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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

X-amining Champions #4 - Patreon First

"Murder at Malibu"
March 1976

In a Nutshell
The Champions battle a scientist trying to recreate the Super Soldier serum.

Guest Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: George Tuska
Inker: Vince Colleta
Letterer: I Watanabee
Colorist: P. Rache
Editor: Marv Wolfman

Black Widow & Hercules are attacked on the beach by an old man with surprisingly-superhuman strength and agility. They overpower him, but are then attacked by armed mercenaries, who take all three into custody. They are taken to San Marino mental hospital and brought before Dr. Lansing, who explains the old man was the first successful test of his efforts to recreate the Super Soldier serum which created Captain America. He then brainwashes Black Widow & Hercules and sets them, along with a group of mutates he's created, against Angel, Iceman, Ghost Rider and Ivan. During the course of the ensuing battle, Black Widow manages to regain her senses enough to shatter Lansing's control box, freeing herself and Hercules. Lansing attempts to escape, but without the control box, the mutates turn on him, killing him. By dawn, the police arrive, and Angel reminds everyone that world needs people like them: Champions.

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  1. It's really bad that they launched a series that didn't have any direction past issue 3 and even that is a stretch. What's the point? The Secret Defenders series in the 90's at least had popular characters mashed together with terrible stories. This has C/D level characters that weren't in their normal books and Ghost Rider.....with zero direction. I don't get why it was made or why anyone was buying it. What kept people coming back and the book selling?

  2. It seemed like the C-list team, with their gimmick being that they were on the west coast.
    The Avengers were the A-listers.
    The Defenders were the B-team, with a lot of strange characters.
    Champions were the left-overs.

    I think that the book does greatly improve once Bill Mantlo comes aboard as the main writer.
    There are some good stories.

    Plus, it led to the creation of Swarm. Swarm was a character that had he not existed, someone would be forced to invent. Thankfully, Mantlo was there, at the right moment, to create Swarm.
    The Champions will always have a fond spot in my memories for giving the world the glory that is Swarm.


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