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Champions, The #9: Review

Dec 1976
Bill Mantlo, Bob Hall

Story Name:

The Battle of Los Angeles!

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Champions, The #9 Review by (April 11, 2023)

Review: Talk about an inauspicious debut: the big event features only two of the team’s five members (plus one showing up late) and they are quickly clobbered by the bad guys and carried off. Oh well, the Champions weren’t going to spark the public’s imagination, being two lesser Avengers, two X-Men, whom everybody hates and fears, and a dude who looks like a monster with a flaming skull. And then Black Widow escapes and is captured again; I’m hoping they kept that one out of the news so the team didn’t come off as total losers. If I were the Champions, I would adopt different identities so that we could pull off a Champions 2.0 and pretend the first team didn’t happen. Another mediocre issue but I’ll give it an extra half star for that cool move between Herc and Ghost Rider with the mace.

Comments: Part three of four parts. Gaspar Saladino lettered the first page.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Champions, The #9 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

At the inaugural event for the new superhero team, the Champions, the only team members present, Hercules and Angel, are attacked by Titanium Man, Griffin, and Crimson Dynamo. Security hustles Governor Jerry Brown to safety while Richard Fenster discovers he is no good at fighting villains. Ghost Rider returns from taking Rampage to the hospital to be attacked by Griffin and the scene is too crowded for him to use his Hellfire attack. Herc bounces his mace off of Crimson Dynamo toward GR who catches it and is pulled into the air so he can blast Griffin; he then bounces the mace off Griffin toward Herc who catches it and batters CD. Angel knocks Titanium Man out of the sky and he lands on Hercules, distracting the other two heroes long enough for their enemies to strike the blows that knock them out….

Elsewhere, Iceman and Ivan Petrovich have tracked the black pearl to the captive Alexei Bruskin whom Black Widow is being held with. Iceman creates an ice tunnel to cross the gap between the buildings but the three villain arrive with the three captive Champions. Bobby is blasted by the Dynamo and Ivan dashes through the tunnel to the hideout…

…where Natasha has pulled off a ruse to distract and defeat Darkstar. But Darkstar recovers quickly and there is a battle between the two women which is a stalemate until Ivan crashes through the skylight firing tranquilizer bullets. They subdue Darkstar but the other three villains enter with their prisoners and recapture Natasha and company. Crimson Dynamo unmasks to reveal he is Yuri Petrovich a/k/a the Outcast, the son Ivan thought was dead and who is now seeking revenge against his father….

Bob Hall
Bob Layton
Don Warfield
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Dan Adkins (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Karen Mantlo.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Warren Worthington III)
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, Titanium Man.

> Champions, The: Book info and issue index

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