“It’s a strange time to be a young person. Even as old social and political institutions get rocked by unexpected outcomes from the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, youth movements and start-ups are reshaping the landscape of business, technology, activism, and entertainment. Things aren’t any less chaotic in the Marvel Universe. In the wake of huge conflicts likeSecret Wars and Civil War II, faith in traditional superheroes has been somewhat shaken.
The new series Champions, from writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos, features a group of young Marvel heroes – Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales/Spider-Man, Sam Alexander/Nova, Amadeus Cho/The Hulk, Viv Vision, and a younger version of Scott Summers/Cyclops – splitting off from their Avengers forebears in order to change the world themselves. Although there will still be villains to fight and problems to solve with superpowers, Waid and Marvel say this team of Champions will channel more youthful activist energy than Marvel’s traditional superhero teams. Below, Waid and editor Tom Brevoort tell EW about the formation of the team, their unique goals, and whether they’re bracing for backlash similar to the recent Captain America controversy.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How does it change the dynamic of a group to identify more as a youth group than a standard Avengers-style team?
MARK WAID: You’ll know we’ve failed if by issue 5 the Masters of Evil show up and there’s a fight with the Absorbing Man. Clearly at that point we will have been a victim of mission creep. Tom and I talked about how there’s been a very interesting generational shift in the last 15 years. When we were growing up, the general perception was it takes adults to fix the world. Kids can do little things, but basically you have to wait till you grow up to make the big choices and the big decisions…”