Comic Book Review: Champions #25

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This here is the issue I’ve been waiting for. I’ve been a broken record this year about everything involving Weirdworld, and how could you not be with such a fantastical place existing in the Marvel Universe. One that numerous writers have already taken advantage of this year for their respective ongoings. After recent events with the Champions, it only made sense that this would be their next destination after losing Sam and Nadia to Man Thing’s portal.

The way things picked up with this storyline after the one-issue break last month was not at all what you braced for. Given that month away, it was easy to forget how crazy things had quickly gotten for this team between the things they were still dealing with, and the losses from their run-in with Man Thing. A lot to process, though more importantly the concept of losing a teammate who they knew personally. What truly shocked me was the perspective this was all taken from. It was fairly cold and unexpected of this character after everything they have been through to this point. Now when I say unexpected, that is mostly because we were led to believe it was one person in the moment, only to find out that we were following the words of another. Quite brilliant of Zub if you ask me since at the same time we don’t know who said person actually is.

How they found their way to finding Sam and Nadia was very creative as far as thinking outside the box for this team. The one thing that you have to admit is that majority are out of their element when it comes to things involving the supernatural or magic. Half of them rely on data, logic, and reason to make sense of the things around them. The other half of the team is not exposed to enough elements outside of what is grounded to their sense of reality. So it was very creative when they found a way to follow a magical trail that didn’t involve any of them actually knowing spells or enchantments. It also goes without saying the appreciation that even in this series they can quickly address the current rules of magic and roster of those who you would normally turn to for magic situations.

Now it was the introduction of Weirdworld from their perspective which quickly sold me on this story. What changed them was a cool twist, but it was how they adjusted to this world which stood out most. The one thing you have to appreciate about stories taking place here is that the journey is never the same. Some of the major players of this realm may be the same, but the world itself is always new. Of course there was the question of the way that the world adjusted to them, but I’m certain that this answer will come in time. With that said, the artwork blew me away from the minute they stepped foot into this realm. The style quickly changed from something high energy and soft, to verily detailed and medieval in theme. I found it very fitting how the entirety of the team pretty much took on the roles of a raiding party in appearance. The paladin, rogue, warrior, mage, druid, nothing was left off the table and they worked these looks into the right Champions without losing what makes them who they are at the core. The color work really brought it together when shifting from bright to more grounded with a touch of fantasy effects. When I say this, I mean colors that bring out a sense of classical themes. The faded overlay along with the worn down textures.

Finding out what happened to Sam and Nadia was a surprising development. Just about anything could have come of their situation once taken to this realm, but the reality of their situation was a great way to challenge these characters as a whole. I mean how do you save each other when you aren’t the same as how you entered?

As the 25th issue milestone for Champions, this was the perfect statement that this books has so much more to offer than your average superhero team book. They go through the things that you find genuine about the importance of heroes to one another, they tackle the importance of sacrifice, and emphasize the importance of having a sense of duty to those who matter. Aside from that? This is a brand new adventure full of wonder and excitement.

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8.5