Hey I remeber a long time ago in my early years of collecting comics that there was a team called "The Champions" by Marvel Comics. I believe they were around the early 70's. My question is there anyone around that actually read the comics and knows the team members? And if so does anyone know where they were located and how or why they came togther.
I think Angel, Iceman, Ghost Rider and Hercules were members and I'm pretty sure there were more. Any help would be helpful.
This is The Champions:
Black Widow (team leader)
Copied from a newsgroup archive.
"Up to bat this time is The Champions #1, a 22 year old book that made
its debut in 1975. And, although I've had my copy for some time, I
never knew that the Champions was conceived and written by Tony
Isabella. Wow, small world.
The story in this issue serves as a bringing together of heroes.
Heroes who, otherwise, probably never had much of a reason to get
together at all: The Angel (X-Man), Iceman (X-Man), Hercules
(Avengers/Thor), Ghost Rider (rogue), and Black Widow (Daredevil).
This issue guest stars Venus, cousin to Hercules [who I'll admit up
front that I don't know much about]
[NOTE] There is a complete story summary within. If you haven't read
the book, you may not want to read the summary.
The Champions #1; October, 1975
"The World Still Needs... The Champions!"
Conceived by -- Tony Isabella
Writer -- Tony Isabella
Art -- Don Heck
Inks -- Mike Esposito
Letters -- Dave Hunt
Colors -- Petra G.
Editor -- Marv Wolfman
Our story opens on the UCLA campus on a sunny autumn morning.
Bobby Drake (AKA Iceman) and Warren Worthington (AKA Angel) are
strolling through the campus, wondering what they are doing there.
Both have left the X-Men [note: this is the new x-men circa UXM #94]
and are seeking a new direction in their lives. Prof X. has pulled
some strings and gotten them scholarships at UCLA.
Suddenly, a hole appears in mid-air... flooding out several
winged, green-skinned demons. The demons demand (of the people walking
by) that they hand over Venus to them. Obviously, no one has any idea
what they're talking about. Bobby & Warren quickly change into their
super-hero id's and engage the demons. They fight and Booby notices
that Warren is not wearing his mask. It seems that Warren has made
the decision to go public after his Mom died. The fight continues....
Elsewhere on the campus, we find Natasha Romanoff (AKA Black
Widow) patiently waiting for her interview for the new position as a
Russian Language Instructor at the university. Waiting with her is an
old confidant, Ivan [who, I'm not familiar with]. It seems that
Natasha was recently forced to leave her union with Daredevil and has,
too, sought a new purpose in life. Another hole appears within her
waiting room and, from it, emerge armored, female warriors demanding
the woman Venus. While Black Widow and Ivan fight the Amazons, a
woman, Dr. Victoria Starr (AKA Venus) enters the room. The Amazons
know she is the one they seek. BW escapes with Venus and, as they
swing off, BW asks Venus to fill her in on why they're after her.
Still elsewhere on campus, we find Johnny Blaze (AKA Ghost
Rider), on his cycle. A projectile barely misses striking his head.
He quickly turns into Ghost Rider and speeds over to see who threw it.
He runs into Cerberus, Guardian of the Depths. Cerberus tells GR that
none may stop his masters' plan to crush the Man-God. GR and Cerberus
engage in battle.
Meanwhile, on another part of campus, Hercules is preparing to
speak as a Guest-Lecturer on Greek Mythology. While talking with the
professor of the course, several Mutates (as they call themselves)
appear and engage Herc in a battle... which ends up spilling out onto
Ghost Rider catches Herc fighting the mutates. GR pulls up
and offers Herc a lift in exchange for filling him in. Herc (having
never met GR before) senses his valor and joins him. While GR is
filling him in, they spot Angel, Iceman, Black Widow, and Venus.
Herc. recognizes the women: Black Widow (a former comrade) and Venus,
and Ghost Rider knows Iceman and Angel. And, as the five of them join
together, all five terrors of hell they were fighting come together.
They switch villains they were fighting (Herc. fights Cerberus, etc.)
and easily defeat them.
Now, the six of them (including Venus) compare notes. It
seems that Cerberus and the Mutates were after Herc, while the Amazons
and Harpies were after Venus. Amid their confusion, they are struck
by a massive bolt of energy, from the real menace behind it all....
Pluto, Ruler of the Underworld. Pluto says that he is there to speak
the Command of Zeus to them : Before the day is done, Herc. must
marry Hippolyta and Venus must marry the war-god Ares or the Universe
To be Continued.....
The Concept: Good job, Tony. Everybody loves when
Super-Heroes that have never met before, meet. They love it even more
when they, if logical, team up. The love it even more when they, if
even more logical, form a team (New Warriors, Heroes for Hire, The
Defenders, etc.). Just browse the newsgroup... it seems there is
always a thread going about what a cool team who be, who it would
consist of, the dynamics of it, etc. This book, though shore lived,
empowered that concept. It took 5 Supers who barely or didn't know
each other and forged a team.
The Writing: Spot-On, for the time. Nice little humor here
and there. Good job, taking five people who all (basically) were
looking for a new direction in their lives and bringing them together.
The Art: I've never been a big fan of Heck's work. It is
solid, but nothing I've really enjoyed much over the years. But, by
the same token, there are plenty of artists who I dislike quite a bit
more. His story telling techniques are much better than many of the
current 'hot' artists, who just draw pinups.
The Villains: I've never been a big fan of Mythology (although
I loved Stern's Avengers Vs. The Gods story in Avengers #281(?) -
#287. But, I'm just nit-picking.
What forced Black Widow to leave Daredevil? I assume this
issue came out shortly after the Daredevil/BW Issues in DD's own
Warren said in this issue that he wanted to go public with his
ID? Does the common man know he's the Angel (I don't think so)? What
ever happened with this?
How did Warren's Mom die? What it in an issue of X-Men?
Who was the Ivan character that BW was with? I'm not familiar
I have most of these issues -- how many were there? When did
Isabella stop writing it? Was there ever a Champions reunion?
Tony, if you're reading this, Do you have any memories as to
how you came up with the concept? Which characters were to be used?
Did you have a different line up in mind, or was it these 5 from the
The Rating: Hunt It Down/Keep it if you got it [Based on it's classic
[NOTE] The rating scale is as follows:
Classic (Books like this make me proud to be a comic reader), Hunt it
down (Very Good read), Keep it if you got it (Average), Sell it back
to the store (Poor)
Question Answered. Thanks guys.
are they goin to come out with a Ghost Rider
soon?? that would be way cool.....used to read his comics
Ghost Rider has been confirmed for the next marvel set, "Ultimates." Looks like ya asked this question at the right time.:grin:
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