Tony Isabella, author. George Tuska and Vince Colletta, artists. Irv Watanabe, letterer. Petra Goldberg, colorist. Published by Marvel Comics in 1976.
Some nights I’m reading new comics, some nights the ones I have been sent to review, and other nights like tonight I grab a random one from my longboxes. Tonight’s issue was just there. I’m not sure when or how I bought it. I wasn’t looking for it. I grabbed a box and thought well there’s nothing more random than this issue of Champions. Funny how random things aren’t.
In this issue the Champions – Hercules, Black Widow, her chauffeur Ivan, Iceman, and Angel (no Ghost Rider this issue) take on Rampage. Rampage fought them last issue and is about to take out Angel when this issue starts. The Champions are trying to protect people and property, so Rampage gets away the first time. He almost kills Ivan and now it’s personal. Rampage is seen by police thanks to a tip from his recently fired attorney. The Champions come to take him in and Rampage would rather die than go to jail. Which he almost does. The issue ends with Rampage in the hospital before most likely prison, and his ex lawyer planning on using his power of attorney to sell off Rampage’s company for a profit.
Standard super hero team work here. There’s a good chemistry forming with the Champions team. Maybe one day I’ll track down more issues or a graphic novel collection. The worst part of the issue is I think I see why they needed two artists. Probably to get this book out on time. Half of the book is full of panels featuring just the main characters and a random color for the background. No buildings, no location, no crowds, nothing. The action and the main plot are there just fine, but the “world outside your window” doesn’t exist for half of the comic. And it’s not a front half back half thing. This is page by page and sometimes panel by panel, but it adds up to about half.
The interesting thing was reading Rampage’s motivations. He’s a “recession born super villain who could be you!!” Crazy things happen to people who have debts piling up. Especially when that’s because of circumstances beyond your control. Recession, unemployment, pandemic, lack of stimulus, half of the places are still closed. Why its enough to make anyone want to take matters into their own hands.
About 23 hours ago as I write this, soon to be 24, I beard rapid pop noises from outside. My wife and I both thought it was fireworks, which are fired off all the time in this area. Then we saw the cops a block away. And I checked the 911 log. This morning, in the light of day, detectives were checking out the neighborhood. Sure enough someone drove down the street and fired a few rounds. So far it looks like either the “abandoned” building that has a lot of traffic or the restaurant next door. Not us, thankfully.
I can see a lot out my window but I would be more than alright with seeing less, like rushed artwork less, as long as the Champions appeared to keep my neighborhood safe once again.