Graphic Novel Review: Champions: Change the World

Champions: Change the World.

Champions: Change the World. - Credit: Archant

#Marvel #superheroes #teenagers #exceptional

(Panini Books)

Disillusioned by the events of Civil War II and the adult Avengers’ priorities in the wake of their latest destructive superhuman battle, teen heroes Ms Marvel, Nova and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) quit to form their own team alongside the Amadeus Cho Hulk, the time-twisted young Cyclops, and the Vision’s daughter Viv.

Certainly one of the first millennial super-team to truly feel as though they are a product of their generation, the Champions are a proactive force for change emboldened by social media and inspired to create a better future.

Their remit is to respond to global pleas for help by others in their age group, from defending young girls’ right to education in a troubled Middle Eastern nation to tackling bigotry from within the establishment in small town America, while still finding time for a bit of team bonding around the campfire.

Unlike many teen books which struggle to accurately reflect their protagonists, writer Mark Waid seems to have a perfect grip on what it is that motivates and amuses this generation of adolescents, no small feat for someone in their mid-50s.

The mix of characters is also more than just a hotchpotch of youthful heroes, of which the Marvel Universe has plenty, but draws on the storylines he set up around the trio of former Avengers and then adding to the mix with a diverse blend of costumed teenagers that truly reflects the rich history of the MU. Where else can you find a version of Cyclops from the past, a boy genius wielding the gamma-spawned power of the Hulk, and the daughter of an artificial man?

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A step up from so many other superficially similar titles on the marketplace, both from Marvel and their rivals, Champions has the potential to become a massive hit for the company, and truly set the template for a new approach to team books.