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Champions #2: Review

Nov 2020
Eve L Ewing, Simone DiMeo

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Champions #2 Review by (November 14, 2020)
Bob Quinn does some of the artwork, possibly the last section with Riri Williams.

Vance Astrovik, as Marvel Boy, killed his abusive father in anger and to protect himself and his mother in New Warriors #20. He was imprisoned for it in the Vault in #25-43. He took on the codename Justice when he was released.

Kevin Ford's mutant power kills anything organic that he touches, and he accidentally killed his father when his power 1st manifested. He joined the New Mutants as Wither in NM(2003)#3.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Champions #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In the Outlawed 1-shot the Champions were involved in a disaster at the Coles School in which Viv Vision was apparently atomised and Kamala Khan (not in her Ms Marvel costume) was hospitalised while saving a VIP. In response Kamala's Law made underage superheroing illegal.

In our 1st issue Ms Marvel, still in hospital, secretly organised a meeting of other teen heroes but someone tipped of CRADLE, enforcers of the Law, and they raided the gathering and made a few arrests before the rest escaped. And Viv Vision watched the raid.

Now we see Locust (Fernanda Rodriguez) and Snowguard (Amka Aliyak) who were arrested in Outlawed and Bombshell (Lana Baumgartner) arrested last issue plus Starling (Tiana Toomes) who must have been caught later because she was still free at the end of last issue. They are in a classroom in a Re-education Centre with other presumably-powered teens with cuffs also-presumably to neutralise their powers. A teacher is trying to indoctrinate them to become 'safe' citizens.

She mentions CRADLE Lieutenant Vance Astrovik (Justice) and mutant Kevin Ford (Wither) who killed their own fathers with their powers. She claims that it wasn't their fault. It was society that didn't do enough to protect them from using their powers. She tries to get everyone to chant a mantra "Safety is everyone's responsibility" but gets no response. Teacher tells them that their next assignment will be an essay on the subject "Most teen super-heroes unintentionally murder their loved ones. What I can personally learn from this is ...". But 1st she wants them to recite the mantra individually. But Starling responds with an insult and Locust laughs.

The teacher tells them they'll never be let out until they learn respect. Inuit Snowguard says her people know about places like this called Residential Schools. Lana Baumgartner says her great-grandmother was murdered in a Re-education And Rehabilitation Camp (I guess we're talking Nazi Concentration Camp). Amka breaks her bonds and manifests her wings so the teacher calls in help. Timeslip arrives with some CRADLE troops. Teach asks for Butterfly Protocol for Level 10 Adjustment for Bombshell and Snowguard. Suddenly the pair are gone. Locust asks what happened to them. Timeslip explains that she went back in time to before Amka went super and removed them both. Teacher says they're all here until they learn how not to be dangerous and resistant.

In Downtown Chicago there's a protest against what *they* call Patrick's Law (after Senator Patrick who masterminded the new Law). 1 protester tells a reporter that the Law is being used as an excuse for a crackdown on teens that as usual is aimed disproportionately at minorities. A spokesperon takes up the same theme and says she fears oppressive authority more than superheroes. But then rival protesters supporting Kamala's Law butt in. Their speaker is against the romanticising of vigilantism and the creation of child soldiers. He introduces Jamilah (from last issue) who has come from New York to tell the crowd that she witnessed the Coles disaster too close for comfort. The gathering degenerates into a scuffle and the police try to break it up. Carolina Washington arrives with CRADLE troops to arrest the anti-Law ringleaders for inciting vigilante violence.

Ms Marvel (obviously now out of hospital), Nova (Sam Alexander) and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) are watching from a rooftop. MsM brought them here to watch for trouble like this. Nova thinks they should go down and stop them arresting people. Spidey  doesn't know what they can do which won't make things worse. Kamala rings Chicago's teen heroine Ironheart on the secure Champions phone but gets no answer. Sam can't wait. He rockets down and the other 2 reluctantly follow him to keep him out of trouble. Nova tells everyone to vacate the area but a pro-Law protester throws a can at him. CRADLE move in to arrest the Champs.

Ironheart's Champs phone is in her deserted and cleaned out lab. Riri Williams herself is at home eating cereal and ignoring the news about the riot. Her mother Ronnie is about to leave for work but tries to get her daughter to go to the lab. The Law may stop her being Ironheart but it can't stop her being a scientist. Riri says there's no point, but we notice she can't stop tinkering with household gadgets. A bit later her friend Xavier King comes to the house to ask her out to a free movie in the park but she turns him down.

Then the doorbell rings again and it's the 3 Champions on the run from CRADLE. Riri tries to get them to leave but they tell her that the meeting she sent her AI NATALIE to was raided. Someone ratted on them and MsM suspects Riri, who responds that she's figured out that MsM is Kamala. And she also blames her for not being there to make the leadership decisions when Riri had to organise the operation which killed her friend Viv. Kamala apologises.

Sam says they still need to do something, but Riri says her own public identity means that she can't risk getting her mom into trouble. Also being Champions has already got Bombshell, Locust, Snowguard and Wasp taken who knows where. Sam reminds Riri that she could be exempt from the Law if she had an approved mentor, ie Iron Man. So he figures she just doesn't *want* to be Ironheart and a Champion. After all she can just be Riri Williams, girl genius. But she still asks them to leave. However her tablet beeps a warning that CRADLE are here and she activates something on her wrist that armours her up, putting the lie to Nova's idea that she given up being Ironheart. Miles suggests they surrender ...

... and miles away Viv Vision in a holographic disguise remotely urges them to follow his advice and be safe. But she sees the 4 of them come out fighting. Then she gets back on a bus to somewhere else. She's made friends with a woman and child on the journey, and the woman hopes she's running *to* something rather than away from things because otherwise the running never stops.

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

(Carol Danvers)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Carolina Washington, Champions, Ironheart, Locust (Fernanda Rodriguez), Nova (Richard Rider), Ronnie Williams (Mrs Williams), Snowguard (Amka Aliyak), Starling, Timeslip, Xavier King.

> Champions: Book info and issue index

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