CHAMPIONS #3, available Wednesday from Marvel Comics, dives back into an event that still feels eerily similar, as all underage heroes are forced to make a choice. That, or face the repercussions from C.R.A.D.L.E.
Thanks to the events of Outlawed, and C.R.A.D.L.E.’s growing support, the Champions are on the run. That is, some of the Champions are on the run – those who haven’t already been captured. In reality, this applies to any other underage hero out there.
It’s an event that feels eerily similar to that of the Superhuman Registration Act. Something that was almost certainly done with intention. After all, how could any agency possibly know the ages of the heroes they’re targeting, as most have secret identities? This feels like yet another excuse to harvest names and take control over those with power.
That is something openly discussed in Champions #3, as it should be. From the looks of things, it’s going to get quite a bit darker and dangerous before it gets better. All while history repeats itself.
Champions #3 is a rough issue to read, and it has nothing to do with writing quality. It is merely tough to see such a situation occurring – once again, at that. There are many parallels that can be drawn here, between the comics and the real world.
A fact that Eve L. Ewing likely wrote in with intention. It adds a raw element to the plot, as do the emotions and conflict portrayed on many of the characters within this issue. The Champions we all know and love have changed so much over the years, and this issue went a long way in showing the reasons why.
This issue is largely split into three parts. Those heroes who are in detention centers (sorry, reeducation camps), one group of young heroes that is on the run, and one solo hero trying to find herself after everything she has been through.
It’s fascinating to see how these three stories connect, albeit sometimes more than a little harrowing. It’s creating a powerful tale, with no shortage of emotion and impact. A fact that couldn’t be more true after that dramatic conclusion. Is anyone else counting down the days until Champions #4 drops?
As one might imagine, the artwork in Champions #3 is complex and fully capable of showy the variety of emotions that our characters are experiencing. There’s no doubting how broken up some of the captured heroes are, or how exhausted those on the run are. Not to mention dozens of other details.
Bob Quinn’s art is the basis for this issue, bringing over a dozen named characters to life, with little to no need to label any of them (though most do come with a courtesy label as well – nice touch). The dramatic changes in scenery is yet another impressive example from this issue, quickly jumping from a facility to a farm, and then back to the city.
Federico Blee’s colors enhance each and every scene that Quinn drew. There’s on sunset, in particular, that is simply breathtaking. It’s almost ironic how beautiful it is, given how dark it gets in this issue. The light blooms in general are wonderfully done in this issue, be it from a natural source, a bulb, or a power.
Finally, VC’s Clayton Cowles letters bring it all together. You can feel the exhaustion and exasperation coming off our young heroes. You can see the image and the damage caused. Most importantly, one sound effect and you can suddenly guess who is about to appear on the next page.
Champions #3 is going to be an issue that hits many fans right in the feels. The connections to the past, and to real life, just cannot be avoided. It makes this issue a difficult – yet vital – one to read, all while our heroes continue to fight for what is right.
Side note: I really recommend that readers looking into Champions right now also pick up Magnificent Ms. Marvel and Miles Morales: Spider-Man. As both series show different sides of the events currently going on.