Champions #4 Review
Writer: Jim Zub
Artists: Steve Cummings
Cover Artist: Kim Jacinto & Rain Berado
Variant Cover Artists: Khoi Pham
Colors: Marcio Menyz
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Previously in Champions…
After a disastrous mission in Dubai leads to the deaths of Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) and Viv Vision, Champions Spider-Man (Miles Morales) and Brawn (Amadeus Cho) willingly agree to help from the demonic Mephisto, to reset the timeline to save their teammates, but this leads to the death of a citizen Miles previously rescued instead. Meanwhile, former Nova foe Kaldera arrives on Earth seeking revenge on the now de-powered Sam Alexander…
As Kamala confronts Miles in Dubai, the latter brooding over what his decision has lead to, he reveals to Kamala the agreement he and Amadeus made with Mephisto. Across the planet in Manhattan, Sam and his teammates struggle to fend off Kaldera, as she demands the right to kill Sam in ritual combat to regain her lost honour. In the wake of this battle, the team’s mobile bunker begins to crash, so the team must thwart this disaster!!
Opinions on story and art
This was another very engaging and intriguing entry in writer Jim Zub’s increasingly excellent run on Champions! The conclusion to the opening arc of this new volume of this series goes in a very tragic direction, one that allows for some very interesting story possibilities going forward.
The plot for this issue takes a bit of a backseat to character-arc progressions for both Miles and Sam, and both are left in very interesting positions. The addition of Dust to the list of main characters on the title page is interesting, as it seems to imply a large role for her to play in future stories, as none of the newer recruits from the start of this volume (ie Falcon, Patriot, Bombshell etc) have been featured there.
I have quite enjoyed the use of Mephisto in this storyline, in a manner not typically scene of demons in fiction. Mephisto doesn’t want the heroes’ souls or their loyalty or their marriages but is after something more interesting. It’s very refreshing. Likewise bringing back Kaldera was very much enjoyable for me, as a long-time fan of Sam Alexander, having read his solo series adventures from the very start back in 2012! Between these characters, Dust, the main cast and the new team members, it’s very impressive how well Jim Zub’s been able to so effectively handle the characterization of each and every one of them!
The artwork from Steve Cummings and Marcio Menyz remains very effective, as the emotional heart-to-heart between Miles and Kamala, and the brawl between Kaldera and the rest of the Champions are both equally attractive and compelling! And much like Zub’s writing of this vast cast, Cummings and Menyz manage to balance the visual looks of this ensemble of characters quite well. With how Dust and Mephisto are both depicted in this issue, I’m very much looking forward to seeing this art-team draw both characters even more down the line!