Thursday, 18 August 2016


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Having teased you with the MARVEL MASTERWORKS
volume of The CHAMPIONS, let's now have a cover gallery to
show you just what you're missing if you haven't yet purchased a
copy.  The first eight covers to start you off, the remaining nine to
follow as soon as I get around to scanning them.  So enjoy part
one, and don't dare miss part two.  Any recollections of this
titanic title?  The comments section awaits you, effendis.

Oh, lookee here - a JACK KIRBY cover


Colin Jones said...

The Champions always seemed fake and manufactured to me, like Marvel wanted a new team so they used anybody who was handy. Black Widow just seems to be there because they needed a female member - and can you seriously believe that Hercules would accept a woman as leader of the team, pah !! And Ghost Rider would never be in a team, he's so obviously a loner. Plus throw in Iceman and Angel from the failed original X-Men and it's no wonder the Champions didn't last long.

Kid said...

There's that sunny, optimistic, positive attitude that we've all come to expect from you, CJ. What would we do without it? Actually, The Champions was initially intended to be a 'buddy' book with only Iceman and Angel - until other heads threw their two cents worth into Tony Isabella's original idea. As for 'the failed original X-Men' - it ran from 1963 to 1970, so it wasn't quite the failure you seem to suggest. Seven years is not a bad run.

Rip Jagger said...

I think it was in fact part of the appeal of the Champions to me that they were so obviously a meager attempt to recreate the Avengers, but on the other side of the continent. The Champions, from the get-go seemed to be second-tier heroes trying to find a little limelight. As has been said, the Ghost Rider did not fit in (the Hulk of this outfit) and with Widow as "Cap" and Herc as "Thor" this team was a wannabe from the very beginning.

Warren Worthington (with his little buddy Iceman in tow so) was fairly desperate to find a way to fit into the larger world after the the splintering of the X-Men and that sense of a need to find a place informed the whole series, a bunch of fifth wheels struggling to find purchase somewhere.

A few years later when the Avengers did establish a West Coast branch, it was like the major leagues had finally at long last developed a franchise in an area which had once upon a time had its own minor league team.

Rip Off

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

I picked most of these up at the time as they were always in my local newsagents, not a bad wee comic but like Colin and Rip say they just seemed as if they were thrown together to sell books. A bunch of 2nd tier characters who (apart from Ghost Rider) couldn't hold their own book - I always got the impression Marvel created them simply to take the name "Champions" for a team comic. I seem to recall some nice George Tuska art and some cool covers. Not a great team but at least they didn't make the team consisted of characters like Morbius, Man Thing, Werewolf by Night etc I mean that would have been daft.

Kid said...

An extremely pertinent observation, Rip. The writers seemed aware of readers' possible reservations about the group (like Ghost Writer being a loner) and even had the members comment on such things, thereby addressing them. (Hercules is even asked how he feels about having a female as leader of the team.) Also, the Champions, in the members' minds, was intended to be a group that dealt more with social injustice than 'avenging' wrongdoing, even if they usually ended up, like most super-teams, battling super-powered bad guys.

As CJ suggests, they WERE an odd mix, but that was intended as part of the draw.


There's that famous irony of yours, PM. (Legion Of Monsters anyone?) Yeah, The Champions had some great George Tuska art, and John Byrne later drew some as well. It may only have lasted 17 issues, but that was 11 more than The Hulk's first mag, and more than most of Kirby's individual DC mags.

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

Do you know if the "Champions" have ever been resurrected as a comic group. Most characters/ teams seem to have been given at least a second outing in the hopes that they will "stick" ( even the legendary Legion of Monsters)

Kid said...

They've popped up in other mags over the years, PM, but the mag itself has never been revived. However, there's a new series (dunno if it's the original members 'though) due for release after Civil War II.

John Pitt said...

I only tried the one issue, but can't remember anything about it. Obviously though, being a "for hire" team, made up from Avengers and the original, successful X-Men, (plus one) it seemed like a successful formula?
Must check them out one day.

Kid said...

They weren't 'for hire' as such, JP (there was no money involved), but their mission was to help the 'common man' (and woman obviously). The stories are okay, an entertaining enough way to pass 15 minutes or so per issue. You could do a lot worse.

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