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Champions, The #7: Review

Aug 1976
Tony Isabella, George Tuska

Story Name:

The Man Who Created the Black Widow

Review & Comments

3 stars

Champions, The #7 Review by (March 14, 2023)

Review: The Champions are planning a big announcement and the day before everything becomes a big mess. A rocket causes some havoc…and no one thinks to look out the window to see where the mini-missile came from—when the bad guy is standing there in plain sight, watching? Ghost Rider and Angel take a beating from the bad guys and lose their prisoner. A bad guy hides in their office and they miss him. A little boy asks for help—and is never seen again. Guess he’ll have to wait a few years for the West Coast Avengers to arrive. Natasha’s former trainer Bruskin contacts her in an absurdly complicated fashion (but he’s a comic-book spy, such deeds are par for the course). And then Black Widow is caught. They might want to put off this big media event until they can be more confident in what they’re doing. Mediocre story and mediocre art are this series’ hallmarks. And seriously, what about that kid in trouble?

Comments: Part one of four parts. First appearance of Darkstar. First appearance of Yuri Petrovich, the fourth Crimson Dynamo. First appearance of Alexei Bruskin, who isn’t around very long. Griffin was introduced in AMAZING ADVENTURES (1970) #15, during the newly furry Beast’s solo series, and MARVEL TEAM-UP #38; this is his third appearance. Gaspar Saladino lettered the first page. The letters page includes one by future Marvel editor Ralph Macchio.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Champions, The #7 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

At the Champions’ temporary headquarters in an office building, Hercules, Iceman, and their publicity agent Richard Fenster are surprised when a small rocket bursts through the window; the two heroes try to stop it but nothing works until Iceman creates an ice tunnel that funnels it into Herc’s hands. Black Widow arrives and suggests giving it to Ivan Petrovich for analysis. The villain watches from a rooftop across the way….

At the hospital, Angel’s lawyer Emerson Bale offers to represent Stuart “Rampage” Clarke but the bad guy declines. Angel fills in Johnny Blaze on recent events; suspicious, Johnny enters the room as Ghost Rider to scare a confession out of Clarke but he finds Griffin and Darkstar abducting Clarke. Griffin beats up GR and the baddies fly out of the window but Angel fires gas at them and rescues Clarke. On a rooftop, Clarke punches Angel with the exo-glove smuggled in to him. Darkstar traps Angel in her energy bands and she and Griffin take Clarke as planned. Ghost Rider pursues them on his motorcycle but Darkstar creates a series of dark light obstacles that cause GR to crash, Angel swooping down to save him….

At the HQ, Herc, Iceman, and Fenster search the building ahead of the big dedication the next day. Fenster spots Yuri Petrovich hiding and they give chase—but catch a little boy instead. He asks Herc for help and hugs him. Meanwhile, the real bad guy gets away, plotting revenge….

Ivan shows Black Widow what he discovered from the rocket: it contains a black pearl, which is what Natasha’s former trainer, Alexei Bruskin, always called her. Bruskin speaks via the rocket, asking for a meeting. Nat jumps to the rooftop across the way where Bruskin is waiting. They catch up briefly but he has come to warn her…and then the Titanium Man blasts him and sets his sights on Natasha….

George Tuska
Vince Colletta
Phil Rachelson
Rich Buckler (Cover Penciler)
Frank Giacoia (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Karen Mantlo.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Warren Worthington)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider

(Johnny Blaze)
Ivan Petrovich
Ivan Petrovich

(Ivan Petrovich Bezukhov)

Plus: Champions, Crimson Dynamo (Yuri Petrovich), Griffin, Rampage, Titanium Man.

> Champions, The: Book info and issue index

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