Written by Jim Zub
Art by Juanan Ramirez
Colors by Marcio Menyz
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Edited by Tom Brevoort
Cover by Kim Jacinto and Rain Beredo
The opening installment of this new Champions series had seen the team go global with three groups based worldwide coordinated by Ms Marvel. By the time we reach this fifth issue of the series the numbers have fallen to a slightly more manageable level, in fact Kamala finds herself wondering where most of her original colleagues have gone to. Miles has parted ways with her, the guilt over his bargain with Mephisto playing on his mind. Riri and Viv are keeping their distance and Wasp is out of commission. Meanwhile Sam is off on a galactic mission with an unlikely partner to recover his Nova helmet. So while the team may be bigger, her closest friends are noticeable by their absence.
This issue ties into two key developments in the Marvel universe outside the scope of the title. Firstly the Champions, like the rest of Earth, find themselves fighting as part of the War of the Realms event. They are also operating in a world where their former member Cyclops has come back as an adult Cyclops (see X-Men Extinction). The action here has as its central focus the return of Cyclops to his old team and a reunion with Kamala. To her delight he still has his memories of his time on the Champions. As he explains to Ms Marvel, when the time loop closed all Young Scott Summer’s memories got added to his own. The joy and emotion on when Kamala realizes this is really well conveyed and Zub writes a surprisingly tender scene between the two. The reunion, plus the timing of the reunion, makes this issue very special to those of us who have been reading this title since Mark Waid’s run.
Coupled with the great story though is some fine art. The emotion in Kamala Khan’s face in the scene referred to above conveys the relief and overwhelming gratitude for the fact that Cyclops remembers his time with his old team. There is a fantastic panel where she spontaneously hugs Scott that is just brilliant. Elsewhere the action is really underscored brilliantly by Ramirez, and the art conveys tender moments, action packed moments and the general determination of the characters when faced with the challenges posed by the invasion of Earth.
This is easily the standout issue of the series so far, and it clicks nicely with the other events in the Marvel universe at the moment. We have taken a break from the main story line for a moment after four installments, and the events of this book are likely to fortify Kamala against the challenges she faces as leader of her young team. A solid outing and an enjoyable issue.