UPDATE 7/5/2016 2:15 PM PT: Marvel Comics has issued an official statement on the use of the title “Champions,” which was used by Marvel in the 1970s but has been out of circulation at the publisher in recent years, due a trademark dispute:
Marvel Comics and Heroic Publishing have entered into a joint agreement that will allow for the publication of a Marvel’s CHAMPIONS comic book, while at the same time allowing Heroic to continue publishing its own line of separate CHAMPIONS and CHAMPIONS-related titles. We’re pleased to have reached an agreement and wish Heroic Publishing the best in their future endeavors.
Original story: Following a series of teasers that saw a number of Marvel’s teen heroes declare “I quit,” Marvel Comics has revealed just what those characters quit for. The teens, who all come together from a number of different Marvel titles, are all banding together to headline a new series — “Champions.”
The series, revealed at Entertainment Weekly, comes from writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos; Alex Ross turned in a variant cover for the series. The new team book will star former “All-New, All-Different Avengers” characters Nova, Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man. Joining them is Amadeus Cho, the star of “Totally Awesome Hulk,” as well as the teen Cyclops (previously seen in “All-New X-Men”) and Vision’s daughter Viv, who comes to the team from the synthezoid’s series. As “Champions” stars a team of teen heroes, the book will have a “youthful activist energy.”
The “Champions” name has a lengthy Marvel history; the first “Champions” series and team debuted in 1975. Like the new series, that original one starred a mash-up team of heroes from disparate parts of the Marvel U: Angel, Black Widow, Darkstar, Ghost Rider, Hercules and Iceman. The Los Angeles-based team lasted for 17 issues and the Champions name went unused for decades. The title was almost resurrected by Matt Fraction in 2007, but a trademark dispute forced that series to instead be called “The Order.” That issue has been resolved, however, as Marvel is now prepping to release their first “Champions” series since 1978.
“We’ve now come to an agreement with the people who held the mark before, which allows us to publish it and they keep doing the things they were doing,” series editor Tom Brevoort told EW. “So basically it’s like this name, that I think of as a fundamentally Marvel name, is coming back home. It feels good in that, when we first started talking about names for this group, we tended to go for ‘something something Avengers.’ That always seemed off-mission for me. If they’re cutting the cord, if they’re going off on their own to establish themselves as a thing onto themselves, they kind of need their own name. They are ultimately very socially conscious, very activist-minded, and very positive about being superheroes, so the name had to feel like a really upbeat superhero name.”
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