REVIEW: ‘Champions,’ Issue #8

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Champions #8

Champions #8 is published by Marvel Comics. The writer is Danny Lore and the art is by Luciano Vecchio. The colour artist is Federico Blee and the letterer is Clayton Cowles. The Kamala Act, which banned teenage superheroes, forced the Champions to go on the run. Their actions temporarily stopped the Government from enforcing the rules, but the law still exists. In the “Killer App” arc, the Champions have discovered that Roxxon has resurfaced as a tech company, designing a social media app that may be used to maintain Kamala’s Law. Nova and Spider-Man both applied as interns at the company, but only Miles made it past the hiring process. To make his way in, Sam promises that he can get a celebrity endorsement, from Kamala Khan herself…

Kamala was unaware of this, causing a huge argument within the team. Back together, Kamala is angry and nervous about being that close to people who cause her and her friends such harm. But she follows Sam and Miles into the belly of the beast. The rest of the group aren’t involved, but if some of those inside aren’t able to stay there, then the rest of the plan may have to progress without them. And more secrets of Roxxon may be uncovered.

Each issue that Lore has written has been brilliantly structured and paced, and Champions #8 is no different. The comic is full of content, feeling like a full TV episode as opposed to a snippet. The comic has no action, but there is still fantastic drama within. The ramifications of the last issue set a split between the team, affecting how they act within this one. Whilst there my be no fights in this comic, it is clear that it is setting up for one. Viv Makes a comment that she is learning from spy movies how to act in this mission, and that’s what this chapter feels like. The ending isn’t a massive surprise, but there are unexpected elements to it.

What really shines within this series is the character development and the dialogue between them. One of the key figures in this arc has been Nova, fleshed out enormously by the writer. His pride was damaged during the last issue, and so he damaged the trust and boundaries between him and his friends. He views himself as the most important part of the operation, the hero. This creates massive conflict with his teammates. The dialogue is eloquent and effective as the toxicity inside Sam’s personality is made clear. There are honest and powerful conversations had in this comic that has been building since the previous image. There are also some clever callbacks to previous titles that are important to the story beyond just references.

The way Lore weaves themes and important messages into their scripts is superb. Within this issue, the glaring mistake that Sam made is that he never asked for Kamala’s consent. This isn’t enlisting Ms. Marvel, this is her civilian identity. These are concepts that are very rarely brought up in young adult material in general, let alone in a superhero comic. In addition, the writer understands social media and how it is utilised by companies better than most. This is possibly the main overlapping theme of the arc, feeling very modern and in-depth.

The art is fantastic. Vecchio has a talent for making brilliant moments of comedy through facial expressions and no dialogue at all. The other members of the team sat awkwardly as Ms Marvel and Nova argue is hilarious, and the sight of Vision in human clothing will always be adorable. The artist draws incredibly expressive eyes, huge on the characters’ faces. The art radiates fun, rounded lines and shapes maintaining high energy.

The sense of fun is captured again by Blee on colours. The outfits the characters wear, costumes or civilians, possess very vibrant and bright shades. The rich nature of the colours means that it is impossible for the reader to look away. The inside of Roxxon’s headquarters is full of bright shades and tones, but this may also be satirical towards how social media companies design their offices in real life to try and artificially boost their employees’ moods.

The lettering is fantastic. There are custom word balloons for the Visions, but all of the dialogue is easy to read. 

Champions #8 is a stunning issue for character development. One of the best aspects of Lore’s writing is that they treat the target audience with the respect they are owed. Some comics directed at teens can feel patronising or out of touch. Yet Champions recognises their intelligence with large amounts of dialogue filled with drama. The art makes this comic a delight to look at whilst the themes add a powerful emotional depth. 

Champions #8 is available where comics are sold.

 

Champions #8
5

TL;DR

Champions #8 is a stunning issue for character development. One of the best aspects of Lore’s writing is that they treat the target audience with the respect they are owed. Some comics directed at teens can feel patronising or out of touch. Yet Champions recognises their intelligence with large amounts of dialogue filled with drama. The art makes this comic a delight to look at whilst the themes add a powerful emotional depth.