With the War of The Realms over, the Champions are back to fighting their good fight, and dealing with their own problems. That’s not to say that that wasn’t an excellent tie-in, because it made a big difference to put their money where their mouths were when a global threat like Malekith comes knocking on their door.This issue was one to anticipate, because after some time we are finally getting back to Sam Alexander and his mission to reclaim his helmet.
If I’m being honest, I may have actually forgot about Sam up to this point. It’s honestly easy, and it’s no one’s fault. You want t know what’s up with Sam’s mission, but there’s a lot of things going on in this book at the same time. All you could care about at the end of the day is that he himself is not forgotten. That would be a tragedy with so many questions surrounding his future as a hero. With everyone else either already established as a hero, or coming into their own, you do wonder what will be done with Sam. Will he get his helmet back? Will he find something better than his helmet? Or does he find that its possible to be super without the powers? These are things we had to know! But of course you have to get to that point before the answers.
Sam and Kaldera’s mission was exciting. This issue was quick to getting us to their destination, which left plenty of room for chaos and shenanigans onboard. Even if Sam and Kaldera dislike one another, there was no denying the dynamic they had which made you smile, despite bracing yourself for something inevitably bad to come. When you have a good idea as to who Kaldera is, it was easy to assume that most of the problems would come from her and this need to play be her own rules. By the end of the issue, I appreciated that this wasn’t going to be that simple for the two. Sam wouldn’t be done justice if we went so long without him, only to have his story summed up in one issue. Their actual destination may to some extent made the adventure for nothing, but at the very least we know that Sam is not the kind of kid who will cross the line to get what he wants.
Getting back to Ms. Marvel after her decision to step down as the leader, this was a big moment that you may have seen coming. However, that did not change either the execution of that moment, or what came to follow. What grabbed you most was the explanation from Kamala. It was heartbreaking. Her reasoning could have been very simple, but it was a combination of things that I believe wonderfully summed up the new hero experience. There’s a lot of things that make it difficult when you’re her age. One of those things is facing the reality that you’re not invincible, and that no one is truly safe. When those tears finally hit? That was when the weight of everything since the first issue hit like a flood.
What I liked the most about getting back to this storyline was the excitement from Steve Cummings drawing the character he seems to do best with. Kaldera seems like that kind of character plucked from a manga series. The way he draws her he is fun. He gets her unstable expressions, wild fighting style, and has fun with everything animistic about her. Almost reminds you of a fan favorite from another book he worked on called Wayward. Aside from this, the settings were on point. From the outside to the inside of the Nova Corps ship, he did not skip a beat in the renderings or detail he put into these structures. I was pretty blown away by the composition of the ship being half metal, half rocks. With that said, excellent color work from Menyz. As usual, adding energy to every scene whether it was sincere or action-packed. I don’t think half of what was drawn would have caught your eyes the way it did if Menyz was not there with such bold colors that popped. It takes a keen eye for the kind of range he is able to get out of his pallet.
Overall, this trip to space was refreshing for Champions. After so much that has happened, breaking away for just an issue to address the whereabouts of a teammate was worthwhile. This was a dangerous game that Sam was playing to have Kaldera help him to get his helmet back, but at the same time it was fun for so much that could have gone wrong. Well, so much that could have been worse than the kind of trouble she brought him.