Truly, the Champions are heroes for the Trump era. In Champions #5, the team of young superheroes took on racism and in Champions #1.MU, they set out to protect pipeline protesters and stop those who bully the press. But what’s all this have to do with monsters? Read on to find out!
Champions #1.MU (Marvel Comics)
As of this writing, I’ve read three of these Monsters Unleashed tie-in comics – Avengers #1.MU, All-New X-Men #1.MU and now Champions #1.MU. It’s hard to see them as anything more than a cash grab. They’re essentially done-in-one stories that have no bearing on continuity. Think your average Marvel annual, with monsters shoehorned in toward the end.
Despite all that, this isn’t a bad comic. Written by Jeremy Whitely with art by Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, Champions #1.MU is a fun tale with a little bit of politics and humor mixed in for good measure. It’s a good cover of what writer Mark Waid delivers in the monthly Champions series – but no one can come close to topping that comics master.
As I mentioned in my introductory paragraph, there are pipeline protesters in danger! Roxxon – Marvel’s go-to evil corporation – has received approval from California’s government to run an oil pipeline through the Playa Del Angeles National Forest, something that doesn’t sit well with concerned protesters. It’s the fact that Roxxon has hired The Freelancers, a group of super-powered security contractors to maintain order at the site that attracts the Champions’ attention.
It’s not long before the two teams come to blows, but it does take awhile for the monsters to show up. One spews lava and the other is, uh, Godzilla? Seriously, Cyclops refers to it as “Snake Face,” but it totally resembles Godzilla if he got a personal trainer.
Whitely manages to slip in some fun puns, specifically when Spider-Man and Nova battle the super-powered version of Guy Fieri. And the fluid art from Stein and Brandt go nicely with the story’s light, action-adventure tone.
If you’ve been enjoying the Monsters Unleashed event, or just like to see your favorite heroes go Ultraman, you’d probably enjoy Champions #1.MU. But if you’ve got a limited weekly comics budget, you might be better off purchasing a book (or two) that packs a bit more of a punch and doesn’t have a $4.99 price tag. This definitely isn’t required reading for Champions fans.