Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Marvel Masterworks: The Champions Vol. 1 Hardcover – March 8, 2016
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"I love these done-in-one Masterworks! And I love this material. I was so frustrated when the series was originally cancelled, because it was better than some of the other books from around that time. A cult classic lives on!" -- KC Carlson
"What began as a promising buddy concept featuring Ice Man and the Angel blossomed into Marvel's most unlikely super-team. The series had a heart and it was firmly rooted to the Marvel Universe, with Mantlo at his best bringing in various elements to entrench the team in the firmament ... a good read." -- Bob Greenberger
"Start with a Greek demi-god (Hercules), the Black Widow, two Ex-men (Angel and Iceman), and a guy with a blazing skull riding a motorcycle (Ghost Rider), and you had the Champions. In their first 11 issues, the Champions face a scientist in an exo-skeleton suit, discover secrets about the Widow's past, and meet Black Goliath, Hawkeye, and the Two-Gun Kid. The Champions were written and conceived by Tony Isabella and penciled by Don Heck, then the reins passed to writer Bill Mantlo and artists George Tuska, Bob Hall, and--starting with issue 11--future superstar John Byrne." --David Horiuchi
From the Author
"I have always had mixed feelings about Champions because the title was so different from my original concept of a buddy book starring Iceman and the Angel, traveling around the country like the heroes of TV's Route 66, having adventures and helping out people like you and me except that a great many of those folks would be beautiful young women. Instead, the group expanded to five members with the additions of the Black Widow, Ghost Rider and Hercules. They were based in Los Angeles and had the high-minded mission statement of being "heroes for the common man." That mission wasn't accomplished per se, but that didn't seem to bother the readers.
"Something about the weird mix resonated with readers, then and now, because, when I'm signing comics at conventions, the comics I am most asked to sign are Black Lightning, Ghost Rider, Hawkman and ... Champions. I've met Champions fans who weren't born until a decade or more after the series was launched and ended.
"Rereading the stories for this collection, I was reminded of just how good veterans Don Heck and George Tuska were at making even my most convoluted plots look good. I was impressed by the early work of future superstars like Bob Hall, John Byrne and Bob Layton and, especially Bill Mantlo, surely one of the unsung heroes of Marvel's writing corps. Mantlo and Byrne created one of my all-time favorite Marvel villains of the 1970s -- Swarm -- in a two-issue story I think was the best Champions story of them all. There's a lot of great reading in this tremendous tome." -- Tony Isabella
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
For it's price, if you want to avoid the more costly print version, is well worth your money. If you grew up in the seventies like I did, it's a bit of nostalgia that takes you back to a better time. Where else could you see our heroes go toe to toe with the Sentinels, a killer bee villain called The Hive and Crimson Dynamo? When I thought of how many low selling fringe titles Marvel cancelled in the 1970's, why did The Champions have to t be a casualty? They were a group of Super Heroes that were never given a chance to shine. This complete collection captures the magic of those great issues again!
The art had been beautifully restored and recolored using the original coloring as a guideline and printed on slick heavy paperstock for an enduring quality. The binding is top top notch with excellent reproduction. Tony Isabella, creator and original scribe does an informative introduction. The extras include a generous dose of original art and trade paperback covers.
The concept was created by Tony Isabella during a pitch meeting in 1975. A time when Marvel was looking to greatly expand their books. Isabella original concept was for only a two man team with The Angel and Ice-Man. During this time the X-Men had no regular book and The Beast had turned Blue and joined the Avengers. Len Wein who was editing with Marv Wolfman insisted on many strange rules or requests like the team needed five members, and one must be a strong man (Hercules) and one must have their own book (Ghost Rider). Isabella thought it made sense to put Black Widow in the team since she had recently departed from Daredevil's book. Putting them all on the West Coast was also a good idea.
Don Heck was chosen for the artist and Tony Isabella plotted a three part story which ran in Champions #1 to #3. The story started at the UCLA campus and involved the abduction of Hercules and Venus. Venus was teaching at the college in a human disguise. The villains are also Greek Gods, Pluto, Ares , Hippolyta and The Huntsman. Right off the bat things started happening to make the book unsuccessful. First off production delays caused the 2nd issue to be three month late. Then on issue three Isabella leaves for a honeymoon and Don Heck is also gone. Bill Mantlo scripts issue #3 from Isabella's plot and George Tuska takes over the art. Take a look at the splash page for issue #3 it is really a strong piece art wise from George Tuska of Angel and The Widow in their swimsuits. But it makes little sense , since their friends have just been abducted. Why put on skimpy swimsuits and go to the beach while Ice-Man skates in circles?
Chris Claremont and Tuska do a fill in for Champions #4 Murder at Malibu. It should be mentioned here the publication frequency looks like that strange 8 times a year experiment for the first year and a half then a drop to Bi-Monthly for the end. During the beginning the book would be monthly during the Spring\Summer months.
Issue #5 and #6 is a two parter by the returning Tony Isabella which introduces Rampage who is the Champion's Doctor Doom. The fact that their main nemisis is a lame villain in an Exo-Suit does not bode well for the book. The tag line from Champions #6 made me laugh out loud. Rampage: The Recession Born Super-Villian who could be you. Heck and Tuska continue to play ping pong on the art with Heck on #5 and Tuska #6.
Champions #7 was a four issue arc started by Isabella and Tuska but finished beginning with Champions #8 by the new regular team of Bill Mantlo and Bob Hall. Mantlo known as the king of fill-ins gets his first regular gig after White Tiger. This is Bob Hall's first major Marvel work after breaking into the business at Charlton Comics. This is actually a fun story which introduces new Super-hero and future champion Darkstar to the Marvel Universe. The villains are the Griffon and a bunch of Russian baddies. Isabella reveals the last panel of #6 was changed from the Ghost Rider villain The Orb to the Titanium Man by Mantlo. I also liked that the story gave a back story and purpose to Ivan , the Widow's friend and driver. Also during this arc The Angel loses his headband and open chest costume and goes back to the Roy Thomas X-Men era costome. Perhaps they had an only two member headband rule with Hercules and now Darkstar having them Angel had to loose his.
Champions #11 brings in a lot of cool things, the best one is new artist John Byrne. Bryne also broke into comics at Charlton but he had already switched to Marvel and was working on Iron Fist. The Champions also get a cool Sky Car and part time member Black Goliath. This story guest stars Hawkeye and the time displaced Two Gun Kid.
Champions #12 and #13 continues with a bunch of villains including Kamo Tharn (from Thor) and Stilt-Man and The Stranger.
Champions #14 and #15 introdces the villain Swarm. This story is selected by Isabella as the best Champions story, but I kind of love all the John Bryne issues. Also during this story Ice-Man gets a new costume and Rampage returns.
Next up is Iron-Man Annual #4 in which The Champions help Iron-Man search for Modok. The story is written by Mantlo and I!lustrated by George Tuska. Tuska's art here is not as good as his earlier appearances and looks sloppy and rushed.
Next we get an obvious fill in issue of Avengers #163 . It is written by Jim Shooter and again illustrated by Tuska. This story featured three Chamipions Hercules, Ice-Man and Black Widow versus the mind controlled Avengers Iron-Man and The Beast. The villian doing the mind controlling is the greek god Pluto. These fill ins were designed to be multi-purposed so this one could be stuck in an issue of either Iron-Man, Champions or Avengers.
Next up is the two parter which begins in Super-Villian Team-Up #14 and ends in ends in Champions #16. Both issues feature Mantlo and Bob Hall. Hall's art here looks a little different like someone told him he needed to "Draw Like Jack Kirby". It was fun seeing the Champions against heavy hitters Docter Doom and Magneto. The Beast, The Hulk and President Jimmy Carter all guest star.
Champions #17 is their final issue. Still written by Mantlo, we get Tuska on pencils and John Bryne in the strange role as inker. The Champions battle a bunch of X-Men villains like The Sentinels, The Vanisher, Unus, Lorelei and The Blob.
Then in Spectacular Spider-Man #17 and #18 Peter Parker is sent to cover the demise of the Champions and their former headquarters which is falling apart. The only Champions still left are The Angel and Ice-Man as they battle Rampage once again. These issues are from Mantlo (the new Spectacular writer) and Sal Buscema.
And we conclude the volume with an excellent yarn from The Hulk Annual #7 by Roger Stern and John Bryne. Ice-Man and The Angel help the Hulk defeat Master Mold , the Ultimate Sentinel.
For a bit of fun I urge you to read Amazon's Book descriptions. Two of the creator biographies are totally wrong unless Bob Hall was really a Royal Commander for the Royal Australian Army and John Bryne won a Nobel Peace Prize.
In conclusion the stories contain a good amount of highs and lows. I loved the concept and thought the book was excellent under Mantlo and Bryne, but even the the weakier stories made for a fun read and nostalgic look at one wacky team which was a great experiment.
Most recent customer reviews
Team-ups and accidental fights. Also undead/radioactive bees! Missing the Godzilla issue though.