CHAMPIONS #4, available now from Marvel Comics, brings the Champions, Cyclops, and the Marauders together, even for a brief moment. All while the Champions, and any underage hero, are dealing with the consequences of Outlawed.
For those that haven’t been following along, or who have been distracted by other events (ie: The King in Black), Marvel is once again facing an event that aims to control the actions of superheroes.
This time around, the focus is specifically on all those heroes that are deemed underage. Ignoring the fact that it is probably not easy to tell the ages of those that haven’t revealed their identities, this resulted in a new law coming into place: Kamala’s Law. It gives agencies like C.R.A.D.L.E. The authority to essentially hunt and track down those that disobey.
Those like the Champions, because naturally, they’re not going to step down, even if it was their actions that were the cause of this law, to begin with. Thus, half of the Champions (and dozens of other young heroes) have been captured, and the rest are on the run. That is where Champions #4 picks up.
The last issue left fans on a bit of a high note, giving us reason to hope that there will be change (or at least help) on the horizon. Naturally, that meant we were fairly excited to see what happened next in Champions #4.
Written by Eve L. Ewing, this is an issue that gave the perfect excuse for the Champions, Cyclops (previously a member of the Champions, if you recall), and the Marauders to interact. Our young heroes are hurting, exhausted, and tired of having to be on the run all the time.
Yet this issue continues to remind us of all the reasons why the remaining Champions can’t just turn themselves in and hope for the best. As we’ve been shown, the ‘best’ is really not ideal, and instead is reminiscent of horrible times in history. Both in comics, and in real life, as Marvel always tends to mirror real life.
Naturally, this issue had its ups and downs. It had some high moments, and it also highlighted (once again) the stakes at hand. Seeing other heroes are reacting to this law is always refreshing, especially those that have found a way around it.
Champions #4 is a visually complex issue, one that portrays multiple scenes and even more characters. In terms of what there is to see, this issue has a little bit of everything. It has some action, some grandstanding, character development, and obviously the opportunity for characters to show and express how they’re holding up.
Bob Quinn’s art really is perfect for this series, matching the style of the Champions, while also including several other well-known characters. The artwork is bright and the action is fun and easy to read – always a highlight for this crew.
The colors, provided by Federico Blee, bring that whole feeling even further. While many of the locations should feel dull and muted, there’s something about the colors that makes them feel more alive. Especially when there’s a hero standing in the middle of the room.
VC’s Clayton Cowles’s letters are the final touch that this issue needed. The Champions really do feel torn apart and tired, thanks to the subtle detail work provided by Cowles. Likewise, his work carries readers in a flowing motion, carrying the narration ever onward.
Champions #4 hits hard, as does the whole of this series thus far. There’s no avoiding the implications of this new law, not when we’re directly seeing the impact of it all. It hits close to home in many ways, as this compelling story continues to unfold.