A brand new Swordsman aims to make Cap’s life miserable

Captain America just wants to travel across America and right the small injustices that he has often missed. A simple wish, a noble one. And one the brand new Swordsman has no intention of letting Cap achieve without a fight.

Mark Waid took a moment from learning blacksmithing to tell us about the new villain, give credit to his collaborator Chris Samnee, and continue to promote the rehabilitation of Steve Rogers.

Marvel.com: To start from a broad perspective, as a writer what about creating a new Swordsman appealed to you? What kind of challenges did the character present in terms of being revamped and reintroduced?

Mark Waid: To be honest, it was Chris Samnee’s suggestion. The challenge was to introduce and motivate him quickly to make room for a dynamic sword vs. shield battle!

Marvel.com: As much as you can, without spoiling things, what does this new Swordsman have in common and how does he differ from his predecessors who used that name?

Mark Waid: He looks very much the same—I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some relation to the original Swordsman—but this one’s different in that he’s basically an extortionist. That, and he may or may not be being played by someone else.

Marvel.com: As an antagonist, how does he fit in with the overall theme of this opening arc of Steve reconnecting with himself and rediscovering Captain America?

Mark Waid: Cap has to fight Swordsman to save an entire small town from destruction. As is the ongoing theme of this book, this is about Steve Rogers connecting with and saving ordinary people in the heartland, the kinds of people he doesn’t often encounter in New York or Washington.

Marvel.com: Given your history, it is clear you and Chris Samnee make an excellent team. On creating the new Swordsman, how did that collaboration work? How much did Chris help you determine things like the character’s personality, motives, and such, and how did you help him to craft the character’s look?

Mark Waid: Straight up, this is 90% Chris. I’m terrible at design, so I always leave that to my collaborators—but giving the Swordsman a unique voice was my challenge to face.

Marvel.com: To stay with art for a moment, Matthew Wilson’s coloring, in collaboration with Chris’s art, favors something sunnier and more open than with previous team ups for Daredevil and Black Widow. How does that help you to realize the themes of the arc? How does it inspire your conception of the action, set pieces, and so on of each issue?

Mark Waid: Cap doesn’t live in a dark, foreboding world–or if he runs across it, he provides a light. That’s it in a nutshell.

Marvel.com: What makes this issue a great point to jump on to the book?

Mark Waid: It’s a clean done-in-one story that hits home the ideals for which Captain America stands and what his physical limits are. If you like Steve Rogers on the screen, you’ll love him on the printed page.

Read CAPTAIN AMERICA #695, by Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee, now, and don’t miss part 2 with CAPTAIN AMERICA #696 on December 6!

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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 introduces Cap to Marvel Legacy!

On November 1, a new era begins for the Sentinel of Liberty with CAPTAIN AMERICA #695!

Marvel Legacy rises as writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee reunite in an attempt to restore Steve Rogers’ reputation—though it won’t be an easy task, as they’ve got to shine a shield tarnished by the events of Secret Empire. Back in the action wearing the famous red-white-and-blue, Captain America faces one of his toughest journeys yet—reconstructing his legacy.

How will he tackle the challenge? We caught up with Mark Waid to find out.

Marvel.com: What made CAPTAIN AMERICA the best fit for you—and for a reunited Waid-Samnee team—at this moment in time?

Mark Waid: It’s the best fit for me not only because I love Steve Rogers, but also because I’m smart enough to hang onto Chris Samnee’s coattails whenever possible. We make a good team, and it’s terrific to finally see Chris cut loose on a top-tier Marvel hero.

Marvel.com: How daunting of a task will it be to tell Cap’s story in the wake of Secret Empire? What do you see as the biggest challenge of such an undertaking?

Mark Waid: The biggest challenge will be, of course, restoring his reputation post-Secret Empire—but rather than be too bound to a timeline, our fans have made it clear that they want classic Cap, so we’ll be looking forward more than in the rear-view mirror.

Beyond that, it’s important to Team Cap that we make one thing abundantly clear: while we’re having a blast and giving you a very classic Steve Rogers, Chris and I have been working on these first few issues since March—way in advance of the more volatile political events of the summer. Because of our lead time, he won’t get around to punching Nazis on page one. But it’s coming.

Marvel.com: What does Steve currently see as his biggest hurdle to restoring his rep?

Mark Waid: To “find America,” as it were; to reconnect with a heartland he’s never really spent much time in. Steve claims to represent America and yet spends almost all his time in New York. He wants to change that.

Marvel.com: Do Americans still support him? Do they resent him?

Mark Waid: We’ve built at least a six-month delay from the end of Secret Empire into our first issue, so while there will be dark and shady looks glared his way—and there will be those who don’t trust him—not every issue finds Cap pleading for understanding. In fact, our first issue kind of overcompensates. You’ll see what we mean.

Marvel.com: What about the bad guys? How do they feel about Cap now?

Mark Waid: They feel that maybe they have a better shot at him, not only because he has no Avengers back-up, but because he’s still a little off his pins after Secret Empire.

Marvel.com: What do you foresee as the upcoming adversity for Cap? New threats? Classic threats refreshed? A combination?

Mark Waid: All the above. Kraven couldn’t have been a more perfect call—they’ve never duked it out—and wait until you see the weird, Kirby-by-way-of-Samnee villain showing up in issue #698…

Marvel.com: Can’t wait! One final question to wrap this up: when you first saw a piece of Chris’s artwork for this book, what went through your mind?

Mark Waid: That I should never complain about anything in life ever again.

Start a new chapter with CAPTAIN AMERICA #695, by Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee, on November 1!

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Mark Waid gets a Kirby assist on his scintillating S.H.I.E.L.D. series!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Last month, Mark Waid ran through his own personal history with Jack Kirby’s work and said that one of the highlights of his whole career had to be scripting over the King’s pages in S.H.I.E.L.D. #9 from 2015. That issue, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the worldwide espionage organization, kicked off with a story that utilized a few sequences Kirby had whipped up as a kind of proof of concept for the original run of Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. stories back in the 60s. Editor Stan Lee liked the basic idea and so he and Jack first brought the World War II hero into the modern era with FANTATSIC FOUR #21 and then made him head of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 1965’s STRANGE TALES #135.

It’s really interesting to compare the original pages and the ones published decades later. Aside from the coloring, you can see that one main change made to the first page: the omission of the anagram descriptor that let you know D.E.A.T.H. initially stood for Director of External Atomic Threat Headquarters. Thanks to the notes written with the presentation of the pages in the back of S.H.I.E.L.D. #9, we know that that was actually Kirby’s first idea for what would become S.H.I.E.L.D.!

Art-wise the second page continued as drawn, but Waid told his own story over the notes and text blocks that Kirby hand-wrote on the artwork! Waid’s tale, drawn by Lee Ferguson the rest of the way, saw Agent Coulson read them himself after receiving the files and talking to Nick Fury’s son about a photo of a man in the Hydra file.

Coulson had already contacted Daisy Johnson, Tony Stark, and Maria Hill—all former or current heads of S.H.I.E.L.D. themselves—and they said they’d never seen the man, but all got nosebleeds upon doing so! As Coulson traced Fury’s steps, we also got to see the man himself strolling through New York City with Dum Dum Duggan and meeting with The Contessa, not to mention the classic barber shop entrance to a hidden bunker originally glimpsed in STRANGE TALES #136.

S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014) #9

S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014) #9

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As it happened, those Kirby pages showed Fury breaking into a Hydra base on his own and running out with a file. The problem? He couldn’t read it! So, he sent it out to every member of his organization and tried to get answers. The Contessa even tried acquiring the information out of a captured Hydra agent to no avail.

In the present, though, Coulson’s journey proved far more fruitful as he met the man called D.E.A.T..H., which stood for Da Vinci Elevating Agents To Helm. A figure referring to himself as Leonardo da Vinci then showed Coulson the secret history of this group which dated back to ancient Egypt. He also explained that he would not only choose the top agents, but also guide them to where they needed to be. Thanks to his own brand of trickery, Coulson walked away with far more information than Da Vinci intended, but the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. still had no way of uncovering the secrets that had apparently been sitting in their own vaults all this time.

While Coulson found himself wondering what the documents had truly meant, we can all look back and see how perfectly Waid handled integrating the very first Nick Fury-as-spy pages into a story that linked previous S.H.I.E.L.D. creators like himself and Kirby to Jonathan Hickman, Jim Steranko, and more.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Mark Waid looks back upon a classic Thor/Hercules tussle from The King!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

A few days ago, we talked about how it can take some time to get used to an artist as dynamic and bold as Jack Kirby. By his own admission, AVENGERS writer Mark Waid didn’t take to “The King” when he first experienced some of his comics at the Distinguished Competition as a kid. If you’re wondering what made him change his mind about the artist, it came in the pages of JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #125 and THOR #126130.

“One of my all-time favorite Kirby stories is the ‘Verdict of Zeus’ epic, which I read at age 12 and was my introduction to Marvel Kirby,” Waid said. “The sheer drama in that Thor/Hercules saga, with all its grandeur and all its humanity, was an education for me.”

These issues contain many amazing moments bound to convert anyone to Camp Kirby. The first issue kicks off with a battle between Thor and a Norn Stone-enhanced Witch Doctor for several pages before shifting focus to a napping Hercules who helped move a downed tree from the train tracks.

After returning the Norn Stone to his father on Asgard, Thor attempts to tell his father that he revealed his secret identity to Jane Foster, but the elder god already knew! In his rage, Odin demands the other warriors present attack his son in “the Ritual of Steel.” The Odinson fights valiantly and earns his trip across the Rainbow Bridge back to Midgard where he finds his beloved at a soda parlor with Hercules!

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #125

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #125

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A wonderfully epic, titanic battle erupts between the two gods in the very first issue of THOR! How epic, you wonder? Well in addition to wielding enchanted uru hammers and Power Staffs, the two use trailer trucks, streets, heavy machinery, buildings, and bare fists to knock each other silly.

Hercules not only wins that battle, but also parlays the victory into a gig working on a gorgeous movie set overseen by mysterious supernatural figures disguised as humans. Meanwhile, Thor returns to Asgard where he stops an interloper from stealing Odin’s power, but nearly at the cost of his own life.

Eventually, Thor heals up, which gives him the strength to help Hercules get out of a boneheaded deal he made to become ruler of the Netherworld, thus cementing a camaraderie that continues to this day.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Take an odyssey through the King’s career with the Avengers writer!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Even legendary artists can take a little getting used to. Your reaction can all depend on exactly when you first experience their work and the kind of art you had seen up to that point. While Jack Kirby remains one of the most beloved creators in the comics world, not everyone fell in love at first sight.

AVENGERS and CHAMPIONS writer Mark Waid happened to be one of those exceptions when he first read a Kirby comic. However, he soon became enamored with the style and kinetic energy that makes the creator “King” to this day.

Fully converted towards the Kirby aesthetic, Waid has written many of Jack’s most prominent co-creations including Captain America, Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Ka-Zar, S.H.I.EL.D. and numerous others. We talked with the writer about that first less-than-great initial exposure, developing a love for Kirby, and his tendency to always look back at the master’s original stories.

Marvel.com: Do you remember the first Kirby-drawn comic you read? What was your relationship with his work like as a reader?

Mark Waid: It wasn’t a Marvel book, but rather a DC one—and to my eternal shame, I hated it when I was nine. I’d grown up with staid DC illustrators like Curt Swan and George Papp, and Jack’s [work] looked all “wrong” to me. Luckily, I grew up and saw the error of my ways.

Marvel.com: Did you get to know Jack personally? What surprised or impressed you most about him?

Mark Waid: I had one conversation with him, casually, at a convention in Dallas a million years ago. I was amazed by his humility and his accessibility, and listening to him tell war stories was a revelation.

Marvel.com: Jack has three distinct runs on Captain America. Did you have specific takeaways from each one that you incorporated into your time with the character?

Mark Waid: Yes. The Golden Age material taught me action. The TALES OF SUSPENSE era work taught me soap opera. And his mid-1970s run on Cap taught me the value of big, bombastic, all-new villains.

Marvel.com: You worked with the amazing artist Mike Wieringo on most of your FANTASTIC FOUR tenure. His style might not have looked like Jack’s but he perfectly captured the characters and that world. Was that something you sensed going into that collaboration?

Mark Waid: Absolutely. I knew Mike respected “The King” immensely, and Mike’s work was big and bold to match Jack’s.

Marvel.com: You’ve had very well regarded runs on some of Kirby’s greatest co-creations. Why do you think you’re able to tap into what makes these characters tick so well while also taking them on new adventures?

Mark Waid: Because they’re great characters, one and all. My job is to dig down and rediscover what I love about these characters and then show it to you. And Kirby’s creations and co-creations are so emotional, so human at the core, that it’s almost impossible not to be able to tap into them.

Marvel.com: You made Jack Kirby a “Higher Power” in FANTASTIC FOUR #511. He has these great lines about imagination and story. How much of that came from Jack and how much came from your own experience working on comics?

Mark Waid: At least half of those lines came from Jack quotes. His phrasing, his language is unique. In my mind, Jack was not especially articulate and yet incredibly well-spoken. He twisted words like no other comics author, and yet their meaning was always clear, always strong and on-point with a distinct flavor.

Marvel.com: You also incorporated the “Man Called Death” pilot pages into S.H.I.E.L.D. #9. How was it working that into the tale and how does it feel to have most likely given some readers their first exposure to “The King”?

Mark Waid: When I die and my life flashes before my eyes, that experience makes the highlight reel. There was so much energy in just those few pages that it was actually daunting to put dialogue to them –but now I can say that, in a very peripheral way, I got to work with “The King.”

Marvel.com: When working on books that feature direct Kirby creations or legacy versions—like INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK, S.H.I.E.L.D., or the Avengers books—do you look back at his original runs to get a better sense of what makes them tick?

Mark Waid: No question. The advice I give all writers is to always go back to ground when you take over existing characters and get a sense of why they’ve been pop-culture icons for all this time. You’re looking for that “X-factor” that the creators brought to the table so that you can find a way to modernize it without disrespecting it. If you’re ever stumped on a “take” for a character, go back and study author intent. The secrets are there.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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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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Mark Waid and Jesus Saiz tell us what’s in store when the Avengers and Champions clash!

Following the events of GENERATIONS comes a confrontation that’s been in the making since CIVIL WAR II — the Avengers vs. the Champions! Throw in the High Evolutionary, and you’ve got a recipe for excitement as Marvel’s premier super team and the heroes of tomorrow finally have it out.

We caught up with the AVENGERS creative team of Mark Waid and Jesus Saiz to find out what to expect when these two teams come together to tear it apart.

Marvel.com: Mark, as part of Marvel Legacy it sounds like we’re getting the confrontation we’ve all been waiting for, as the older Avengers finally face the younger Champions — many of whom are former Avengers themselves. How’s it feel to finally get to tell this tale you’ve been building to?

Mark Waid: I’ve been waiting to tell this story ever since Avengers #1, for more than a year. It’s the first really big story the Champions have been involved in, and they’re really gonna be put through their paces.

Marvel.com: We saw this confrontation first start to percolate when the younger heroes left the Avengers in the wake of Civil War II, but in the post-Secret Empire world, what’s the relationship like between these two generations of heroes?

Mark Waid: Better…but not great. The Champions probably aren’t getting enough credit from the Avengers over what they were able to accomplish during Secret Empire, and that doesn’t go down well.

Marvel.com: What role does the High Evolutionary play in the story?

Mark Waid: He’s the villain, the prime mover–and when I say “mover,” I mean something’s causing Counter-Earth (on the other side of our sun) to begin approaching our Earth at cataclysmic speed towards a shattering collision–unless the heroes can stop it.

Marvel.com: Jesus, you’re coming on board following a stint with Nick Spencer on Captain America. What was the draw for you to work on Avengers? And how’s it been making a transition to a team book and getting to draw all these characters?

Jesus Saiz: Well, after working on Cap, I guess the only way up is working on Avengers! You can’t get a much higher character profile than that!
Although Captain America was a solo book, the truth is the scope of the story was huge; it already has a ton of characters, so I hope drawing a team book won’t be so different, I don’t think things could get much bigger. Of course, Mark could probably prove me completely wrong!

Marvel.com: What’s been your approach to characters, visually, both on the Avengers side and the Champions side?

Jesus Saiz: What I find more exciting in these groups visually is the variety; each character is completely different from the rest. All of them are very unique in terms of, not only physicality, but personality and demeanor. I think this will be the biggest challenge, to give each one a particular posture, movement and “acting.”

Marvel.com: What’s it been like for the two of you, working on the book together?

Mark Waid: I’m a big fan of Jesus’s work and I can’t wait to see what he does!

Jesus Saiz: Working with one of the best, most respected and beloved writers of the Industry? Yeah, I think I can live with that.

Marvel.com: Finally, we can’t talk about the Avengers without talking about the roster. Mark, are there any changes to it you can tell us about, as this new story starts? Jesus, are there any characters you’d love to see added to the story, just to get a chance to draw them?

Mark Waid: No roster changes in the FIRST part of the story–but I can promise you that all the Champions you see at the beginning of the story won’t necessarily make it to the end.

Jesus Saiz: Since my arrival at Marvel, there’s a guy who has been avoiding me that I would love to draw: Odinson, especially in Asgard. Probably I will have to wait a little longer, I don’t think this is the time.

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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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