Champions Returns From Waid and Ramos

Champions #1

I’ve always loved young teams most of all in superhero comics, so the Champions relaunch is right up my alley — particularly given the blend of young Marvel characters as written by modern master Mark Waid, and that this book is being promoted as a “brighter tomorrow”.

The new ongoing launches in October, illustrated by Humberto Ramos. The members are Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales, Nova, Viv Vision, and the Totally Awesome Hulk. (And, judging from the cover, time-displaced young Cyclops.) Here’s the promo copy, which with its optimism is a pleasant change.

… a brand new super team for a new era. A teen team supreme that refuses to adhere to the antiquated ways of old. It’s time to be heroes again, and [they] are striking out on their own to make a new future. Not Avengers. Not Defenders. Champions!

Champions #1

The Champions first debuted as a team in late 1975, created by Tony Isabella and Don Heck. They consisted of Angel and Iceman from the X-Men, Black Widow, Ghost Rider, and Hercules. However, because Marvel didn’t use the trademark for a while, and another company put out a role-playing game and comics under that name, the planned 2007 use of the Champions became The Order instead. I guess, now that Disney’s lawyers can be involved, that’s no longer considered a problem.


  • Jer

    Interesting. I assume that this is building off the Avengers book that Waid was doing then, since many of the characters are the same? It’s weird to see Young Cyclops portrayed as quite that young. Also if it’s Champions, shouldn’t we be getting young Iceman and young Angel instead? :)

    As for the trademark issues – a quick scan of the uspto database says that Heroic Publishing still owns the mark and a quick scan of Comixology shows that it’s being used to publish comics about scantily clad women. Marvel apparently has an official statement (that I just read at CBR) indicating that they’re in partnership with Heroic to use the mark for this book while Heroic continues to use it for their own title – which is a weird example of trademark dilution.

    Interesting to note – the publishers of the Champions RPG don’t actually have a trademark for the name Champions. I assume they lost it to Heroic when they had their various musical chairs ownership cycles through the late 90s/early 2000s.

  • Great research, thanks for that!

  • Jim Perreault

    This book should be a lot of fun. I wonder if there will be any tie to the original team besides the name?

    The roster got me thinking of how many times blended teams (teams of miscellaneous b-list characters from various different books) have been tried and how few succeeded.

    The best examples I can come up with are Barman and the Outsiders from DC, and the original Defenders and New Warriors from Marvel.


  • I love your typo! I think “Barman” leading a team with a tavern as a headquarters and decompressing with drinks at the bar after every meeting would be a great read! Plus, a tie-in cocktail cookbook.

    Seriously, what about the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League? Martian Manhunter and Guy Gardner were B-list, and Fire and Ice and Beetle and Booster were less known than that.

  • hapax

    Ramos always draws characters — especially young men — looking younger than they’re age. I think it’s the big feet and hands and the floppy hair; it gives them a real “puppy dog” feel.

    Speaking of floppies, this one almost — ALMOST — makes me want to start picking them up again. I quit the Big Two during the simultaneous Civil War / New 52 debacle and I realized that comics just weren’t any fun anymore. Maybe, maybe, Marvel (at least) has pulled their heads out of their hindquarters …

    … but they always end up breaking my heart again. :-(

  • Jim Perreault

    Well, the Justice League has the advantage of having the Justice League name.

    It also started out with a lot of heavy hitters, but they all left pretty quickly IIRC. It might count, but it’s not quite the type of team book I was thinking of.


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