A new hero’s bright debut! (Champions #21 Review)

Writer: Jim Zub

Artists: Sean Izaakse

Cover Artist: Stefano Caselli & Marcio Menyz

Colors: Marcio Menyz

Letters: Clayton Cowles



Last Issue

The team (newly joined by Ironheart & the all-new Wasp) found themselves in the Arctic, as longtime Marvel foe, The Master, was attempting to rebuild the melting ice-caps. As he was trying to explain his motives, Captain Marvel and Alpha Flight arrived, determined to apprehend the Master!! It seems a confrontation between the young heroes and the Canadian super-team is about to erupt!!

Summary with limited spoilers

Picking up where the previous two issues of this new creative-team’s run left off, the Champions and Alpha Flight are engaged in heated debate over whether to allow the Master to continue his work rebuilding the polar ice-caps or to apprehend the multiple-time would-be-world-conqueror. When Carol Danvers and her team refuse to back down from their desire to arrest the Master, a fight between Alpha Flight and the Champions breaks out!! Meanwhile, within the Master’s base, a cloaked Miles Morales (aka Spider-Man) is tracking a strange and subtle pinging of his Spider-Sense, leading him to Inuit teen Amka Aliyak bound to a table, her skin putting on a multi-color light show!! As the fight outside the base begins to turn the Champions’ way, a huge-polar bear-esque creature bursts forth from the ice beneath the base, Miles leaping out behind…

Opinions on story and art

This has been a VERY FUN, VERY VIBRANT start to writer Jim Zub & artist Sean Izaaske’s new run on Champions, taking over from the prior team of Mark Waid & Humberto Ramos. This final issue of the first story-arc does a very effective job resolving the mystery of what The Master was truly after and introducing new superhero Snowguard, aka Amka Aliyak, to the Marvel Universe & readers. This issue is mostly built around the fight between the Champions and Alpha Flight, and this is handled quite well. Sean Izaaske keeps the action fast-paced and intense, while highlighting each of the Champions’ skill-sets in battle. I never felt taken out of the action, even after a cut-away to the Master’s base to establish Amka’s part in the story. And speaking of, the debut of her powers and her superhero identity at the end of the comic are the stand-out moments of the comic and story-arc! Snowguard is a wondrous sight to behold! Marcio Menyz’s colors compliment all this very nicely! The bright blues & whites make the fight-sequences and Snowguard just pop right off the page!

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Ian Cameron

Ian Cameron

A comic-loving doofus eager to see the worlds on the page reflect the wonderfully diverse world we all share!
The conclusion to this new arc, and the introduction to new superhero Snowguard is handled very effectively, allowing for some truly gorgeous fight-sequences & a breath-taking final page! The issue may have benefitting from an extra couple of pages to wrap up the Master’s involvement in the plot, but the fight with Alpha Flight & Snowguard’s debut are so fun this is very easily forgiven!
  • The action is very well-paced & engaging, showing off each member of the Champions abilities very effectively
  • Amka’s debut as Snowguard is handled quite well, displaying her own powers stunningly
  • The dialog is very fun and the fight-banter in particular had me grinning ear to ear
  • The Master’s defeat & his base’s destruction feels slightly rushed.
Art - 10
Writing - 10
Plot - 9.5
Character Development - 9.5
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A comic-loving doofus eager to see the worlds on the page reflect the wonderfully diverse world we all share!

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