Champions (2016 team)
Cover of Champions Vol. 2 #1 (October 2016)
Art by Humberto Ramos
|Group publication information|
|First appearance||Champions Vol. 2 #1 (October 2016)|
|Created by||Mark Waid|
The Champions are a team of superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The team first appears in Champions #1 (October 2016) and was created by writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos.
In July 2016, Marvel announced the debut of the Champions, a team of teenage superheroes who became disillusioned with their predecessors and split off from the Avengers following the events of Civil War II. The team, featured in a series by writer Mark Waid, initially consists of Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Nova (Sam Alexander), Hulk (Amadeus Cho), Viv Vision and a teenage version of Cyclops. Executive Editor Tom Brevoort stated that while these are the initial members, the roster is subject to change not unlike the Avengers. Brevoort also stated that the purpose of the team is to "reclaim and redefine in a classic sense what being a superhero should mean. Rather than seeing the previous generation as these icons that came before them, now they've interacted with them on a one-to-one basis and learned they aren't better or worse than anybody else." Brevoort explained that the characters chose the name Champions to distance themselves from the Avengers and wanted something decidedly upbeat. Brevoort also revealed that he had a list of several other names in case the trademark dispute with Heroic Publishing, who owned the name, fell through.
The first issue of the series was published on October 5, 2016. It sold 328,000 copies and was the second most sold book that month. It has been well received by critics and fans alike with an average score of 7.9 and 7.5 respectively on Comicbook Roundup.
Fictional team biography
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In the aftermath of the Civil War II storyline, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), and Nova have left the Avengers and make plans to "put the world back together." After recruiting Hulk (Amadeus Cho), they head to Washington, D.C. to recruit someone on Cho's suggestion: Viv, the synthezoid daughter of the Vision. On Viv's suggestion, the team heads to Baltimore to stop Pagaliacci from kidnapping underage girls for human trafficking. After freeing the girls and stopping Pagalicci, they form the Champions.
During a camping trip, the team learns about each other's powers and is visited by the time-displaced version of Cyclops, who at first appears as an enemy but manages to win the team over and joins them. They later head to Lasibad, Sharzad to help a group of women and girls that are being gunned down by terrorists. After rescuing a small group, they form a plan to drive the oppressors away. Afterwards, the team argues over who should be the leader when their ship gets hit by a bazooka. They survived the crash and Hulk and Cyclops used their powers to propel themselves forward because Viv saw land. Unfortunately, the "land" turned out to be an Atlantean ship and they were kidnapped. They manage to break free, escape and fly away. But somewhere else, the Champions also inspired another well-known, but troublesome hero: the Unbelievable Gwenpool. They later appear in a small town that is experiencing a wave of hate crimes. Gwenpool arrives to help them and they figure out that the town sheriff is responsible for the crime wave.
Some time later, the Champions have allowed their logo to be used by other groups doing good like cleaning up beaches, teaching self-defense classes, and other good works. This creates an opening for a group of as-yet-unidentified people who are against such things to put a black mark on the Champions' reputation by hiring a group of super-powered delinquents called the Freelancers to use the name and commit crimes. Hulk had previously predicted that this might happen and has been watching for it. As yet, they do not know what they plan to do. The Champions later encounter the Freelancers and convince them to do good when one of them reveals that they've bought the rights to the name of Champions. Later, the team deals with the fact that the Freelancers are using their team name for financial purposes, which makes them look bad, until Nova makes a statement online that enables the people to burn the Freelancers' merchandise. Meanwhile, Viv returns home only to be locked up in her room by Vision. Viv then goes to San Diego, California where she meets a new superhero known as Red Locust. They join forces to shut down a drug lab that was using runaway juveniles as slave workers. After Fernanda Ramirez tells her background story and the legacy of the Red Locust, Viv returns home to her father while also making plans to have Red Locust be given honorary membership to the Champions.
During the "Secret Empire" storyline, the Champions are joined by Ironheart and Falcon II at the time when they become members of the Underground following Hydra's takeover of the United States. The Champions later followed Black Widow when she makes her own plans for Captain America. During their training, the Champions argue over Black Widow's brutality and mercilessness on Hydra. During a mission, they infiltrate a Hydra base to find someone crucial to Black Widow's plan. Later, Spider-Man talks to Black Widow about Wasp wanting to leave the team, due to her concern about her brutality against Hydra and alliance with Viper. Black Widow then assembles the team when she discovers that the Underground resistance was attacked and possibly killed. In Washington, D.C., during their assault, Spider-Man goes to fight Captain America until Black Widow intervenes and gets killed. Spider-Man then tries to kill Steve out of revenge until the others convince him to not do it and they get arrested. They're later released by Taskmaster and Black Ant, who defected from Hydra, and join the Underground resistance during their attack at the Capitol, until Steve Rogers arrives wearing a Cosmic Cube-powered armor. They later witness the final battle of the Hydra Steve Rogers against the real Steve Rogers and the restoration of the US. After witnessing the Rayshaun Lucas version of Patriot in action, Miles Morales and Falcon II approach him stating that they would look forward to having him in the Champions. While looking for Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, Hulk and Viv find a walled off compound, disguised as a normal small town, that houses Inhuman prisoners. The heroes manage to defeat the robot guards and prevent Hydra from finding them. After Hydra's attack on Las Vegas, Nevada, the Champions search for survivors only for Patriot to arrive with a baby, the sole survivor of the attack. In the aftermath, the Champions encounter Psycho-Man, who was searching for an upgrade to his emotion controlling equipment. During the first encounter, Cyclops gets affected by the device. The team then manages to defeat Psycho-Man and cure Cyclops.
During the "Infinity Countdown" storyline, Nova gets a distress signal from a fellow Nova soldier stating that the leader of the Chitauri, Warbringer, sought the Power Stone, hoping to use it to reclaim his planet from Thanos.
|Character||Real name||Joined in||Notes|
|Ms. Marvel||Kamala Khan||Champions Vol. 1 #1 (October 2016)||Team leader|
|Hulk/Brawn||Amadeus Cho||Takes up the name of Brawn in Champions Vol. 4 #22.|
|Cyclops||Scott "Slim" Summers||Champions Vol. 1 #2 (November 2016)||Displaced teenage version from an unknown alternate reality. Left the team in Champions #18 for a big X-Men mission.|
|Gwenpool||Gwen Poole||Champions Vol. 1 #5 (February 2017)||Very Unofficial Reserve member.|
|Ironheart||Riri Williams||Secret Empire: Uprising #1 (June 2017)||Associate during the Secret Empire event. Officially joined the team in Champions #19.|
|Wasp||Nadia van Dyne|
|Snowguard||Amka Aliyak||Champions Vol. 4 #21 (June 2018)|
|Falcon||Joaquin Torres||Secret Empire: Uprising #1 (June 2017)||Associate during the Secret Empire event. Reserve members.|
|Patriot||Rayshaun Lucas||Secret Empire: Brave New World #2 (June 2017)|
|Red Locust||Fernanda Ramirez||Champions Vol. 2 #16 (January 2018)||Reserve member.|
|#||Title||Material collected||Pages||Publication Date||ISBN|
|1||Change the World||Champions #1-5||136||May 16, 2017||978-1302906184|
|2||The Freelancer Lifestyle||Champions #6-12||December 26, 2017||978-1302906191|
|Avengers & Champions: Worlds Collide||Champions #13-15 Avengers #672-674||144||February 20, 2018||978-1302906139|
|3||Champion for a Day||Champions #16-18, #1.MU||112||August 21, 2018||978-1302906207|
|4||Northern Lights||Champions #19-24||November 20, 2018||978-1302909826|
|5||Weird War One||176||January 29, 2019||978-1302915056|
In other media
The Champions appear in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2.
- "Marvel NOW! Hear This: Champions". Marvel.com. July 5, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
- Holub, Christian (July 5, 2016). "Marvel's young superheroes channel their activist sides in new series Champions". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
- Schedeen, Jesse (September 6, 2016). "6 Things We Learned About Marvel's New Champions Comic". IGN. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
- McMillan, Graeme (July 5, 2016). "Marvel Skews Young With New 'Champions' Comic Book Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
- "Actual October Sales: Champions #1 and the Loot Crate effect". The Beat. 2016-11-14. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
- "Marvel Are CHAMPIONS Again on October 2016 Comic Book Sales Charts". Newsarama. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
- "Champions Reviews". ComicBookRoundup.com. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
- Champions Vol. 2 #1. Marvel Comics.
- Champions Vol. 2 #2-5. Marvel Comics.
- Champions Vol. 2 #6-9. Marvel Comics.
- Monsters Unleashed Vol. 2 #1. Marvel Comics.
- Invincible Iron Man Vol. 3 #6. Marvel Comics.
- Secret Empire #1-7. Marvel Comics.
- Secret Empire #9-10. Marvel Comics.
- Secret Empire: Brave New World #2. Marvel Comics.
- Champions Vol. 2 #10-12. Marvel Comics.
- Infinity Countdown: Champions #1-2. Marvel Comics.
- "Marvel's Women of Power Pinball Pack Hits Zen's Pinball Platforms Today". Gamasutra. September 27, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016.