The recently canceled Champions will return in Civil War 3, otherwise titled “Outlawed”.
Back in October, the second volume of the new era of Champions ended after its 10th issue due to low sales. It was a poor end to an era once launched by Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos and was considered the primary launch of Marvel Comics’ editorial regime in 2016. Yet the teasers to the upcoming Incoming crossover event noted that it wouldn’t be the end for the teenage super-team. As reported by the AV Club, ICv2, and others, the team will return in March 2020 for Outlawed!
It will be written by Eve L. Ewing, best known for Ironheart and the first arc of Marvel Team-Up (which has been resold in trade collections as Ms. Marvel Team-Up). The artist will be Kim Jacinto, Champions cover artist and interior artist for Sentry and Savage Avengers. Editor Alanna Smith explains the premise for Outlawed, alongside several preview pages. The comparison to 2006’s Civil War is deliberate; whether as an homage or a ripoff will depend on the reader.
In Outlawed, it appears as if Congress is set to pass a new law, “The Underage Superhuman Welfare Act,” which will apparently ban anyone from acting as a costumed superhero who is under 21. That, technically, would be stricter than serving in the armed forces or in many police departments. It seems to have arisen as a knee-jerk reaction to a battle the Champions engaged in which involved a dragon dubbed “the Coles Disaster.” The preview pages show various heroes, young and old (such as Miles Morales, Riri Williams, Captain Marvel, Captain America, the new Falcon, Anya Pym, and Nova/Sam Alexander) being interviewed.
As Smith notes, this is eerily similar to Civil War No.1. In that, a brawl between the New Warriors (teenage and young adult heroes) against some random villains (like Nitro and Coldheart) in Stamford, Connecticut resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties and the passing of the “Superhuman Registration Act”, which required all superheroes to register with the government (and even publicly reveal themselves, according to some writers), or be imprisoned in the Negative Zone. Captain Marvel, ironically, wound up in the pro-security side in the “security vs. liberty” debate for both the original and second Civil War. Captain America seems to lecture about teenagers being allowed to be heroes due to his experiences in WWII. This is a change of opinion from him, considering his long history of rejecting teenage sidekicks (i.e. Rick Jones) and his frequent attempts to have the Young Avengers disband or forbid any teen from being an Avenger (such as Rage). Nova is the most aggressive of the Champions, as he tends to be.
Outlawed naturally seeks to put a fresh spin on it, as well as emulate the struggles and feelings of current millennials and young readers who feel oppressed, or are up against the baby boomers. It will remain to be seen if it accomplishes it while seeming to welcome being viewed as a knockoff Civil War. It does seem that some trends repeat in society.