Mark Waid details the tenuous team-up with the Avengers!

The High Evolutionary has set two planets—and billions of people—on a deadly collision course…and two of the most powerful super groups on Earth must come to the rescue.

Tensions have been rising for the Champions and the Avengers, but they’ll need to put aside all differences to avoid catastrophe in CHAMPIONS #14! On November 15, writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos put this team-up to the test—and reveal a secret that’ll change Viv’s life forever.

Waid dropped by to give us a few hints on what to expect from the newest issue.

Marvel.com: Catch us up on the events of the “Worlds Collide” storyline so far.

Mark Waid: It looks pretty grim for about 12 billion beings both human and Ani-Men. The High Evolutionary, for reasons as yet unrevealed, has been gearing up for something mysterious that he calls “The Ascension,” and his world and ours get set on a collision course.

Marvel.com: What made The High Evolutionary the perfect villain for this tale?

Mark Waid: He fit thematically. At the heart of the story exists a friction between the younger heroes and the older Avengers that they will someday “evolve” into. Plus, no other villains give us two planets colliding!

Marvel.com: Will the teams get along in this issue? They’ve seemed to manage it alright so far…

Mark Waid: Yeah, well, give it time. As tensions mount, so do tempers.

Marvel.com: How would you describe Humberto Ramos’ art style? How does it complement the script you wrote for this story?

Mark Waid: Everything about working with Humberto is a joy—always has been. His style feels so full of kinetic energy that it’s perfect for a story with this many characters—everyone has a distinct look and style!

Marvel.com: Describe the dynamic between Vision and Viv in this arc.

Mark Waid: I can’t say too much without tipping my hand, but let’s just say that Vision has been keeping a secret from Viv, one he’s kept since ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS #13. This creates more friction between them as she tries to figure out what’s going on in her father’s head.

Worlds collide in CHAMPIONS #14, by Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos, on November 15!

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War's hard on everyone, especially super-powered kids.

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

Wars, whether overt or secret, take their toll on everyone involved. Soldiers fight the battles, their families try to go on living back home and children do their best to understand the whole thing.

SECRET EMPIRE may have ended last week with the true Steve Rogers returning thanks to the efforts of Bucky Barnes, Kobik and everyone else who resisted Hydra’s advances. But, just because Captain America’s back to normal, doesn’t mean the damage gets fixed in an instant, at least in some cases.

This week’s CHAMPIONS #12, by Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos, examined the current status of the team in the wake of their incredible and horrible experiences during the conflict, which we’ll examine now! 

Champions (2016) #12

Champions (2016) #12

This version of The Champions – Totally Awesome Hulk, Young Cyclops, Ms. Marvel, Viv Vision, Miles Morales Spider-Man and Nova – initially came together because they didn’t like how the adult heroes handled the business of saving the world.

Even though they had their differences, the Champions joined up with the rest of the adult heroes in the Underground after Captain America took over the country in the name of Hydra.

As Secret Empire kicked off, their ranks swelled to include Ironheart as well as the new versions of Wasp, Falcon and Patriot. When Black Widow split off from the rest of the resistance fighters, intent on taking Steve Rogers out for good, the Champions followed her.

Even though Miles Morales had seen the same vision of himself killing Captain America as everyone else in CIVIL WAR II, he and his team intended to let Black Widow train them in the Red Room – as seen in SECRET EMPIRE UPRISING #1 – but never fully agreed with the idea of killing Steve Rogers. 

Secret Empire: Uprising (2017) #1

Secret Empire: Uprising (2017) #1

UPRISING also saw the Champions infiltrate the Hydra Youth Choir, a plan designed by Widow to get them close to Viper and eventually flip her to their side. This move allowed both Miles and Black Widow to get close enough to Steve Rogers to kill him, but instead Cap killed his former Avengers comrade and Miles gave himself up.

The remaining members of the team did their best to continue fighting against Hydra-Cap, but were temporarily erased from existence after he used a Cosmic Cube-created armor to rewrite history. As we mentioned above, though, Bucky’s plan to bring Kobik and Steve back worked and everyone returned to the land of the living, though still with the memories of what happened.

The Empire Strikes Back

In addition to bringing dead characters like Rick Jones and Black Widow back from the dead, Kobik also offered legacy characters like Miles, Amadeus, Sam Wilson, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Kate Burton, Jane Foster, Wolverine and Iron Heart a “journey of discovery…through the Vanishing Point.” Upon returning in the next panel, these individuals had been restored. To see exactly how, you’ll have to get the various GENERATIONS one-shots that feature these heroes meeting up with their predecessors in ways that allow long-dead or earlier versions of characters to interact with their modern counterparts.

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Mark Waid lays out the Secret Empire aftermath!

The Champions reunite and it feels so…tense. In the aftermath of Secret Empire, our young heroes find their way back together—but division, resentment, and strife plague the Champions as they recover from the Hydra operation. On September 6, the drama continues to unfold as writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos present CHAMPIONS #12!

We checked in with Waid to learn more about how the Champs—for better or worse—will handle the latest turmoil in the Marvel Universe.

“All the Champions went through a true baptism of fire,” the writer reports. “Yes, individually they’ve all seen horrors before, but the scope of the Secret Empire’s takeover took them aback and rattled their confidence. They’ve got a long road ahead.”

A road leading them to their future! At least a metaphorical one, as Waid prepares to bring the young heroes together with their older counterparts in issues #13-15, and there’s bound to be some friction between the groups: “Remember, half the team is ex-Avengers—and they left for a reason. They won’t let the world turn upside down, regardless of their feelings, but their feelings are quite strong.”

Before this testy family reunion, however, the Champions must get around some roadblocks—the first of which presents itself in the form of a self-proclaimed lunatic, Psycho-Man. The villain makes the scene to stir up some trouble and, as Waid tells it, “only the Champions can hold the line.”

That’s a lot of pressure. But let’s not forget the Champion motto: in the words of Waid, “anyone can be a Champion if they’re willing to fight to make this a better world,” and let’s be real—they’ve got that in spades.

But that’s not all they’ve got; after watching the events of Secret Empire unfold with the X-Men, Cyclops rejoins the team and takes center stage. Waid admits that yes, Scott “Slim” Summers comes in as his all-time favorite member of the X-Men and that he may or may not have used issue #12 as his love letter to the one-eyed wonder.

“If you’re a Cyke-hater, I encourage you to give this issue a shot and let me change your mind,” teases Waid. And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy there’s always the very cryptic tease the writer let slip about his favorite moment of the issue: “Two words: barrel roll.”

So, obviously, issue #12 has something for everyone. But—wait—that’s not all! It may not be this installment, it may not be the next, but soon, Red Locust returns to the Champions!

Find out how the young heroes readjust in the wake of Secret Empire with CHAMPIONS #12, by Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos, out September 6!

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The Champions and Avengers fight to take the lead against a new threat!

It’s the same old group with some not so same old problems. CHAMPIONS #13 sees our young heroes stepping up to bat with the likes of their childhood heroes, the Avengers, as writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos bring us up to speed on their life of heroics post SECRET EMPIRE.

“Following the events of SECRET EMPIRE, the kids are re-evaluating their mission statement – do they need to step up to bigger threats,” says Waid, This leads to both the Champions and Avengers responding to the same threat and while they manage to come together to subdue the initial threat, Waid says that’s when the real tension begins. “Some of the Avengers think that the Champions ought to guard the home front while they take on one of the biggest threats ever.” And as you can imagine that prompts a whole lot of, in the words of today’s youngins, ‘hells nah’ from the Champions.

“The teams have radically different ideas as to how to handle the first assault from the High Evolutionary,” notes Waid, “The biggest hurdle will be to get Vision and his daughter, Viv, to get on the same page.” But should that really surprise us? After all, it is very common for teenage synthezoids to rebel against their parents, #growingupsynthezoid, right?

Maybe that’s exactly what this team up needs, a little old school meets new school coming together to get the jobs done – ah -mixed school style. “You’ll see different combinations and pairings of the Champions and the Avengers than you’ve every imagined,” exclaims Waid, “Both teams are going to come out of this story with an altered view of the other – and I can’t promise that it’ll be a nice one.”

And if that isn’t enough to peak your interests, Waid did let slip he’s looking forward to a conversation between Ms. Marvel and Hercules. It’s flexibility meets brute force, I can only imagine what will come out of that chat. But whatever that may be, you can bet our young heroes come leave this battle with a new take on not just how to work as a team, but how to truly become the Champions today’s world needs.

Will the Champions become more like their older counterparts or stick to their new-age heroics? Find out in CHAMPIONS #13 written by Mark Waid with art by Humberto Ramos.

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With Hydra on the move, it’s time for the young heroes to fight back!

CHAMPIONS #10, written by Mark Waid with art by Humberto Ramos, finds its way to comic book retailers everywhere on July 5, but where do we find our young heroes? Split up and scattered in the wind in the aftermath of the Hydra attack on Las Vegas, the remaining Champions must hunt for their lost companions.

“They’ve been divided because some of them have been co-opted by resistance forces,” says Waid. “We have Hulk, Viv and Spidey, and the others are off the game board.”

That’s right, the Champions see their numbers dwindling and while the now threesome know that Cyclops remains with the X-Men and Nova got stuck out in space, Kamala hasn’t checked in and that means they have no idea of her whereabouts and what kind of danger she may be in.

Obviously, the team mounts a full-scale search and rescue mission after learning Ms. Marvel other Inhumans have been locked up in a Hydra camp. “It’s less about them figuring out a plan to deal with Secret Empire and more immediately the frustration that Ms. Marvel must be a victim of Hydra,” explains Waid, who’s pretty hush hush about just what goes on in this issue.

Champions #10 cover by Humberto Ramos

Waid did let slip, however, that our heroes will face a timeless rock and a hard place situation: “The moral dilemma is what do they do once they find the camp? If they let everybody out they run the risk of drawing attention to these people and having them gunned down. On the other hand, they can’t really just leave them there.” Looks like they’re going to have to put their heads together and think up an out of the box solution to this head scratcher.

Sadly the end of the issue doesn’t see things sewn up with a nice neat bow and while Waid proves reluctant to give away what’s coming, he alluded that the team wouldn’t be taking a frontline role in the resistance attack on Hydra in the immediate future.

“The series is going to have to touch to some degree on how the world has been transformed by Hydra and what happens on the other side of that, but there is always room once the team is reunited—if they are reunited—to get back to a large extent the sort of things they were dealing with before,” notes the writer.

Do our heroes succeed in busting out their jailbird member? Will the team reunite and join the fight against Hydra? Find out July 5 in CHAMPIONS #10!

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Viv Vision tries to access humanity with the help of Mark Waid!

Join the young android Viv as she attempts to navigate the complex and dangerous world of humanity, or at least the teenage version of it, in CHAMPIONS #9, written by Mark Waid with art by Humberto Ramos.

Hello Humans

Greetings, and welcome to my web log. I am Viv Vision, teen synthezoid and member of the youth hero group the Champions. I have created this web page as a way to participate in normal teen activities while simultaneously tracking my emotional development. I welcome honest critique and guidance along the way, as I am not yet fully familiar with the minutiae and nuances that accompany typical human behavior. To ensure that you have all information necessary to enable accurate feedback I will first briefly explain my history.

The super hero and synthezoid Vision created me along with my twin brother Vin and mother Virginia, as a means to humanize himself. Not long after we moved to Arlington, Virginia to begin functioning as a normal family, my brother was killed and my mother killed herself, leaving my father and me alone. Using the clarity my multiprocessor computer brain afforded me I chose to shut down my emotions as a form of self-preservation.

Yet in the brief time I have spent with the Champions I have discovered it not wise to fully shut them off as it can lead to unpredictable moments of emergence. In order to maintain constant control over my own being I must learn to coexist with my emotions. After speaking with popular human storyteller Mark Waid I realize that my true state of being is in fact a more traditional one: “Though a little cold or robotic, Viv was constructed to be an all American girl. I think she knows these emotions are buried inside and she looks in the mirror and wonders if it’s time to bring them out.”

Champions #9 cover by Humberto Ramos

Though accurate, I also wonder what the ramifications of my change will bring to the team. We have just begun working as one and any change, subtle or blatant, can drastically affect the dynamic thus far created. Waid continues: “Any shift in her personality or who she is at this stage of the team could be detrimental. The team has come to rely on her openness,” warning that this transparency is sometimes perceived as positive, as well as a weakness and source of irritation. Further confirming my impression that humans overcomplicate their interactions; alas I am here to learn your customs and functionalities, not impart my own logic.

Nevertheless, I will strive to maintain those characteristics viewed as positive; for example, Waid believes my ability to listen without interjecting my own problems or feelings onto others is my best quality. I will attempt to highlight this and the qualities others, like those reading this web blog, inform me are desirable while changing those deemed problematic in order to fully assimilate into human life and better serve and connect with my team.

As I said earlier, feel welcome to comment or message me your advice on what makes me an asset to the team and an ideal member of human society, and what aspects I need to correct. I am always online so expect a quick reply.

Thank you for your aid,

Viv

Be sure to check in June 7 and keep up with your favorite synthezoid teen’s progress in CHAMPIONS #9 written by Mark Waid with art by Humberto Ramos.

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Learn more about the group of teen heroes and their new path!

Following the fallout of Civil War II, Avengers Ms. Marvel, Nova and Spider-Man strike out on their own — joined by Cyclops, Viv Vision and the Totally Awesome Hulk. 

Join Mark Waid and Tom Brevoort this Friday, Sep. 30, for a live chat discussing these six young heroes determined to change the world in CHAMPIONS #1, debuting next week. They’ll give you all the details on this new series, the history of the Champions team, and answer all your questions! 

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Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos reunite to take Marvel's young heroes down a new path!

From the ashes of Civil War II arise the All-New, All-Different Champions. Sporting a classic name, they look to the future like no super team ever before, concerned with healing the deep rifts in the Marvel Universe and repairing the reputation of the super hero concept.

CHAMPIONS #1 boasts the reunited team of writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos, as well as an unprecedented group of the hottest Marvel teen heroes: Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, Nova, the Hulk, Cyclops, and Viv Vision. The book will address topical issues that the creators hope will spur discussion and the place of youth activism in modern society.

Marvel.com: Mark, what will be the impetus after Civil War II that will drive your characters to form the new Champions?

Mark Waid: Without giving too much away, all I can tell you is that—to their mind—the reputation of super heroes has taken a very public beating and they’re very intent in proving to the world that super heroes still have value and still have relevance.

Marvel.com: Which ones of these young heroes pull this team together and set its tone?

Mark Waid: The young Avengers who come over—Nova, Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man—are the most vocal of the new members and do the recruiting. Ms. Marvel is especially stung over a particular relationship of hers that now seems to be forever destroyed.

Marvel.com: What do the older heroes think of the Champions when they first appear?

Mark Waid: If [the Champions] play their cards right and stick to their overall mission statement, they won’t have to deal too much with the older heroes.

Marvel.com: What will the team’s first act be once they form? What kind of things will draw their attention?

Mark Waid: Again, I’m hesitant to give too much away; let’s just say that the sorts of things that draw the attention of the Champions have less to do with the Circus of Crime or the Absorbing Man and far more to do with helping people their age around the world achieve more personal moments of heroism, all in the midst of bigger stories.

Marvel.com: So, will the book feature any super villains in the traditional sense?

Mark Waid: Editor Tom Brevoort and I have drawn the line in the sand by saying that if the Circus of Crime shows up by issue #4, we have failed. Though certainly super villains roam the Marvel Universe in abundance and many will no doubt cross paths with our heroes, the primary job of the Champions is not to punch criminals; it’s to deal with common-people problems in ways that the bigger super-groups aren’t built to.

Marvel.com: Who of the teen cast may need to most coaching to get into the spirit of the team? 

Mark Waid: Viv Vision. Not that she’s not a good kid, it’s just that the rest of them are used to being super heroes by now, whereas this is a big adjustment for Viv.

Marvel.com: What’s going to be the biggest challenge of this book for you as a writer?

Mark Waid: Staying away from the Circus of Crime.

Marvel.com: How’s it feel to be working with Humberto again?

Mark Waid: Spectacular. Frankly, that was as much the draw for me as the cast and the mission statement. To be able to work with Humberto on anything is a thrill and a half.

Marvel.com: Okay, Humberto; how does it feel to be working with Mark again and on CHAMPIONS?

Humberto Ramos: Mark is not only one of the most talented writers in the industry, but he’s also a mentor and an inspiration to me.

Marvel.com: Which ones of the Champions are you most looking forward to drawing and why? Which ones haven’t you drawn before?

Humberto Ramos: I can’t wait to dive back into a book [with a teenage cast]. All of them present a challenge and are exciting for me to try to portray their rebel spirit and their strength, as well as the curiosity and the fears the teenage years bring.

So, I want to draw them all, but I’m curious about Viv the most, because she’s still an enigma to me.

Marvel.com: Do you plan to revise any of the costumes?

Humberto Ramos: I kind of have already. [Laughs] Just a little, and if Tom Brevoort allowed me I would love to do some more. Still, honestly, I don’t really think any revisions are needed but hey, you asked me.

Marvel.com: How would you describe your overall feeling about CHAMPIONS? What do you love most about it?

Humberto Ramos: I love teenage books. I love drawing them and I’m willing to give my best to readers and make them feel excited every time they go to the store and pick up our book. 

Marvel.com: Do you look forward to designing new characters for the book?

Humberto Ramos: Am I doing that? Sign me up! Only Mark and Tom know at this point if I will, but if you ask me, I’m voting yes!

For the latest news and reveals on Marvel NOW!, stay tuned to Marvel.com and our social channels!

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