Individualization Featuring Champions #1

DISCLAIMER: This is a series written by Mark Waid. All characters are owned by Marvel Comics. Thoughts are all mine.
UPDATE: The Daredevil review series has been canceled and I have lost everything I wrote for the review for New Avengers #7, Because of this I am scrapping the review as I am roughly 11 issues behind. The past couple weeks we saw the release of “Champions” and “Death of X”. They both obviously only have  issue released so they will be easier to follow and keep up with. In each review, I will explain why I choose that series.

Thoughts by: Christopher Johnson


…People with power punching down. Taking lives when they don’t have to. Meeting unarmed perps, and even unarmed kids, with lethal firepower. That’s the world we’re inheriting, where the violence does all the talking. But we can be better than that. We have to start enforcing  justice without unjust force…

-Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel


Why Did I Pick This Series?

          Whether it is Avengers Academy, Avengers Arena, New Warriors or Avengers Underground, I enjoy Teen Teams by Marvel and this is the latest one. After reading “Vision” by Tom King(Which I may review one day), I was interested in seeing Viv (the daughter of Vision) on this team along with Amadeus Cho’s Hulk, Miles Morales Spider-Man, and a few more notable characters. That is basically the reason I choose to read/review this series along with the good things I have heard concerning the series. With that, I will begin with my general thoughts.

General Thoughts:

         The book is written by Mark Waid and the art is drawn by Humberto Ramos. The art is alright, this is the same artist from Extraordinary X-Men, so I am used to it but at times it can be kinda off putting. I will admit the action scenes were the nicest visuals in this book. Overall the story seems interesting, the issue begins with Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel quitting the Avengers after Sam Alexander’s Nova and Mile Morales’ Spider-Man already did. They meet up and decide to form their own team and help Amadeus Cho’s Hulk save some miners in Kentucky. He joins their team and from there they search out Vision’s daughter Viv and she joins them. Viv searches the internet and finds a clown known as Pagliacci is also a human trafficker and has locked some underage girls in a large shipping container. They, of course, free the girls and hand the villain over to the cops. As the issue ends, Kamala’s speech inspires several teenagers to tweet their support for the new team known as the Champions. Now, let’s dive into spoilers as I discuss  my thoughts.


  1. The Review:

The Team

          Aside from Viv, I have not read anything concerning Nova(Sam Alexander), Spider-Man(Miles Morales), Ms. Marvel(Kamala Khan) and Hulk(Amadeus Cho), so I do not have thoughts on those four directly. Concerning Viv, it is really cool seeing her on this team as she is the least known hero on the team and one who has not made an appearance outside of the series “Vision”, until now of course.

The one problem I have with the cast is the fact that they all are legacy heroes. They are all teens who are using an identity of a former superhero. There are other fairly known and liked teen heroes that have their own identity, like Reptil, Hazmat, Finesse, Wiccan, Hulkling and many others. I feel this team was lazily put together because it is clearly the “What’s hip” in terms of teen heroes. Aside from Viv all of these heroes have their own solo series and Viv is a main character in a current on-going. At least 1 out of the box choice would have been nice, plus it could introduce fans of the newer teens to someone like Butterball or Hazmat instead of just shoving these new teens down our throats. Now, I will not use the team as an excuse to drop the series, I will read it and keep an open mind, I just don’t like the team right now.

The Villain

          Pagliacci is really just thrown on at the end to give the story a villain. The main plot in this issue is setting up the team. He had a unique design and will hopefully reappear later on in the series where he isn’t taken down so easily, but I am bringing him up because he clearly works for someone and I feel like his employer will have a larger impact on this story in the future and could even be the big bad of the story.

Waid’s Portrayal of Cho

          Immediately, I do not like how Waid is portraying Cho as Hulk. Cho is the eighth smartest person in the Marvel Universe and in 2 instances he is portrayed as dumb. The first scenario is when he goes to save the miners, he rushes into the mine shaft and just punches the rocks in an effort to dig. Now, I understand he was trying to reach them ASAP, but it just seemed reckless and dangerous. The second instance occurred when Spider-Man, Nova, and Ms. Marvel came to help him. Spider-Man was about to use his webbing to hold the ceiling up so the could rescue the miners before the wall collapsed and Cho literally did not know why Miles had webbed the ceiling to which someone replied “Aren’t you the eighth smartest person on Earth?”, I feel this was used for humor and it was a lame attempt as it ignores Cho’s established personality.

           My second problem with Waid’s portrayal of Cho is at the end. Yes, Pagliacci is a murderer and a human trafficker, but it was out of character who HulkCho tried to smash him to death out of rage, let me explain. Cho witnessed the death of his parents, stood next to the killer and had the willpower to walk away and let justice be served and he also saw Hawkeye kill his mentor Bruce Banner, and yet had the willpower to not kill Hawkeye. Yes, Pagliacci is a sick individual and I believe many Marvel heroes would have cracked and either would have killed or would have tried to kill him, but a character who has proven to have willpower in worse situations, would not have done this.

Political Undertones

The end of the book contains a long and pretty powerful quote by Kamala Khan. It involves joining together and creating a better tomorrow using wisdom and hope instead of unjust force. This sways slightly political because it involves “people with power” abusing their power and dealing with unarmed perps and kids with lethal firepower.

This quote makes sense that she would say as she is a teen and this would logically be on the forefront of her mind. I do not know where the book is going, but if this is where the book is going then I am very interested in seeing where the story goes and exactly how Kamala tries to make a better tomorrow. Will it be a standard team book or will it shape it’s own mold.

  1. The Conclusion:

          Overall, despite my complaints, this was a good start and I am interested to see where the book goes from here. Hopefully, this series can keep my interest enough for me to continue reviewing it. I do not care if it is good or bad, I just don’t want it to become boring to where I just don’t care to write a review. Anyways, my review for “Death of X #1” will be out next weekend. “Like” Comic Conversions on Facebook or follow CJohnson0545 to know when it is released.

Rating: I Recommend

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One Response to Individualization Featuring Champions #1

  1. Pingback: Individualization featuring Champions #2 | Comic Conversations!

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