Comic Book Review: Champions #26
The fantastical adventure for Champions continues in the realm of Weirdworld! Our first taste of Weirdworld from the perspective of the Champions last issue was exciting for the experience that no other heroes have shared in yet. When most journey to this world, they remember what brought them there and what they came to do. This Siege Parallel shook everything up when they are literally forced into roles to play.
Following Ironheart and Shadow-Spider was important at this point since this was the time for Ironheart to begin piecing together her situation. The more she was figuring out about the world around her, the more we were in the process. It was great exploration on top of character writing. Particularly knowing that the only way for Ironheart to break through to anyone would be to hit them with things from reality that are hard to ignore. Till that point, the emotional weight of being the only one hits hard since there’s not much she can do but play along to this story.
As for the Mystic Marvel and Snowgore, I enjoyed where their tale led them when this was the first time approaching familiar ground in Weirdworld. The big villain may not be Morgan Le Fay, but we still find ourselves standing in front of another power player, The Swamp Queen.With that said, what I loved more about Jim Zub’s approach here is that he genuinely tied this to every other story ongoing that involved Weirdworld so far. There was references to what happened in Deadpool, the effects of the ongoing Weapon H series had its part to play as well for why a certain someone was not present in this story. This world may not always show consistency, but it makes a big difference that all of these stories have had a hand in what affected the way we experienced it. With that said, it was good to see that her role in this world remained the same, which only led to what unique interactions these characters could have with her. How this all led to our introduction to Vivid Vessel was a big part of this issue. I like the way she somehow fit into this world as a mechanical being. A creative mix was struck between machine and magic that helped take big steps forward in plot progression.
For this second chapter, I liked that some time could be put into creating an understanding of what got Nadia and Sam to where they are now. When the others took on big changes upon entry because of an item, you had to wonder what sparked the same in the other two. I still had questions for one, but the other made sense from what you knew about this version of Weirdworld. It also helped that we could see how the Master found himself in such a seat of power before the Champions arrived. His experience as well was unique. This was certainly the kind of environment where someone like him would thrive given the right opportunity.
The artwork once again blew me away. I love to use the world fantastical to describe the appeal of the art, but that doesn’t do it justice at this point. I felt truly engaged by the way that Max Dunbar and Nolan Woodard engage us with this medieval-fantasy style to Weirdworld and the way that these characters have adapted to that setting. The first thing that grabbed my attention with consistency was the different forms that the enemies have taken on this world. The dragons, insects, citizens, I like that creativity went into showing us that we still haven’t seen anything in what this world has to offer in existence. Especially when now it is strongly emphasized that the world changes in more ways than just landscape. Journeying into the Swamp Queen’s lands was spectacular for the attention in detail that went into the plant life that it is made up of. Every bit of her Kingdom was composed of something different in interwoven whether vines, roots, fungus, and so forth. That aside, I loved the creativeness that went into the way magic and power was woven into the new capabilities of the Champions. Whether it was actual magic, or clever abilities, the effects popped. The colors as a whole gave this story an energy that keeps you at the edge of your seat.
Champions #26 struck a great balance between action and story progression. We learned a lot about Weirdworld, the unique ways that the rest of the team integrated into this new Weirdworld, and what it will take for this world to be returned to what it once was. Getting back home is just the icing on the cake.