Marvel’s CHAMPIONS #5, available today, brings us back to a battle for what is right, as the Champions take on C.R.A.D.L.E. Written by Eve L. Ewing, and with art from Bob Quinn, Federico Blee, and VC’s Clayton Cowles, this issue packs a punch.
The Champions‘ last four issues have shown us a battle that feels like we’re once again seeing history repeat itself. Kamala’s Law feels far too similar to the Super-human Registration Act – a law that required the registration of all those with superpowers.
Only this time around, the target is ‘merely’ those that are underage. Never mind how one can tell the age of a hero when they aren’t public about their identity in the first place. But that’s hardly the point right now, is it?
With the creation of this law and a new task force (C.R.A.D.L.E.), the Champions have been split apart. One wracked with guilt, several captured and imprisoned (sorry, ‘schools’), and the rest on the run. And that is where Champions #5 picks up.
Champions #5 is the issue we’ve all been waiting for. Written by Eve L. Ewing, this is the issue that finally begins to piece everything together. What inspired the law in the first place, how it happened, and how it got so dark so quickly. (We all know that there was something dark lurking behind this law, right?).
It’s a high-impact issue, with lots of breathtaking speeches one can only expect from Marvel. Even knowing that they’re coming, it’s hard to prepare for how close some of them hit home. It’s a poignant reminder of how human these characters are – and how young the Champions are. It’s also a reminder, once again, of their potential.
The issue seems to be split into three distinct parts. Which makes sense, given the three ways members of Champions have gone. There is a lot to wrap up here and only so much time to do so. Yet, the delivery (and answers) are satisfying, even if they raise more questions along the way.
The ‘big bad’ revealed is a total forehead-slapping moment. Of course! We should have known I all along – even though their names never passed our lips. Eve L. Ewing has dug up the perfect villain to explain everything away, and she did it right under our noses.
It’s a relief knowing that this issue does not bring with it the end of the Champions series. However, it is the start of a new plot arc. One that ironically does tie into some of the events which just transpired, the real question is, how far down the rabbit hole is this going to go?
As you might imagine, a lot is going on visually within Champions #5. Inside are dozens of characters (many of them Champions), several scene changes, and one intentionally jarring transition. Just to name some of the highlights of this issue.
Bob Quinn’s artwork is well-suited to portraying these many heroes all in one place. Each Champion has their iconic look, and it’s easy to tell what they’re thinking – even when they only appear in the background.
The more emotional scenes in this issue (where the speeches come into play, naturally) are visually stunning. But more than that, they feel human – portraying two polarizing scenes (one an intimate family moment, the other a street full of people all living for the same idea – justice).
Federico Blee’s colors are vibrant – something we’ve come to expect from the Champions at this point. Individual characters and abilities practically jump away from the background, thanks to the color palette. Plus, those final two pages are made all the more jarring (intentionally so) thanks to the colors that Blee decided to go with.
The letters, provided by VC’s Clayton Cowles, help to establish a sense of scale. That’s not all that they do, but that is one of the more important parts of this issue. That and giving the Champions a platform for their moments of justice.
Champions #5 is a high-impact issue, one that has major revelations, as well as a few truly standout moments. These are the moments that Marvel fans live for, and it was worth all of that building up and tension. Now to see what the Champions are planning with their next mission.