How Did the Original Champions Break Up?

Wrap it Up is a lot like my Provide Some Answers feature, which is about long-running comic book plots finally being resolved. This, though, is a more specific comic book occurrence where the plotlines of a canceled comic book are wrapped up in the pages of another comic book series. This would happen most frequently in Marvel Comics, but other companies did it, as well.

In case you don't know the title, the Champions was a short-lived comic book series by Marvel that ran for a little under two years from 1975 through 1977 that was set on the West Coast and consisted of a motley crew of superheroes - Hercules, Ghost Rider, Black Widow, Iceman and Angel (and later, the Russian hero Darkstar).

Crazy idea for a book, right?

Well, in their final issue, Champions #17 (by writer Bill Mantlo and the fascinating art team of George Tuska breakdowns and John Byrne finishes), the Champions are fighting against a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and some Sentinels when the fight ends abruptly...

And that's it for the title. However, while it says to look to the Avengers, the REAL answer came just a few months after Champions in another title that Bill Mantlo was writing at the time, Spectacular Spider-Man #17 (by Mantlo and Sal Buscema), where Peter Parker is flown out to the West Coast to take photos of the dismantling of a superhero team, but he gets there too late!!

Iceman then comes back into the fray, brainwashed by Rampage, one of the few Champions rogues. In the next issue, they stop Rampage and get Iceman back to normal, but he still wants the team to break up...

And that, as they say, is that! However, in the future, I'll also show how Mantlo used ANOTHER title that he was writing to resolve the Darkstar unfinished plot from that same Champions final issue. Note also that Iceman and Angel quickly joined a new superhero team a few years later when they joined their friend, the Beast, in the Defenders.

If anyone has a suggestion for a comic book series that was wrapped up in another comic, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

Who Was the First Jewish Superhero?

More in CBR Exclusives