Champions #1 hits your local comic book store this week from Marvel, and writer Jim Zub goes for it in the first issue, with his art team of Steven Cummings, Marcio Menyz, and Erick Arciniega delivering an iconic final page.
Zub throws a massive Champions team at you over the course of the issue but perfectly drops the breadcrumbs for the first story arc and future plot lines. To balance a vast roster and tell a coherent story is a significant accomplishment in itself, but what Zub does best is take a swing for the fence when it comes to the mission statement and purpose of the Champions. The book is timely and speaks directly at the problems of the world today. You can almost hear comic book fans cheering as Ms. Marvel gives her internal monologue. Those are the broad strokes used by Zub, but the writer also understands the emotional weight attached to being a hero, and gives each character an individual voice, and gives him or her a unique issue. In plain English, Jim Zub makes you care.
Now the hard part: Cummings has the task of fitting all those characters and emotion onto a page, and more importantly onto a panel. The first thing that stands out is Cummings’ use of camera angle; he goes full Michael Bay* as the original members go charging into battle (If you don’t get that reference, watch Bad Boys 2). I need to find out who blurred the “CHAMPIONS CHARGE” splash page because Brawn is jumping off the page and it’s fantastic. The colors by Menyz and Arciniega only help raise the bar on the splash page, as the colors on Viv Vision are hypnotizing. Then the next page is simply a shocker visually, as the art team goes all the way to the other side of the emotional spectrum with a single panel page. The next aspect of Cummings’ art that works well is how handled the crowds of characters and multiple conversations. It is very easy with small panels for the art to degrade, but Cummings doesn’t ‘phone it in’ and delivers the details need to tell a story. Also, Menyz and Arciniega help on colors by highlighting the characters in conversation. As the reader, you will easily read the story and not feel crowded.
Last but not least, Clayton Cowles has to letter the book with multiple languages and a plot twist. He does his best not to cover up the art. As we mentioned above, the conversations are easy to follow, and Cowles does an excellent job leading the reader as you turn the page.
Then we get to the last page, as the written word and art merge to an emotional peak delivering a modern day classic final page. Champions #1 sets up a story that deserves to be read.
Is Champions on your pull-list, and what did you think of the first issue? Comment below with your thoughts.
(W) Jim Zub (A) Steven Cummings (CA) Aaron Kim Jacinto
THE WORLD STILL NEEDS HEROES – AND THERE ARE HEROES ALL OVER THE WORLD!
The Champions have gone global! The team has seen explosive growth under Ms. Marvel’s leadership, with super-powered members ready to answer the call in a dozen different countries. They’re saving people and improving lives across the planet while they inspire the next generation… but something sinister lurks beneath the surface of their expanded mission. It’s a dark secret that could destroy the team and everything they stand for! Jim Zub (AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER, UNCANNY AVENGERS) and Steven Cummings (Wayward, Legends of the Dark Knight) ignite a new era of CHAMPIONS, filled to the brim with action, adventure and drama in the Mighty Marvel Manner!
In Shops: Jan 02, 2019