Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

They Were the Champions

With the Son of Zeus and a demonic motorcyclist part of the regular lineup, the loosely organized Champions of Los Angeles played out like a West Coast branch of the Defenders.

A combination of camaraderie and necessity held the Champions together—but only for only so long. Interestingly enough, soon after the series ended with Champions #17, Hercules became a leader of the Defenders for a Day.

Iceman and Angel, of course, later joined the New Defenders (with Angel wearing the halo-crested costume he adopted during his time with the Champions).

A letter to writer Bill Mantlo and editor Archie Goodwin in Champions #15 discussed the five founding members of the team.

Dear Bill and Archie,

Thanks a lot! With CHAMPIONS #12 you've become my favorite Marvel mag, ousting AVENGERS out of the #1 spot—and that takes some doing!

Now to other things. The art was fabulous. Please keep John Byrne on CHAMPS, but have him inked by Frank Giacoia. As to the team itself:

  1. Hercules—By all means, keep him. Without Herc, the Champs would have no power. But try to keep his temper down, huh?

  2. Black Widow—She shows a great instinct for leadership, and the Champs definitely need a leader. But she needs to exhibit more control. Have her give orders, but don't overdo it.

  3. Angel—You're developing him beautifully. I think his new costume is great, and I've been waiting for a long time for the halo on his chest.

  4. Iceman—Mr. Drake is improving, also. Don't, I repeat, don't ditch the Iceman!

  5. Ghost Rider—You have a problem here. After reading the past lettercols, I get the feeling most fans don't think he fits in well, and I agree.

Danny Dragos
Kings Park, NY

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