Comic Book Review: Champions #2
Bigger doesn’t always mean better. Neither does it mean that your problems won’t double having so much ambition to expand around the globe. It was very interesting for this creative team to hit us with such a twist by the end of the first issue. Everything really did seem like it went smoothly on the surface. You couldn’t help but wonder what it was that Miles and Brawn experienced either in that first issue or before which could put them in such a mood around the rest of the team.
Well if we are being transparent, then the real question would be what kind of deal Miles and Brawn could have made with Mephisto to fill them with such rage and regret. The hype for this second issue was finding out just what one of the Champions has made a choice that will haunt them for the rest of their days. Even if we would want to see more of the expanded team in action, there is no denying that this was one heck of a way to shake things up for the team when we have been consistently hit with this tease that something would go very wrong for them. Personally I was expecting crap to hit the fan for them maybe after the first story arc. Using the second issue to jump into where things went wrong for Miles and Brawn was a risk which ultimately paid off. You cringe because of the series of events that led to things going wrong for the team, yet real world consequences mean everything tragic that aims to break you. All of it progressed naturally as well. The only fear would have been the thought that it would be forced for the sake of shock value, and that was far from the case.
As I pointed out in the first issue, this story isn’t about how high you climb, or how far you fall. Being a young hero is about what you are willing to do to stand tall when everything goes wrong. Our heroes were faced with that reality this month and handled it the best way they could for those of their age. Getting that full hero experience means making some dicey decisions that you will regret over time. It hit hard to see what could come of making a deal that would obviously have a cost you either notice or don’t.
What I came to appreciate about this chapter was the fact that despite this being an issue that would explain the deal made with Mephisto, most of this issue did manage to play out as if just another day in the life of a Champion. It was exciting to be reminded of the kind of situations they are able to handle. This one in particular may have been one where they were in over their heads, but that’s the kind of fires we want to see this team thrown into. The kind where they have to go above and beyond to save the day. I also enjoy that there is a tendency to use more practical means to solve a problem. When it’s the Avengers, they simply smash the enemy and go on their way. However, when you are a Champion, more time is split between fighting the villain and making sure that the people are safe at the same time. These things matter to see in action when the main reason for those like Ms. Marvel and Miles leaving the Avengers was for everything they neglected.
It was also because of issues like this where I couldn’t be happier that Steven Cummings is now on board with this book. You couldn’t have asked for a better team than Cummings and Marcio Menyz to tackle the madness. The action was on point and a thrill, but it was the emotion that this art team was able to put into these characters which captivates you. For the kind of villain they encountered, you could see the fear on their faces, sense of urgency, the panic, and the pain of feeling defeated. There was a roller coaster of expressions to experience here and all of it came organically. The colors were amazing between both villains who appeared in this issue. The yellow tones which made up the first one had so much depth put into it, and the same could be said for Mephisto who we know is red from head to toe. Aside from that, the best word to describe the colors as a whole would be electrifying. What brought this issue together visually would have to be the page layouts. That made such a big difference in appeal considering that this issue was for the most part all about the action. Getting creative with the borders never hurts.
Jim Zub really knows how to pull the rug from under your feet. This is about the second issue of Champions he has written where for me he hits all the right notes with real world situations for a hero. Champions #2 showed us exactly what consequences you can face when a young hero taking on the world. Every action has a reaction, every decision has a consequence. You are picking your poison to the best of your ability as a hero when things get tough.