Civil War, the Marvel Comics event series that ran from 2006 – 2007 was one of the strongest stories to come out of the decade and left fans debating the merits of the two warring factions. The first, led by Iron Man, was in support of the Superhero Registration Act, which required all superheroes to register with the government and work alongside and in accordance with them. The second side, led by Captain America, argued that superheroes giving up their rights and freedoms and autonomy would be problematic.
The story was an instant classic, and it began when a young band of reality show-based heroes, the New Warriors, caused a catastrophic disaster in Stamford, Connecticut that killed 600, including school children. The ineptitude of these youngsters can’t help but be recalled in a new one-book that starts a new status quo for another band of heroic youth, the Champions.
Writer: Eve L. Ewing
Artist: Kim Jacinto
This team, including heavy-hitters Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), The Wasp (Nadia van Dyne), and Ironheart (Riri Williams) is a far cry from the New Warriors of old. They’re smarter, stronger, and more experienced. In Outlawed, the group is working to protect a youth speaker (clearly inspired by Malala Yousafzai) visiting New York. As you’d expect, things don’t go quite as planned, with the end result being a city-wide disaster and the implementation of a law forbidding superheroes under the age of 21.
The throwback to Civil War is quite clear here, maybe a little too blatant at times; however, writer Eve L. Ewing is playing with a great cast of young characters. In 30 pages nearly all of them get their moments to shine. Kim Jacinto’s art is bright and lively, quite the opposite of the great Steve McNiven’s work from Civil War, which was hued closer to real life. Let me be clear, here – the comparisons to Civil War are a compliment.
Outlawed sets up a new status quo for the Champions which will be followed in their own book, much the way Civil War did the same for the Avengers et al back in the day. Outlawed has left me curious to see how things play out for this team of youthful renegades.