The Champions and Avengers are divided as ever over the loss of Vivian Vision!
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What You Need to Know: The Champions and Avengers teamed up to stop the High Evolutionary from destroying both Earth and Counter-Earth. With only moments to spare and the Avengers and Champions fighting the Evolutionary’s son. Vivian Vision, now human, sacrifices herself in order to save the two planets. Now the Champions and Avengers mourn their fallen friend and ally. However, unbeknownst to them, Viv is lost somewhere she doesn’t know. And desperately needs to find her way home.
What You’ll Find Out: Lost in an unknown place, Vivian Vision runs into the High Evolutionary. The High Evolutionary was thought dead as well, killed by the combined efforts of the Champions and Avengers. Turns out however that both have just phased out of frequency with their dimension and need a beacon in order to find their way home. Meanwhile, back on Earth, things are tense as Vision has locked himself away attempting to rebuild his lost daughter. And Nova announces he wants to quit the Champions as Viv was the only one who treated him like he wasn’t dumb.
Things really take a turn for the worse when in their attempt to convince their friend Nova to stay on the team. The Avengers try to assist the Champions in doing so, only for Nova to lash out at Hercules for the Avengers not listening to them in the first place. Hulk follows his lead, leveling Falcon. Things might have gotten worse if Thor and Falcon didn’t pick up Hercules and fly away. Back in Vision’s lab, the Wasp is trying her best to convince Vision that simply making another body of Vivian isn’t going to return his daughter. Consumed by grief, Vision refuses to listen is ready to bring another Vivian Vision to life.
The High Evolutionary knows the only way for him and Viv to escape is to use the body that he presumes Vision is building as a beacon to reach. Viv won’t allow the Evolutionary to connect with her though as she won’t let him be a danger to earth again. Viv jumps through the data frequency the Evolutionary has become, escaping him and returns home. The Vision activates his daughter’s body and as Viv finds her beacon, she connects with her new body and something goes wrong. There are now two Vivian Vision’s, one human and one synthazoid.
What Just Happened? This issue is outstanding from start to finish and here’s why. Even as the reader, you know Vivian is alive out there. But Waid doesn’t simply pull his trick without making you feel the emotional roller coaster that comes with losing someone. Waid is at his best as you feel Vision’s grief and desperation only a father can feel. Nova’s wanting to quit, the knee-jerk reaction one would expect and the tension between the two teams. It’s raw and powerful and it still hits home because you don’t know if Viv will make home at all. This is exactly the emotional ride one expects after a seemingly major death. And even when Viv returns with two bodies, it doesn’t take away from what the characters and reader go through to get there.
Ramos and Delgado have this bold and brilliant style that works for these action series. But when it comes to something somber, it’s hard to imagine they can switch gears and give you tense and emotional. But they pull it off just right and keeps the tone of what Champions is all about. You can see Vision’s heartbreak, Nova’s anger and the all-around hurt of the two teams. From every aspect of storytelling, they hit every note for this “endsong” just right.
Final Thoughts: If you’re not reading Champions, you’re missing out on something special. I haven’t enjoyed a teen series like this since Young Avengers started back after Disassembled. These characters just work beautifully together and it’s so much fun. I can’t praise this series enough or articulate how good it is. This is this current generation’s New Mutants or New Warriors. This is the kind of series anyone could pick up and enjoy.