Straight from the pages, Marvel's Champions have arrived!

Today, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released a new downloadable character pack for “LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2” featuring Marvel’s teenage team of super hero sensations inspired by CHAMPIONS! The pack, priced at $1.99, adds playable characters Ms. Marvel, Nova, Miles Morales, Ironheart, Devil Dinosaur, Moon Girl, Viv Vision & Sparky, Amadeus Cho, Nadia Pym Wasp, Kate Bishop Hawkeye, and Nova. Strike out on your own with our “Totally Awesome” young heroes!

“LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” is an all-new, epic adventure and sequel to the smash hit, “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.” This original branching storyline, co-written by award-winning comics writer Kurt Busiek, transports players into a cosmic battle across a myriad of Marvel locations ripped from time and space into the incredible Open Hub World of Chronopolis. Packed with signature LEGO humor for fans of all ages, gamers will go head-to-head with the time-travelling Kang the Conqueror in this fun-filled journey spanning the Marvel Universe.

The Champions DLC pack can be purchased separately for $1.99 or as part of the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” Season Pass, which is currently available for $14.99 or free for everyone who purchased the “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Deluxe Edition.”

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” is available on PlayStation®4, Xbox One®, Nintendo Switch™, and Windows® PC.

For all the latest on “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2,” stay tuned to Marvel.com and follow @MarvelGames on Twitter!

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Humberto Ramos helps build the future of Marvel’s supreme teen team!

Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos plan on bringing back a much-loved and classic team book tradition with January 17’s CHAMPIONS #16: the membership drive! In the wake of their less-than-excellent meeting with the Avengers in the last arc, the group wants to redouble their efforts to make the world a better place and they need more heroic bodies on the squad to do that.

The CHAMPIONS creative team promises to expand the line-up and continue working towards that goal. Of course, that will mean more killer costumes to work with on the page, but Ramos proves, of course, up the challenge. We talked with the artist about the new influx of characters, the continued development of Red Locust, and his collaborative relationship with Waid!

Marvel.com: The Champions clearly just had a wild time during their adventure with the Avengers. Has that altered how they appear moving forward in this series?

Humberto Ramos: I think so. Every single situation in the Champions Universe will eventually have a consequence in their future actions.

Marvel.com: Membership drives were a hallmark of team books for years. How was it reviving that tradition with the Champions?

Humberto Ramos: The Champions brand is a legacy to take seriously as it is for me in every single Marvel character I get to work with, but the new take and expectations Mark Waid planted in this new group brought heart and hope back to the Marvel U.

Marvel.com: What kind of challenges does bringing all of those characters into one book—or on one cover like that of #16–offer?

Humberto Ramos: The new team looks awesome, right? I am as excited as everyone else to [see] how Moon Girl, Spider-Gwen or the Falcon’s personalities will shock our kids’ world.

Marvel.com: How has it been developing Red Locust and the legacy around her since her first appearance in CHAMPIONS #9?

Humberto Ramos: It’s always exciting to create new characters and I got a little pride to know our girl Fernanda has a Mexican heritage. With Red Locust I have a great opportunity to show at least a glance of how beautiful my country is. I can’t [help] but thank the team for allowing me to do so.

Marvel.com: You and Mark had worked together previously, but have also been shepherding this team along since the beginning. How do you think your collaborative relationship has evolved in that time?

Humberto Ramos: For me it’s exactly the same feeling I had back in time with [our first work together]. The only difference for me is now I’m more aware of the colossal creator Mark is for this industry. Back in those days, I was naive and had no idea, but now I gladly know.

Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos continuing building the legacy of this team with CHAMPIONS #16 on January 17.

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Mark Waid starts the search for a new Champion!

Fresh off the events of the “Words Collide” story arc, the Champions sit reeling after the heartbreaking loss of a team member. But the group’s decided to honor the memory of their fallen comrade by making sure to stay strong for the sake of the world they swore to protect.

To keep their foothold in the fight for good, they’ll need some help…and in CHAMPIONS #16, the search for a new teammate begins. On January 17, writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos put a few hopefuls to the test in part one of “Champion for a Day”!

We spoke with Waid to hear more about what to expect.

Marvel.com: Catch us up on what went down in the “Worlds Collide” arc!

Mark Waid: The Avengers and the Champions teamed up for a mission to save two worlds and, after some trials and tribulation, they succeeded. But the victory came at a terrible cost: Viv Vision disappeared before their eyes, believed dead.

Marvel.com: So how do the Champs pick up the pieces in issue #16?

Mark Waid: No one on the team is quite sure what’s up and what’s down all of a sudden. Feels kick in hard, but so does the realization that the team needs more power if they’re going to survive.

Marvel.com: What qualities will the team be looking for in potential recruits?

Mark Waid: Heroes close to their age, really? They’re not terribly choosy beyond that, though they really ought to be…

Marvel.com: Who’s lining up for auditions?

Mark Waid: Among others—the new Patriot, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Red Locust, Ironheart, and a few surprises!

Marvel.com: How did you enjoy writing the candidates’ interactions with the Champions?

Mark Waid: Ironheart and Cho-Hulk have a very unique way of communicating with one another that’s ended up being the most fun I’ve had writing in quite a while.

Marvel.com: What proved to be the most difficult part about bringing this story together after such an intense arc?

Mark Waid: It’s always been a tough balancing act to juggle drama and comedy in this book, but with an art team like the one I’m blessed with? They pull it off beautifully.

Marvel.com: Favorite moment to write in issue #16?

Mark Waid: Miles Morales explaining who he wants on the team.

Marvel.com: Last question: What would the Champions say if you showed up to a recruiting drive?

Mark Waid: “You’re about 40 years too late…but here’s a consolation flight belt.”

Assess the new recruits in CHAMPIONS #16, by Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos, on January 17!

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Mark Waid sets two teams—and two Earths—up for annihilation!

Earth and Counter-Earth have been set on a crash course by The High Evolutionary. In response, the Avengers and the Champions must put aside their differences and work together to save the world(s)!

On December 6, find out what happens when worlds collide in writer Mark Waid and artist Jesus Saiz’s AVENGERS #674!

We dropped a line on Waid to hear a little more about the fate of the teams.

Marvel.com: Give us a brief recap of where the teams find themselves in this crossover!

Mark Waid: Things are not looking good for either team, especially now that we’ve taken a major player off the board—and turned Viv from synthezoid to full human!

Marvel.com: Which two team members have you enjoyed pairing up the most?

Mark Waid: I very much enjoyed putting Amadeus and Hercules back together as old friends. They play well off of one another.

Marvel.com: What does each team teach the other in this storyline?

Mark Waid: The Champions remind the Avengers that experience isn’t everything. The Avengers remind the Champions that sometimes the stakes are so high that there’s no time to be amazed—just to act.

Marvel.com: How have the group dynamics changed after so much has gone down?

Mark Waid: There’s still tension. It’s not “punch each other in the face” tension—these are adults and smart teenagers, people—but the Avengers do tend to do too much Avengersplaining.

Marvel.com: If you could be on one of the two teams, which would you pick?

Mark Waid: Easy. The Champions. Cyclops is one of my favorite Marvel heroes. We could hang.

Grab AVENGERS #674, by Mark Waid and artist Jesus Saiz, on December 6!

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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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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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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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Natasha leads Ghost Rider, Hercules, Angel, and Iceman as the Champions!

A super spy, a super hero, an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Avenger—Natasha Romanoff has been all these things and much more since making her way into the Marvel Universe over 50 years ago.

With Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and other Marvel Cinematic Universe outings continuing to raise the Black Widow’s profile, we chronicle her exciting history!

Champions (1975) #4

Champions (1975) #4

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Alongside her new comrades Hercules, Iceman, Angel, and Ghost Rider, the Black Widow fought valiantly in CHAMPIONS #2 to prevent the god of the underworld Pluto from completing his scheme to rule Mount Olympus. When things moved from bad to worse, Natasha traveled to the fabled realm itself in CHAMPIONS #3 to rescue Herc and the goddess of love Venus from Pluto’s clutches.

Deciding to form a new team, the heroes rested at Angel’s Malibu beach house in CHAMPIONS #4 before an evil scientist’s plan to duplicate the Super Soldier Serum interrupted them. Soon after, the Angel created Champions Inc. in CHAMPIONS #5 and just in time for Rampage, a destitute industrialist in an exoskeleton, offering up one of the team’s first official challenges.

Champions (1975) #7

Champions (1975) #7

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The Black Widow became the Champions’ elected leader in CHAMPIONS #6 while Rampage raged across the city before trying to blow himself to smithereens with a self-destruct mechanism. With little time to rest after the tense situation, Natasha and her friend and confidante Ivan clashed with the Widow’s original trainer, Alexei Bruskin, in CHAMPIONS #7. Bruskin and two Russian agents named Darkstar and Griffin captured the duo in CHAMPIONS #8, then dragged them to his boss, the Crimson Dynamo, who in CHAMPIONS #9, unmasked to reveal himself as Ivan’s thought-to-be-dead son.

With her teammates stuck inside a cavern near the San Andreas Fault, Natasha found herself zooming back to Russia, the captive of the Crimson Dynamo, in CHAMPIONS #10. Fortunately, Darkstar turned on her comrades and sided with Ivan against his son, and helped free all the Champions. Back in California, the super team enjoyed their new Los Angeles headquarters in CHAMPIONS #11 until the alien Warlord Kaa put a crimp in their plans when he attempted to invade Earth, beginning with the Arizona badlands. Back at base, Champions associate Black Goliath held off an invasion of the Stilt-Man, finally calling in the team in CHAMPIONS #12 to hear the Stranger’s request to the Champions to aid him in defusing the Null-Life Bomb.

Champions (1975) #13

Champions (1975) #13

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Whisked away to Kamo Tharn’s dimension by the Stranger to find a powerful runestaff in CHAMPIONS #13, the Black Widow led her compatriots against Tharn’s creatures while Darkstar and Iceman retrieved the staff and squelched the bomb back on Earth. Later, Natasha flew off to New York in MARVEL TEAM-UP #57, where she ran across a battle between Spider-Man and her old foe the Silver Samurai and offered her assistance to the Wallcrawler.

Barely back from that adventure, the Widow journeyed right back to the Big Apple with the Champions to fall into a fracas in AVENGERS #163 between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Hercules’ immortal enemy Typhon. Ivan called it quits in CHAMPIONS #14, but Natasha and her team wrestled with the bee-fueled menace of Swarm before she could concentrate on losing her old friend.

Champions (1975) #16

Champions (1975) #16

  • Published: November 10, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: October 09, 2009
  • Writer: Bill Mantlo
  • Penciller: Bob Hall
  • Cover Artist: Gil Kane
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Magneto and his temporary ally the Beast arrived in SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP #14 to ask for help from the Black Widow and her fellow heroes in stopping Doctor Doom’s neurogas, but the Champions fell and they battled the unlikely duo under Doom’s control. Magneto captured them all and took them to Washington D.C. in CHAMPIONS #16 to use them as pawns in his fight with the Latverian monarch and the Incredible Hulk.

After standing at Iron Man’s side in combat with M.O.D.O.K. in IRON MAN ANNUAL #4, the Black Widow disbanded the Champions after their run-in with evil mutants the Blob, Unus, Lorelei, the Vanisher, and a clutch of the robotic Sentinels.

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