Friday, November 22, 2013

The Exodus of the Champions

When The Champions came to an end in January of 1978, cancelled after only 17 issues, it seemed appropriate that their final scene involved the Vanisher--because, given its last page that left us all hanging, vanishing is pretty much how this team blinked out of the Marvel universe:

And that's all she wrote for this very odd mixture of teammates. With the series ending, what indeed would they do now? In a note on the issue's letters page, Marvel seemed poised to put the final nail in the Champions' coffin:

However, instead of seeing through this build-up of anticipation, the final end of the Champions came swiftly, with the members of the team virtually swept out the door as fast as artist Sal Buscema could manage it. And instead of taking place in the pages of Avengers, the break-up happened in the unlikely pages of Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man--its own 17th issue, as it turned out, which was either wryly planned or one heck of a coincidence.

Just watch how, one by one, these "champions" toss in the towel and quickly abandon ship:

You tell 'em, Warren. But as for yourself--well, since you were in the process of selling the Champions building when Peter Parker arrived to photograph the team's breakup (albeit after the fact), you must have thought it through and decided the world doesn't need champions, at least not the fickle group you founded. Which is probably just as well. If your own building is falling apart around you, that's symbolism you probably should pay attention to.

I did like the style of the "C" logo, though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I liked this series -- especially after Bill Mantlo and John Byrne took over. The Champions were at least as interesting as the Defenders, yet the series folded quickly. I guess the problem was that none of its characters were seen being A-List at the time. And maybe that's still true today.