Saturday, June 14, 2014


Kate “Hawkeye” Bishop will get no grief from me over her inability to make sense of the roster of the Champions, the short-lived Marvel super-hero team of the 1970s. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me either, and I was the guy who “conceived” and wrote the series launch some four decades ago.

The short version...I originally pitched the Champions as a “buddy book” starring the Angel and the Iceman, who has recently left the X-Men. It was Route 66 with mutants, just two good-looking heroes from different backgrounds traveling the country, meeting gorgeous young woman and helping people wherever they went. I thought that teaming the wealthy Warren Worthington with the middle-class Bobby Drake would be great fun.

After editorial edicts that every super-hero team had to have five members (like the Fantastic Four), that every super-hero team had to have someone with super-strength (Hercules), that every super-hero team had to have a woman (Black Widow) and that every super-hero team had to have at least one member who also had his own series (Ghost Rider), Marvel and me ended up with the Champions as they actually appeared in the comic books.  I tried to make sense of this strange team and, though a great many readers have told me over the years how much they loved the series, I don’t believe I succeeded.

So...when I came across the above panel in Hawkeye #16 [February, 2014] by writer Matt Fraction, artist Annie Wu, color artist Matt Hollingsworth and letterer Chris Eliopoulos, I did that LOL thing that all the youngsters text about. It made my day.

In other stuff...

This is a shorter-than-usual bloggy thing on account of tomorrow is Father’s Day and Monday is the 30th anniversary of my marriage to Sainted Wife Barb.  I figured you’d understand if I took it a wee bit easy so that I could enjoy those celebrations.

I’ll be back on Tuesday with another installment of my award-lacking JULY 1963    series.  See you then.

© 2014 Tony Isabella


  1. I just bought and read this issue last week and caught the reference. It made me smile, too.


  2. I'm nearly up to #16 in my belated reading of the brilliant Hawkeye series. And I've probably told you before that I'm one of those who loved Champions — for the offbeat characters, but mostly because at that age comics were comics, superheroes were superheroes, there you go. So I'm looking forward to experiencing the reference in context, even if that context is basically a non sequitur. ("That age" was 5 — nearly 6, based on the Dec. 1976 indicia date — when I picked up #8, which browsing the covers on the GCD seems to be my first issue, meaning I can't credit you for the enjoyment I got out of that and later issues beyond getting the ball rolling.)