“Outlawed” Issue #1 Debut Review
Jay Bowen on Dribble
For over a decade the Marvel Universe, its film-verse, has been spreading the hero and heroine kool-aid which has saturated most of the industry. Most of the veteran consumers of Marvel content, like myself, keep asking what about the next generation of heroes and heroines? I mean how many times is Sony going to reboot Spiderman before people really get annoyed with his appearance being botched with a new actor every time they do it. Another topic for another time but the answer to our question today comes in the form of a group of super kids…sorry super teens called the Champions. Marvel Comics brings us a new obstacle straight from the good guy’s mouth that is a lot like the story arcs used to create the Civil War and X-Men feuds on Mutant policies in their past issues.
*** WARNING SPOILERS ***
Captain Marvel, Falcon, Captain America, and even Vision join Senator Patrick at a Superhumans and Public Safety Subcommittee that is passing the Underage Superhuman Welfare Act to prevent the practice of “hero-ing” that cause a lot of destruction. I absolutely love how Nova puts everyone in the committee on blast for suppressing the young heroes group for saving people but being okay with the millions of people affected by chemical reactions to consumer products. Senator Patrick feels like the governments of the world, more specifically the United States, have given too many opportunities for heroes under the legal adult age of 21 to use their powers without supervision. This is all but made relevant when a brain specialist points out the prefrontal cortex isn’t fully developed until a person’s growth comes full circle at the age of 25. I’m sure there is a more complex analysis because life is a conscious experience and like medication results are sure to vary, but the bill is prompted by the doctor’s subtext when Power Man and Pinpoint make a careless decision to stop a dragon that appeared out of nowhere during an environmental rally at Coles Academic High School.
We have seen the team dynamic before and how elements in a fight escalate. As more heroes have to face more threats they become divided. Kamala, Mrs. Marvel, suspects the Roxxon corporation, yes, they are still a thing, of targeting a 16-year-old environmental activist who is traveling the world to spread the word and support clean living. The issue doesn’t focus on Roxxon’s involvement but I’m sure that is seeded for something bigger in future issues. It was supposed to be a simple protection run but then a dragon appears.
I was a little thrown off by this villain but by the end of the issue, I was convinced the dragon was just a tool to make our heroes look like the odds were insurmountable. The real conflict happens when the team has to save people, escort the activist Ailana Kabua, and keep the dragon from destroying as much as possible. At first, it seems like the heroes have everything under control. Wasp evacuates people, Kamala is evacuating Ailana, and the rest of the team is fighting the dragon. Then soldiers show up and start unloading on the champions. They look a lot like the same commanders that are leading the C.R.A.D.L.E.’s Law Enforcement towards the end of the issue. (Child Reconnaissance And Disruption Law Enforcement) That’s a mouthful.
The team looks to Kamala to make a call she can’t see so tell’s the team that has to figure it out. Power Man wants a sneak attack and Ironheart wants to hit the dragon straight on which leads to Viv Vision’s emotions getting the best of her. When Power Man focuses a Chi-punch through one of Pinpoint's portals it hits Viv instead of the dragon and the energy affects Viv's Vision in a negative atomic way.
The team tries to shut her down but the plan backfires leading to a substantial amount of damage injuries and even…possibly death. In the fallout of the Cole Academy incident, as Senator Patrick calls it, Viv Vision is missing or presumed dead and the bill put into effect is ironically nicknamed the Kamla act. Kamala saves Ailana but becomes critically injured leaving us with a lot of questions. This issue is just the set up so how exactly does this bill affect young teenagers with powers? We see CRADLE forces move to known locations of Champion members like Iron Heart, but why would Miles and Kamala’s friend Jamilah be targeted? How is Speedball going to impact the CRADLE’s implementation? Are we seeing a potential setup to a future line of stories that set the stage for a Civil War — 3?
Regardless of the questions, we are left with and the candid ties made with the champion's involvement in the War of the Realms story arc we can appreciate this twist. Investing in the Champions, I feel, is a good first step into building a new line into the future. Eve L. Ewing and Simone Di Meo did a great job with the first issue and you can expect nothing but great things to come with the questions we are left with. Shout out to Espen, Clayton, and Kim for the look and color of the issue. The issue is already everywhere comics are sold for a retail price of $4.99 but why do that when you can view this online through Comixology.com, an Amazon company, that makes comics easier to read and available on the go. I have a huge selection readily available on my Kindle Fire 8 and you can too.