Marvel Pick Of The Week – February 22, 2017: Champions #1.MU


Champions cross into the Monsters Unleashed event with a spectacular showcase of the best of teen team books – remember Psionex?

Pick Of The Week: Champions #1.MU by Jeremy Whitley, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt

The Champions formed out of great teen heroes as jaded by Civil War II as the rest of us. They’ve made Pick Of The Week honorable mentions with almost every issue. Bam Smack Pow reviewer Alex Widen has loved them, too. This week, they jump into Marvel’s wacky spring crossover and emerge even better.

Jeremy Whitley doesn’t usually write these characters, but his plot fits seamlessly into their book. The kids agree to help out at an environmental protest, and after an initial fight with a great new supervillain team, giant monsters crash the party. The kids have to grow up a little if they want to survive this one.

I’m showing my age, but New Warriors was my favorite book growing up. Teen heroes fought for what they believed in, regardless of Avenger approval. And Whitley takes the same spirit to Marvel’s modern generation of legacy heroes. This panel pulls exquisite characterization into a charming sense of humor, introducing everyone and their mission:

Image by Marvel Comics

And my favorite New Warriors stories were the ones with Psionex. This group of creepy misanthropes fought the team or reluctantly united. But they always pulled the best characterization out of the title heroes.

New Warriors #4 cover by Mark Bagley

This new team of malevolent mercenaries, The Freelancers, has a similar setup. Whitley delicately dances the two teams. They can fight each other, they can fight monsters, and they keep their individuality. This author never stops characterization of these new villains at their powers. Panic might be bisexual. Crush can’t stop flirting. I’d read a whole miniseries of this gang. And I look forward to their future adventures in the next arc of Champions.

Honorable Mentions:

by Javier Garron

by Javier Garron

Oh, Havok, I can forgive so many things. The terrorism. The magical switch into villainy. But the man bun? I… I need a minute.

by Javier Pina

The extreme villainy of Baron Zemo can be played for laughs and chills at the same time, and Spencer knows the perfect ways to do this.

by Juann Cabal

I adore Elektra’s classic costume, but man, this is a great redesign.

by Alex Maleev

We all fight with our moms, but it never looks this good.

by Danilo Beyruth

by Danilo Beyruth

This Ghost Rider was already scary enough. And now he’s Hellraiser.

by Jorge Coelho

Current mood: Raccoon giving you the middle finger.

(Check out Alex Widen’s take on our Pick issue here!)