It’s Avengers vs the Champions in Part 1 of the “World’s Collide” series. Well, they’re not all out fighting at this point but that certainly seems to be the premise of this storyline. The comic starts off with a dire warning from Spider-Man, who shifts from the Peter Parker version to Miles Morales. Both heroes are telling us that, “We have to do something. Everything is out of control.”
With that imminent thought of danger, the comic begins with two equally powerful groups of heroes. One older and wiser, the Avengers, and one younger and eager, the Champions. The Champions are made up of former young members of the Avengers, Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel, and Nova, who grew disillusioned with the Avengers following the second civil war.
The conflict between the two groups — or generations — is minimal because both groups are bent on protecting the planet, and ultimately work together for the benefit of everyone else. What is intriguing, is the drama that will come. Together the Champions and Avengers stop a meteor from destroying the Western Hemisphere, but the bigger threat may not actually come from outside, but within.
So like so many other stories, this book is all about setting up the action for later in the series. We get a tease from the first page with the morphing of the Peter Parker dialogue to Miles Morales that tells us the world is out of control. Not something new in the comic or real world, but it’s a great hook to the book.
Readers need to have a patience for the setting up of stories, and I for one am patient. I found the dialogue to be laced with hints of things to come. Proving that there is no second Earth on the other side of the sun is the goal of Nadia Pym, but when the moment arrives we see the meteor come from some cosmic ribbon, and that sets the action up. Clearly the second Earth is not there, but maybe we just can’t see it. After all the meteor had to come from somewhere.
This was the most tension in the book. For the rest of the story, we get to see how disputes between the generations of heroes and even family members could ultimately lead to a serious problem down the road. The start of the comic talks about how the three founding members of the Champions were disillusioned following the second civil war. But we see many signs that the problems of the past will be repeated.
Ms. Marvel didn’t like being overrun by Falcon when sending the team of heroes out to stop the meteor. Viv Vision and her dad Vision get into an argument about what to do while in a situation. Viv even storms off after Vision tries to lay down some parental rules.
There is a lot of questioning about why heroes would be so selfish, but I think the goal that writer Mark Waid set was to remind us that super heroes can be flawed too. He has done an admirable job in making me question the decisions of the characters, but also see them for real people, with real world problems.
The final thing that I really liked was the hint at parallel timelines. Starting off with the Spider-Man discourse of danger and doom, you don’t get much proof about how the timeline might be changed or corrupted, except when Hercules can no longer find his club. He has it one moment, ready to use it to smash the space rock, and then the next page it disappears.
Artists Jesus Saiz wonderfully brings to life the variant colors of a fire, while at the same time gives each of the 12 characters a moment to stand out amongst the crowd of heroes. The color and tone shifts throughout the book depending on the situation, and Saiz perfectly captures the eerie terror of the fire, while at the same time, making superheroes look normal in the world. Plus, his opening page of blending the two Spider-Man characters was genius. He managed to capture in comic form the morphing of one character to another, which is often done by the best special effects studios.
This was an enjoyable read, and I look forward to the second part of the “World’s Collide” storyline which continues in Champions #13.