Marvel has been confusing fans since June, publishing teaser images that featured the publisher’s teenage heroes, including Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales’s Spider-Man, Totally Awesome Hulk, Nova, Viv Vision, and Teen Cyclops burning their Avengers membership cards. First of all, wait a second, does this mean all the Avengers have laminated ID cards? That seems irresponsible. Second — and this is the question Marvel wanted us to ask — why are all the surly super-teens telling the Avengers to fuck off?
On Tuesday, Marvel announced the characters from its teaser images would be forming their own adolescent team of supes called Champions. These are not Marvel’s version of Teen Titans, exactly, because that subgroup of teens doesn’t harbor ill will toward the Justice League, while Ms. Marvel and her cohorts are frustrated with The Avengers. Forming Champions is a savvy move on Marvel’s part: the company reported that the group will focus on activism, as opposed to the Avengers’ “traditional” values. Keep in mind, outside the MCU, earth-shattering events like Secret Wars and Civil War II have been torturing Marvel’s comic book heroes. Creator Mark Waid’s Champions have simply told the likes of Captain America and Tony Stark that enough is enough: it’s time to take superhero tactics from the grips of Olds and let the younger generation make some noise.
“When we first started talking about names for this group,” editor Tom Brevoort told EW, “we tended to go for something something Avengers. That always seemed off-mission for me. If they’re cutting the cord, if they’re going off on their own to establish themselves as a thing onto themselves, they kind of need their own name. They are ultimately very socially conscious, very activist-minded, and very positive about being superheroes, so the name had to feel like a really upbeat superhero name.”
In addition to being marked by optimism and focused on social issues, Mark Waid says Champions will be rendered in a teenage-friendly, bombastic style. “No one in a Humberto [Humberto Ramos] panel, even if they’re in the background, no one is just standing there not doing anything. Somebody’s got their mouth wide enough to eat a banana sideways, and somebody else looks like they’re gonna explode from rage, and that’s just the way Humberto draws people. It’s awesome.”
There has been no confirmation on a publishing date for the first issue of Champions.