Between a Rock and a Chitauri Place Infinity Countdown: Champions #2 Review
Writer: Jim Zub
Artists: Emilio Laiso
Cover Artist: Clayton Crain
Colors: Andy Troy
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Previously, young superhero Sam Alexander, aka Nova, received a distress call from his fellow Nova corpsmen, as they were under attack from recurring Nova enemy the Chitauri would-be conqueror Warbringer. Hearing this, Sam rushes off into space to aid his fellow Novas, being joined by his teammates the Champions. After tracking down Warbringer to the Chitauri homeworld of Chitauri-Prime, the young superhero-team must protect its denizens from Warbringer, as he’s vowed to wipe them all out to erase their failures from history!!
Summary with limited spoilers
Picking up right where the previous issue left off, Sam and his teammates are embroiled in a huge battle between Warbringer and his forces, and the Chitauri of the homeworld Chitauri-Prime, as their current ruler, the Mad Titan Thanos, refuses to give the order for the Chitauri to defend themselves. Nova engages Warbringer one on one, realizing that in order for them to save the Chitauri people, Warbringer must be defeated, then his forces will stand down, and the conflict will end. As the Champions redouble their efforts, all targeting Warbringer, Sam delivers the final blow, knocking the crazed warmonger out. Nova then cries out for the fighting to stop, and mercifully, it does. Having watched the entire battle unfold, Thanos then rises from his thrown, thanking the Champions for their actions, and the small amusement they provided. Enraged by this, Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, charges at the Mad Titan, only for hm to grab her head in his palm. The entertainment their actions provided leads Thanos to spare the Champions, but not before completely dissolving Riri’s armor. The Champions then fly off to the Nova Corps’ base of operations…
Opinions on story and art
After a fantastic first entry, writer Jim Zub, alongside art team Emilio Laiso and Andy Troy deliver an equally engaging and emotionally charged second issue and conclusion. Once again, no prior knowledge of the events of the crossover event “Infinity Countdown” itself is required to follow this story, making it a lot easier to follow than other event tie-in miniseries I’ve read in the past. The issue follows up on the previous one’s development of Nova’s character, as we see Nova working a bit more in-tandem with his fellow Champions than in the previous issue, though his impulsive side is still present. With the addition of Riri’s attack on Thanos, and his resulting destruction of her armor, the issue also takes a bit of time to develop her character, as her confidence takes a major blow as a result. All of this is very well-handled, as is the action sequence that opens up the issue, as Zub’s narration & dialog, alongside Laiso pencils craft a very intense fight between the Champions and the Warbringer’s forces. And Andy Troy’s colors remain very enjoyably fluid, fitting Laiso’s pencils quite well, alongside conveying sci-fi effects like teleporting or Thanos dissolving Riri’s armor, in a very effective way.