrest enough teen vigilantes then CRADLE will take over. Miles contemplates retiring from the super-scene.

But for the moment he has a meeting of Champions and other teens to attend in a disused warehouse. Access security at the warehouse is provided by NATALIE, the AI of Ironheart/Riri Williams (although Riri herself can't be there). Inside he finds the main topic of conversation is how to clean your costume.

I see Bombshell, Brawn, Dust, Nova (Sam Alexander), Patriot (Shaun Lucas), Pinpoint, Power Man (Victor Alvarez) and Wasp (Nadia Van Dyne) of the Champions. There's also Cloud 9, Moon Girl, Squirrel Girl and Starling plus Energizer and Mass Master of Power Pack.

Riri has also provided a projection drone which allows Ms Marvel to join them remotely. We see her in her mask and the scarf of her costume sitting up in her hospital bed. They only see her head. (Not everyone there knows her civilian id.) Brawn and Moon Girl complain about MsM issuing her communiqué without consulting them. Pinpoint points out that they have no base since CRADLE impounded the Champions Mobile Bunker (and arrested Red Locust and Snowguard) (in Outlawed). Starling also blames the missing Viv Vision, but Dust blames their leader MsM for the debacle. Patriot asks how they're supposed to fund their activities? Cloud 9 reminds them they can each still be heroes if they find an approved mentor. Bombshell adds that Falcon (Joaquin Torres) has already signed up with Falcon (Sam Wilson).

Then Starling takes over the meeting. She says the mentor program won't work for most of them. Ms Marvel is right, they should ignore the law. But the Champions are a lost cause. They haven't even rescued Locust and Snowguard. Nova takes exception to this and Miles has to split up a fight. Kamala tries to regain control by saying that adults don't know what's best for teens. But now Spidey disagrees with her. He's seen that lots of youngsters don't trust the Champs either, and they have to deal with that.

Then CRADLE troops break in and break up the meeting to arrest them all. Starling fights back but Justice of CRADLE freezes her in midair with his telekinesis. He tells them he's here to stop them making a mistake like he did (killing his own father). Miles tells Pinpoint to teleport them all out, but Qureshi Gupta freezes because his portal was a partial cause of the explosion that 'killed' Viv. However NATALIE contacts Spidey to point out a vulnerable crack in a wall, and tells him there's a subway access tunnel on the other side. Miles gets Bombshell to blast a big hole and they start herding teens through it.

Kamala cuts off her transmission so she can't be traced, devastated that someone must have sold the team out. Bombshell, Nova, Spider-Man and Wasp have lagged behind to hold off the troops while everyone else escapes. CRADLE grab Bombshell and trap Wasp in a jar. The girls urge the boys to flee while they can. They won't do it but Pinpoint drags them through a portal. Apparently CRADLE got some more too, but we see that Cloud 9, Dust, Energizer, Moon Girl, Patriot, Power Man, Squirrel Girl and Starling got out.

Outside the troops comment that they were alerted to the meeting by an untraceable message whose syntax indicated the source was a synthezoid. They assume it was Vision whose daughter Viv died. But we see Viv Vision watching the proceedings.

Simone DiMeo
Simone DiMeo
Federico Blee
Toni Infante (Cover Penciler)
Toni Infante (Cover Inker)
Toni Infante (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Alanna Smith. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Kamala Khan)

(Sam Alexander)

(Miles Morales)

(Nadia Pym)

Plus: Bombshell, Brawn (Amadeus Cho), Champions, Cloud 9 (Abby Boylen), Dust (Sooriya Qadir), Energizer, Ganke Lee, Justice (Vance Astrovik), Mass Master, Moon Girl, Natalie AI, Patriot (Shaun Lucas), Pinpoint, Power Man (Victor Alvarez), Squirrel Girl, Starling.

> Champions: Book info and issue index

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