Cosmic craziness!! Infinity Countdown: Champions #1 Review

Writer: Jim Zub

Artists: Emilio Laiso

Cover Artist: Clayton Crain

Variant Cover: Mike Deodato Jr & Rain Beredo

Colors: Andy Troy

Letters: Clayton Cowles

Infinity Countdown: Champions #1 cover by Clayton Crain

 

Last Issue

Marvel’s premiere teen-superteam launches into space as a young Nova Sam Alexander receives a distress call from his fellow Novas, and he alongside his friends the Champions fly into space to find out what happened to Sam’s fellow Novas…

Summary with limited spoilers

Picking up a short while after the events of the previous Champions arc (issues #19-21) and the end of Spider-Man #240, we find Nova, aka Sam Alexander, tucked in bed trying to sleep when his helmet (and the source of his powers) receives a distress signal from Sam’s fellow Nova corpsmen in space, as they’re under attack by Chitauri warlord – Warbringer!! Feeling personally responsible for Warbringer’s actions (having faced him in both his original solo series & All-New All-Different Avengers), Sam takes off into the night, vowing to find and stop Warbringer’s latest attack. Before departing his home, Sam’s mother recommends he tell his teammates the Champions, and after calling Viv Vision, the group then assembles to aid Sam. After making their way into space, they find the attacked Nova base, and discover it’s been decimated and there seems to be no survivors. Ironheart tracks the energy-trail of Warbringer’s weapon, leading the team to him bringing on a confrontation between Warbringer and Sam and an unexpected presence on Chitauri-Prime below…

 

Opinions on story and art

Jim Zub is on a roll with this new run on Champions! After a wonderful first arc, he begins a tale tying into the Marvel crossover event “Infinity Countdown” that puts the spotlight on Sam, doing so very effectively! Between the cancellation of his last two solo titles and the previous run of the Champions, Sam hasn’t had a whole lot of attention given to him lately and as a fan of the fifteen-year-old Arizonian, it’s nice to see him getting some focus! Now while I can understand some nervousness around picking this comic up as it is branded as a tie-in to a crossover event, I can say that no prior knowledge of the event is really required to fully understand what’s going on in this comic, something I always appreciate and look for in event tie-ins! My one big issue with this story is the involvement of Warbringer, as he was last seen thrown through time at the end of the first arc of All-New All-Different Avengers. So how he’s somehow back in the present is a question left unanswered here. However this is something introduced in the main event, so I’m not holding this tie-in accountable for that and this writer feels Zub makes better use of Warbringer than Gerry Duggan did in Infinity Countdown itself. The story within this tie-in is very enjoyable, allowing us to see Sam’s strengths (his concern for the Nova corps & unwillingness to put his friends in harm’s way) and weaknesses (his rash thinking and inability to fully accept the Champions’ help fighting Warbringer) as a character quite effectively! This story is a very effective character-piece for a hero recently lacking in that department. The art by Emilio Laiso is equally effective, showing a wide-range of expressive faces & the Champions all look very distinct! Colorist Andy Troy conveys the space-based elements of the story quite well, such as the lumance-quality of Sam’s helmet & powers, and gives the team members distinctive skin tones…something I always appreciate!

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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!
Summary
Jim Zub, Emilio Laiso Andy Troy & Clayton Cowles build off the involvement of recurring-Nova-foe Warbringer in Infinity Countdown to create a very enjoyable character piece for Nova himself, Sam Alexander, giving the character a chance to shine at a time where he’s been fading more into the background of books he’s appeared in! The characters all look great and the dialog feels very natural (the first appearance of Kamala in the story is a particular delight), and the ending twist creates a moral conflict perfect for the Champions and Sam’s development! It does all this without needing to delve too deeply into Infinity Countdown’s overall story, allowing regular Champions readers to jump into this story without fear of being lost!! This is a can’t-miss character piece for Marvel’s wonderful young Nova!
Good
  • The story focusing on Sam & developing his character, as he’s been neglected in most of his more recent appearances.
  • The characters all look distinct and are very-well detailed
  • The colors convey the cosmic setting & Sam’s powers in a very cool manor!
Bad
  • Warbringer’s involvement in the event “Infinity Countdown” and thus this tie-in itself, creates a questionable plot-hole
9.8
Amazing
Art - 10
Writing - 10
Plot - 9
Character Development - 10
Written by
A comic-loving doofus eager to see the worlds on the page reflect the wonderfully diverse world we all share!

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