|Champions of Los Angeles (Marvel)
Search for 'Champions of Los Angeles (Marvel)' on Amazon
The Champions debuted with great fanfare as the first major super-hero team in Los Angeles, but for all its money, power and promise, the eclectically mismatched group lacked unity and direction, and its history was short. The team began with an attack on the UCLA campus by the rogue Olympian god Pluto, who sought to force his fellow gods Hercules and Venus (both UCLA lecturers at the time) into marrying Hippolyta and Ares as part of a plot to overthrow Olympian monarch Zeus. Hercules and Venus resisted with the aid of super-spy Black Widow, demon cyclist Ghost Rider, and mutant heroes Angel and Iceman. Pluto's plot was foiled, and while Venus chose to return to Olympus, the other five heroes decided to remain together as a new super-team, the Champions.
The driving force behind the group was the wealthy Angel, who created a "Champions, Inc." corporation to finance and administer the team with the aid of business manager Richard Fenster and lawyer Emerson Bale. The idealistic Angel envisioned the group as "heroes for the common man" who would be more accessible to the general public, though in practice they fought the same sorts of exotic menaces other super-teams did, such as mad scientist Dr. Edward Lansing's Super-Soldiers and the armored maniac Rampage (embittered engineer Stuart Clarke). Angel nominated Black Widow as team leader, a choice readily endorsed by her fellow Champions, and her old friend Ivan Petrovich often assisted the group. Ivan's estranged son Yuri would attack the Champions as the Crimson Dynamo alongside Griffin, Rampage, and fellow Russian super-agents Darkstar and Titanium Man (Boris Bullski); but the heroes triumphed with the aid of Darkstar, who switched sides and defected to join the Champions.
The size-changing Black Goliath became an unofficial part-time Champion, serving as the team's technical advisor as scientist Bill Foster; he and other Stark Industries technicians helped design the team's high-tech skyscraper headquarters (the Champions Building) and a custom aircraft (the Champscraft), both of which proved defective due to faulty materials used by corrupt contractors. Despite their technical difficulties, the Champions battled menaces such as Shadow Realm's Warlord Kaa, Stilt-Man, the null-life bomb, the Possessor (Kamo Tharnn), Swarm, Godzilla, MODOK, AIM, Typhon, Magneto, Doctor Doom, the Sentinels, Vanisher, Blob, Lorelei, and Unus, sometimes alongside allies such as Hawkeye, Two-Gun Kid, the Stranger, S.H.I.E.L.D., Iron Man, Beast and the Avengers.
In the end, though, the Champions were their own worst enemy: Ghost Rider and Darkstar were never fully accepted by the others, Iceman was a reluctant super hero, Hercules was a loose cannon, and internal tensions fueled near-constant bickering until the Champions finally disbanded. Everyone quit except the Angel, who closed up shop, liquidating the group's assets; he and Black Widow later donated a repaired Champscraft to the Thunderbolts super-team. Angel and Iceman would remain friends and frequent partners, serving together in several other super-groups, some of which Angel financed. Black Widow and Hercules became lovers but soon drifted apart, though they have served together with the Avengers. Darkstar returned to Russia before her apparent death in action with the X-Corporation. The five founding Champions recently reunited to help X-Force thwart a new scheme by Pluto, but parted amicably after Pluto's defeat. Whether the Champions will ever make a lasting comeback remains to be seen. [source: www.marvel.com]
Angel (Marvel)(03 - Warren Worthington III)
Black Goliath (Marvel)
Black Widow (Marvel)(02 - Natalia Romanova)
Darkstar (Marvel)(01 - Laynia Petrovna)
Ghost Rider (Marvel)(02 - Johnny Blaze)
= Image available
Black Widow: Deadly Origin (2010)
Essential Godzilla (2006)
Gambit and the Champions: From The Marvel Vault (2011)
Ghost Rider (1973)
Giant-Size Hulk (2006)
#3 - 'A Tale of Two Saviors'Incredible Hercules (2008)
#114 - 'Walls of Troy'Iron Man (1968)
Annual 04 - 'The Doomsday Connection!'Marvel Comic-Stars (1981)
#1 - 'Im Land der Unmenschen'Marvel Fanfare (1982)
Marvel Treasury Edition (1974)
#13 - 'Giant Superhero Holiday Grab-Bag'Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
HC vol. 02 - 'Baroness S'bak to Crimson Dynamo'Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Teams 2005 (2005)
Punisher War Journal (2007)
#17 - 'How I Survived The Good Ol' Days'Super-Villain Team-Up (1975)
#14 - 'A World For The Winning!'The Avengers (1963)
The Champions (1975)
#1 - 'The World Still Needs... the Champions!'The Incredible Hulk (2000)
#2 - 'Whom the Gods Would Join...'
#3 - 'Assault on Olympus'
#4 - 'Murder at Malibu!'
#5 - 'The Economy is so Bad that...'
#6 - 'Mad Dogs and Businessmen'
#7 - 'The Man Who Created the Black Widow'
#8 - 'Divide and Conquer!'
#9 - 'The Battle of Los Angeles!'
#10 - 'One Man's Son is Another Man's Poison!'
#11 - 'The Shadow from the Stars'
#12 - 'Did Someone Say... the Stranger?'
#13 - 'The Doom That Went on Forever!'
#14 - 'The Creature Called... Swarm!'
#15 - 'Death Drone!'
#16 - 'A World Lost!'
#17 - 'The Sentinels Hunt Again!'
#106 - 'Warbound, Part 1'The Mighty World Of Marvel (2009)
#106 (2nd Printing Variant) - 'War Bound, Part 1'
#106 (3rd Printing Variant) - 'War Bound, Part 1'
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983)
#13 - 'Book of the Dead and Inactive 1 : Air-Walker to Man-Wolf'The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976)
X-Force / Champions '98 (1998)
Annual 1998 - 'Demon from Within'X-Men: First Class Finals (2009)
#3 - 'Higher Learning'
Add this group to a run of issues in a title
Edit this Group