With the return of Sam Alexander and Nova completed after the events of Champions #8, one has to wonder what comes next for this team. Only so much of course that we can expect when this run is getting close to a finish. Unfortunately, but the show must go on. Meaning there’s plenty enough for us to anticipate to come full circle for this team. This month’s issue just so happens to give us the impression that we should be seeing who exactly is their biggest liability.
At the start of the issue we knew exactly who the person was who betrayed the Champions. I’m glad that little time was wasted addressing this as the last thing we would want is to have our chain pulled by something that could happen so abruptly. It was a big shocker as well because this was the last person that you would expect to lose control of themself like this. While mentioning things coming full circle, there also could have only been one person who could mess with any person on the team like this. The reveal of who that turned out to be was brilliant because with everything else that has happened up to this point, it was pretty easy to forget that this villain was still a problem to worry about down the road. The big question from there was how you deal with a villain who fights you on that playing field.
Another thing that has come full circle was seeing something finally happen with Viv and this other program existing inside of her system. She was always either going to be able to fight this, or they would show us what happens when this other program takes control. What we ended up getting out of that was pretty cool because we were seeing a whole different side to Viv who was much more aggressive and take charge than usual. This may not actually be her, but it is still a part of her that exists.
Now with that said, there was no better time than now to bring Miles and others back into the story. With the book concluding in some months, the last thing you want to do is continue to keep the team split apart the way that they were. Clearly there was probably a plan for the team to come together in time, but given the time left, it was smart that they could find this common reason to come together once more. The only question was as they put it, “Miles Morales returns, but will it be in time to save his friends?”. The answer to that was satisfying. Mainly because this reunion came with an emotional moment that was a long time coming for this team. They tend to get in their own way a lot, and in this chapter they took their biggest steps yet towards being better. I mean, what is a superhero story without a little self-improvement?
It was hard to say which I enjoyed most from Steve Cummings this month. The guy really knows how to draw evil faces. He had fun with the idea that any one of these Champions could be turned evil. That grin which the one who betrayed them had was spot on because nothing about it seemed natural to who they were. I also loved the way that the villain who had a hand in this was drawn. One thing I appreciate the most about Cummings is the small liberties which he takes with certain characters to give them a bit more going on with their design. In the case of this villain it was a big improvement from what is usually so simple. That aside, I also liked the way that Nova was drawn too. Such explosiveness from him was a great reminder of what was taken from him initially. The coloring from Marcio Menyz was on point for the range and intensity of blues used. His colors in general were commendable for the depth he was able to give many of these characters and actions. This went a long way too in making certain action scenes pop.
Sam Alexander getting his power back was worth the wait, and so was what we got out of Champions #9 too. This situation that the team now faces was perfect for the opportunity created to explore how this team can rise above what initially caused some of them to part ways. The heart put into this chapter was wonderful, and reminds us of what we will be missing from our Marvel books once this story concludes.