The world still needs heroes! But… does it need so many of them? In the first issue of the new volume of Champions, writer Jim Zub and artist Steven Cummings double down on the expanded roster of teenage superheroes, immediately showcasing the breadth of characters in Marvel’s junior varsity ranks. The book opens with team leader Ms. Marvel coordinating the efforts of three different squads, each working to tackle a different crisis in a different part of the world. In addition to members of the original lineup, as envisioned by Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos when the second volume of Champions debuted in 2016 (minus Kid Cyclops), Kamala’s charges include other next-gen heroes introduced to the team in recent months, like Ironheart and the new Wasp, as well as brand-new or nigh forgotten kid crime-fighters like Pinpoint and Bombshell.
That’s a lot of heroes.
I’m not complaining, although I can understand how an already marginally recognizable team might suffer further complication by including ever more unrecognizable faces. In fact, I’m glad Champions exists. The success of the X-Men in the 80’s and 90’s birthed a glut of mutants and as many team books as a spinner rack could hold. In the 00’s and 10’s the same was true for the Avengers brand; those guys even needed their own planet to base operations. But Champions, both in the fictional world and in the retail environment, exists because the world needs heroes. And good superhero teams. Sure, there might be a little bit of cashing in happening in the immediate future thanks to the presence of Miles Morales, but Marvel hadn’t been banking on Sony’s fantastic Into the Spider-Verse achievement when they first put this book out. This book was engendered because some very talented creators gave life to some very compelling characters, and a few other very talented creators decided they could pull these kids together for some very compelling stories. And that’s exactly what they’ve been doing for almost thirty issues now.
Continue reading Champions by Zub & Cummings
That’s a pretty bold proclamation, Marvel. And those are some awful big shoes to fill. Days before the release of the highly anticipated Sony/Marvel animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a new era of Miles hits the stands. This first issue of Miles Morales: Spider-Man, by Saladin Ahmed and Javier Garrón, serves as a pretty good landing spot for new fans won over by the movie. But following up the work of Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli, who first created the character for Marvel’s Ultimate universe and have seen him through several volumes of titles since 2011, is no easy task.
Ahmed first turned heads in the comic book industry with his Black Bolt series. Partnered with Christian Ward, it was one of the single best superhero books on the stands in 2017. His workload has ramped up, both in independent projects like Abbott and on other Marvel titles like the Exiles relaunch. Over the course of several different books, Ahmed has showcased an ability to humanize overtly inhuman characters, while weaving a sharp sense of humor into engaging plotlines. Garrón garnered attention with wonderfully vibrant character design and a fluid art style, most recently in Mark Waid’s Ant-Man & The Wasp mini-series.
Yeah, but is it Bendis & Pichelli?
Continue reading Miles Morales: Spider-Man
Four months in on Marvel’s major All-New, All-Different relaunch, and we finally get treated to the continuing adventures of Miles Morales. After a significant role in Secret Wars, and testing the waters of his new Marvel universe in the pages of All New All Different Avengers, Spider-Man #1 is the real coming-out party.
And, appropriately, this party is hosted by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli, who introduced us to Miles in 2011.
Just as Bendis’s run on the original Ultimate Spider-Man has become treasured as many comics fans’ first exposure to Stan Lee & Steve Ditko’s wallcrawler, this new Spider-Man figures to do the same for a whole new generation of webheads. (I did my part this past Christmas. Little cousins? Comics all around.)
All New All Different Premieres
Continuing and related titles
Captain America: Sam Wilson #6
Captain Marvel #2
Contest of Champions #5
Deadpool and The Mercs for Money #1 (of 5)
Doctor Strange #5
Guardians of Infinity #3
Howard the Duck #4
Invincible Iron Man #6
Rocket Raccoon and Groot #2
Scarlet Witch #3
Uncanny Avengers #5
Uncanny X-Men #3
Continue reading All New All Different Marvel – Week 18