Marvel’s Champions are back, with a brand-new series from writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos. It’s a challenging position for Waid, who has to forge a new path for his young heroes while also acknowledging their past—not to mention the paths taken by other well-known Marvel characters. We spoke to him about what’s next.

io9: I haven’t liked Civil War II that much, but I’m more interested in the world that comes after. Can you talk about what’s bringing these kids together if they’re so disillusioned? Why not just stop being superheroes altogether?

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Mark Waid: Because they believe in superheroes. They believe that superheroes have a higher calling. They’re at a stage that a lot of us get to at some point, our teenage years, where we feel like “Man, the adults just keep screwing it up. We should do a better job.” I think, really, the outcome of Civil War II—without giving anything away—is that the whole concept of superherodom, and a lot of people’s views of the man-on-the-street superheroes, is tarnished. And this does not sit well with the younger heroes, who are like, “This is the legacy I inherited, and you’ve screwed it up. So what can we do to make it right?”

That’s really cool. You’re continuing on Avengers post-Civil War II, right?

Waid: Yup.

I interviewed Tom King a little while ago, and one of the things that strikes me about the way he’s written Omega Men and Vision is like—to me, he’s writing these characters in a corner. I don’t know how you touch the Vision as a character after what he does. But in your position, you have to use that character—do you feel like you’re able to work that stuff in? Can you acknowledge it in any way?

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Waid: I think acknowledging it is the best way to do it. Not because I don’t care about what’s happening in that book—in fact, it’s my favorite Marvel comic right now. But it’s such a tight story. Very much Tom King’s point of view. I don’t want to do anything to muck it up. I know Tom. He’s actually sent me the last two scripts, for the last two—and, oh my god, he nailed the landing. And so, with Avengers, we can touch on what has happened—and with Champions, obviously, we did it there as well; there’s some acknowledgment there. But I don’t want to go too deep into it.


Champions #1 is out today.