When I first grabbed All-New All-Different Avengers, I liked it. The writing was good, the art was good, and the characters were all lovable. What was wrong with it to me was the “Avengers” title being attached to such a apathetically amalgamated crew. Yes, we had Cap, Thor, and Iron Man, but in addition to them, we also had three kids- Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, and Nova. There are several issues with this, ranging from the adults condoning them on the team, to the lack of experience and age differences. It simply didn’t feel right.
Marvel has rectified that problem today with the release of Champions #1, which based on the cover I'm sure you can already guess, is a younger Super Hero team akin to the Young Avengers. Not only are we in the right age range with a unique name to boot, the lineup, based on the cover, is pretty solid for a group of kids. The roster so far includes Ms. Marvel, Nova, Spider-Man, Viv (Visions daughter with all the same powers), The Totally Awesome Hulk, and Cyclops.
The issue begins with Ms. Marvel finally getting fed up with the Avengers and quitting, following in Spider-Man and Nova’s footsteps. She meets up with the two of them and proposes the task of doing the Avengers thing on their own. After they decide to do so, they meet up with The Hulk, save some miners and then go on to recruit Viv, by way of Nova. The five of them find a super villain with a clown face involved in what looks like human trafficking, and our young heroes move in to stop him.
In the midst of the action, the team performs almost flawlessly, thinking in sync with one another and even going so as far as holding the Hulk back when he’s ready to senselessly smash the already defeated villain. Ms. Marvel, who seems to be taking the mantle of leader, gives something of a mini-inspirational speech in which she sparks a social media spread of the word “Champions” and thus comes their name.
I’m excited about this book because I like young teams like The Teen Titans, the New Mutants, and the Young Avengers, and every single character on this lineup is someone that's pretty hard to not love. In All-New All Different Avengers, I simply didn’t like idea of the kids fighting with the adults under the "Avengers" title. It felt more like an Academy book rather than the flagship Avengers title. Here it feels like they are the team that they are meant to be. I’m also rather stoked because the issue hints at the possible additions of other members such as young Ironheart, Moon Girl (with Devil Dinosaur of course) and the young Wasp. In any case, I’ve listed this book at my shop and am excited to see what Mark Waid has in store for us. Also, props to one of my favorite artists- Humberto Ramos!