REVIEW: ‘Champions,’ Issue #7

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Champions #7 - But Why Tho?Champions #7 is published by Marvel Comics. Written by Danny Lore with art by Luciano Vecchio. The colorist is Frederico Blee and the letters are by Clayton Cowles. 

Still reeling from the events of Outlawed, the Champions are back together as a small team. Working as heroes again, the group is struggling to regain trust in each other and establish themselves as a force within the superhero community. But Kamala’s Law, the ruling banning young heroes from using abilities or costumes in public, is still technically in place despite the extreme resistance against it. As for Roxxon, the proprietors of the law in the first place? They have adapted to the modern era, becoming an app that controls and manipulates conversations.

Within this issue, Snowguard angrily rebukes the Champions’ plan. The team is trying to stop Roxxon and the still-active C.R.A.D.L.E. from possessing the narrative, deciding to infiltrate the company from the inside. Spider-Man and Nova are sent in as potential interns. Initially orchestrated as a team effort, the competition for the same place sparks conflict within members of the team. As the heroes get closer into the lion’s den, they hear of a protest featuring many of their costumed friends, one that has been hyped by Roxxon’s app itself. The young heroes are walking into a trap.

The structure and pacing of the plot are phenomenal. There is so much content within Champions #7, and it feels like a powerful journey just within one issue. But it doesn’t move at an extraordinary pace, in fact, the procession of the story is quite slow. This allows in-depth exploration of the story’s key themes. The threat that the Heroes are facing is modern and important within the current climate, focusing on social media companies being hijacked by organizations to alter and change events and conversations. 

Lore handles the development of this theme well, laying down an impactful statement. The action takes a while to happen, but it erupts out of nowhere and is intense. There are clever narrative techniques used that will make the reader smirk. The final page is strong but may have been seen coming if you follow the course of the narrative. There is an effective balance between character development and the mission at hand, both equally important as the tension builds.

This second issue of Lore’s run has all of the core team and several fringe figures within the Champions. But the focal point for much of the comic is Sam Alexander, AKA Nova. He grows massively as a character just within this one issue. Sam is naturally competitive and has often shown signs of cockiness. But here he develops insecurity, especially when Roxxon picks who they want as the new intern. He has moved from school to the workplace and is a small fish all over again. Much of the issue revolves around him trying to regain his confidence and strength. He has a superb speech at the end that caps off a terrific spotlight comic.

Nova’s friendship with Ms. Marvel is adorable and heartwarming. The writer continues a thread that was started in runs that came before the current arc, which focused on the friendship between these two founding members of the team. During their darkest days in Eve Ewing’s Outlawed event, Sam was Kamala’s rock. When she was struggling to keep walking, he was who she confided in. The tables have turned in Champions #7, and he needs the pep talk. She allows him to rant to her and gives the most affectionate compliments that have ever been seen in a comic book. It shows just how warm a character Ms. Marvel is.

The dialogue is magnificent. During the first act of the comic, it initially feels like there is too much conversation, with big word balloons and discussion that continue for several pages. But when the substance of the word balloons is this good it is absolutely welcome. The dialogue is natural, full of funny quips and affectations. The big motivational speeches are well designed and rife with emotion and the voice of the character. Nova’s monologue at the end is positive, but Bombshell’s description of her experiences within the “reeducation” centers under C.R.A.D.L.E. and Roxxon may be the most powerful piece of dialogue in the issue.

The art is tremendous and perfectly suited for the characters on display. Vecchio’s design of the characters illustrates a constant reminder of how young they all are. The Champions are smaller in size and stature than their older colleagues within the hero community. But the artist’s exaggerated proportions also highlights this. The larger eyes lead to brilliant expressions, especially in times of rage or joy. The costumes are all superb, but Vecchio continues to build character through the casual clothes the heroes wear when they are at home. The fight scene in the final third is claustrophobic as the Champions are surrounded by a larger crowd. This builds the stakes for the battle and stokes the tension that is being charged by the writing.

The colors are vibrant throughout the issue. The tones that Blee uses are incredibly rich and stunning. The bright colors on Ms. Marvel’s costume or what makes up Viv’s skin are eye-catching in every panel they are in. The use of intense colors ramps up the energy of the comic even more but may also be especially captivating to a younger audience.

The letters by Clayton Cowles are effective and easy to read. There is a vast amount of dialogue in some pages but the word balloons aren’t obstructive against the rest of the art on the page, and the letter breaks up the conversations so that it is easier to process.

Champions #7 is an outstanding superhero comic. There is more character development and theme exploration within this one issue than there are in whole volumes within other comics. Lore has captured the voices of the heroes very quickly and is telling a powerful and impactful story. The themes of social media and its effect on society are more important now than ever, and it is laid out through intelligent methods and ingenious storytelling. The art is sublime and covers the comic with brightness and energy. 

Champions #7 is available where comics are sold.

Champions #7
5

TL;DR

Champions #7 is an outstanding superhero comic. There is more character development and theme exploration within this one issue than there are in whole volumes within other comics. Lore has captured the voices of the heroes very quickly and is telling a powerful and impactful story. The themes of social media and its effect on society are more important now than ever, and it is laid out through intelligent methods and ingenious storytelling. The art is sublime and covers the comic with brightness and energy.