It honestly broke me a little when the announcement came that Champions has been cancelled. This has been one of Marvels standout books in recent times. It has also been one of Marvel’s most ambitious books out there that takes a wide cast of young heroes to forge them new paths in the universe. Champions so far has perfectly represented the kind of hero book that our Avengers titles have been missing. The genuine work that reminds you that everything matters beyond the fight. Now on the bright side? The book ran a first volume of 27, and the second is at least going to hit 10. That is still something. Actually more than enough to properly establish this team as something that will live on beyond this title.
Nonetheless, we still have issues to go before that point. Right now there is just the excitement from us finally getting around to the story of Sam Alexander and how he gets back into the game. I mean, well he get his helmet back? Will he get something better? What price will he ultimately face by involving Kaldera’s brand of madness? This is what we’re here to find out! When we caught up with them, it was so abrupt, but also met your expectation in chaos with these two consistently butting heads about the right way to retrieve this helmet. I actually appreciated the pacing employed to get them from point A to point B. There was a lot surprisingly going on at the same time here, and the last thing you wanted to do was spend too much time running around searching. So when it came down to it, it ended up being more important to show what would happen after Sam reached his destination. Not to mention what he would do after. That said a lot about the heart of a hero that has clearly remained in spite of what he has been through up to this point.
Now I can’t say that I remembered entirely the last appearance by the Freelancers, but I didn’t have a problem with the use of villains that you don’t too much of in general. I was actually surprised that the use of the Freelancers, and the return of Sam to Earth was two different things that simply ended up crossing paths. The team of Champions who were sent to deal with them wasn’t a bad choice either. This was the first mission that we have experienced since Ms. Marvel stepping down. It went just about how you thought it might when the glue for the team is not currently the same. Certain things happened just how you pictured when there’s problems prioritizing teamwork and building upon their communication skills. What made the whole situation fun is that the Freelancers also didn’t really have it together.
After Ms. Marvel’s break from the team, I was interested in seeing how this would shake things up for the team. Ms. Marvel is someone who they have been able to put their trust in because on paper she tends to have it together. You can’t exactly say the same for Viv. She has all the ability to lead a team, but even then you know that she would have some rough patches given what’s going on with her currently. Throwing Riri her way was a good first example of this to start things off.
Excellent artwork as usual from this art team. I’m not going to lie that those first page did throw me for a loop at first, because the pencils were a bit different from everything else which followed. Wasn’t sure if that was just because of the perspective, but it was definitely something that was hard to overlook. Not in a bad way either, but just for the difference. Aside from this, excellent for the same youthful energy that went into the engagement from these characters. Surprisingly even the Freelancers. The highlight of this issue for me was seeing what Nova looks like when Steve Cummings is drawing him. We’ve seen the kind of flavor he has brought to the rest of these characters, and it made me anxious to see what he looks like in action. Our patience was rewarded when Cummings really embraced the power that this helmet wields. Off the bat you could see the distinction of this black helmet for the style difference it carries in contrast to other Nova soldiers. Though what jumps out at you most is the intensity of the colors used for him. Mainly his explosive and fiery aura.
Champions #8 brings the return of Sam Alexander and Nova to a close. Considering how the next two issues look based on the covers, we all pretty much knew that this was going to be the return of Nova. However, the devil is in the details and fortunately that did not betray us in this issue. It was fun, chaotic, and enlightening for the direction that this team is now taking.