Author: Robert Diehl
Updated: Version 1.0, last modified March 8, 1998
Index to Champions 1-17 Version 1.0, last modified March 8, 1998 by Robert Diehl (email@example.com) Issue: Champions 1 Date: Oct-75 Story: The World Still Needs... The Champions! (19 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), Warren K. Worthington, III (Angel), Johnny Blaze (Ghost Rider), Robert Drake (Iceman) Regular Characters: Ivan Petrovitch, Richard Fenster Guest Stars: Venus alias Dr. Victoria Starr Villains: Harpies, Amazons, mutates, Pluto, Ares, Hippolyta Other Characters: Synopsis: Angel and Iceman are attending UCLA, realizing they can't fit in either with the new X-Men or the Avengers. A hole opens before them, and harpies spring out and demand they hand over Venus. Bobby ices up, and Warren decides to go public by fighting without a mask. Widow has left Daredevil and applied for a job teaching Russian at UCLA. She and Ivan are attacked by Amazons; she rescues Starr from them, but is forced to leave Ivan behind. Ghost Rider is just driving through when he is attacked by Cerberus in giant humanoid form and defeats him. Cerberus then shifts to giant canine form, and Ghost Rider opts for discretion. Fenster has invited Hercules to speak at the college, as an expert on mythology. He is attacked by mutates, and is busy knocking them about when Ghost Rider teams up with him. Hercules defeats Cerberus, Ghost Rider the harpies, and Iceman the Amazons. As the villains regroup, Starr reveals herself as Venus and has Angel fly her up, so she can unleash her power of love on them all. It incapacitates them, but then Pluto appears. He has come to UCLA to enforce Zeus's decree: Hercules must wed Hippolyta, and Venus Ares, else the universe dies. Issue: Champions 2 Date: Jan-76 Story: Whom the Gods Would Join... (19 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Venus, Zeus and various Olympians including Dionysius Villains: Pluto, Ares, Hippolyta; the Huntsman, Menoetius Other Characters: Synopsis: Hercules resists marriage with both fists, overcomes Ares and Hippolyta, but is defeated by Pluto. Angel and Ghost Rider distract Pluto; Widow and Venus rescue Hercules, and Iceman walls up their foes in a mountain of ice. Pluto goes to Olympus to complain to Zeus: he had made deals with other gods of death, and coerced Zeus into decreeing the weddings. He then plans to attack Olympus, anyway. The Huntsman comes to UCLA and strikes a bolt to paralyze the Champions, but Ghost Rider's Satanic power protects him, and he fells the Huntsman, who disappears. Ghost Rider guards the fallen gods, while the rest hunt the Huntsman, who summons the electrified Titan Menoetius. The ex-X-Men successfully dodge, while Widow grounds the giant. Pluto, Ares, and Hippolyta return and attack Ghost Rider, who fells them all with one blast, only to realize they were really his teammates, disguised by the Huntsman, who absconds with Hercules and Venus. Issue: Champions 3 Date: Feb-76 Story: Assault on Olympus (18 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Venus, Zeus, various Olympians including Dionysius Villains: Pluto, Ares, Hippolyta, the Huntsman; Menoetius (in flashback) Other Characters: Synopsis: Iceman beats himself up over failing to save Hercules and Venus (last iss.). Ghost Rider drives up and says he knows a way to Olympus: through the portal the Iceman built a mountain over (last iss.), which is still frozen open. The bust through, and have to fight past the Huntsman and his mutant hordes. Widow and Iceman fight a holding action, while Angel and Ghost Rider keep going. On Olympus, the weddings are announced. Hercules learns that Zeus really decreed it, and is still defiant. The ceremony is interrupted as the Angel overcomes the Huntsman, and Zeus releases Hercules, who knocks out Ares, and Venus, who turn Hippolyta's sword into a plowshare. Pluto still stands. Ghost Rider yells at Zeus to stand up for himself, and he does, banishing Pluto. Venus asks him to pardon the schemers, and Hercules rejoins the Champions on earth. Issue: Champions 4 Date: Mar-76 Story: Murder at Malibu (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman Regular Characters: Ivan Petrovitch Guest Stars: Villains: Dr. Edward Lansing and his mutates including Billy Other Characters: Synopsis: Hercules and Widow walk on the beach when Billy attacks them. Hercules defeats him, and finds that he is just an old man. Armed guards come to take him, and they capture Hercules and Widow, as well. They are captives of mad Dr. Lansing, who runs experiments with the super-soldier serum out of San Marino State Hospital. Lansing's mutates and the brain-washed Hercules and Widow attack Angel's beach house. Ghost Rider arrives just in time to help Iceman and Angel hold back Hercules. Widow, about to kill Ivan, snaps out of it. She attacks Lansing, and destroys his control box. His mutates, now mindless animals, kill him. Issue: Champions 5 Date: Apr-76 Story: The Economy Is So Bad That... (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Iceman; Ghost Rider (in flashback) Regular Characters: Emerson Bale, Ivan Petrovitch, Richard Fenster Guest Stars: Villains: Rampage (Stuart Clarke), Amos Crawley Other Characters: Rose, Anna Synopsis: Bale is Angel's lawyer, helping him fight his relatives over his parent's will. He is stunned to see how much he stands to inherit. Crawley is Clarke's lawyer, telling him he is bankrupt. He storms out in anger. Ivan reminds Widow that she has a bad history with super-hero groups, but she reassures him that this collection of loners is for her. The UCLA football team teaches Hercules to play. He wins. Fenster wan an agent for the school and has been fired. Angel hires him to administer the Champions, and officially establishes the Champions as a team, to help the ordinary man. Clarke dons his Iron-Man-like experimental armor and goes on a bank-robbing Rampage. Iceman happens on him and is quickly overcome. Angel, Hercules, Widow, and Ivan come to the rescue and get what-for, too. Rampage takes Angel hostage. Issue: Champions 6 Date: Jun-76 Story: Mad Dogs and Businessmen (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Iceman Regular Characters: Ivan Petrovitch Guest Stars: Villains: Rampage, Amos Crawley Other Characters: Conners, Dunn Synopsis: Rampage has Angel hostage and forces the rest to walk away. Iceman summons his coldest temperature, spins, and holds Rampage long enough to Hercules and Widow to rescue Angel. Rampage gets away and decides it was crazy to become a bank robber. He removes his suit, and walks right past the police. Angel makes Widow team leader. Iceman plans to quit. Crawley recognizes Rampage on the news and reports him. The police arrive, and Rampage reluctantly dons his suit again and battles them. The Champions arrive and together defeat him, Angel borrowing Hercules's mace. He explodes his jet pack, trying to suicide, but Iceman shields him with ice and saves his life. He is going to prison; Crawley plans to sell his business and take his money. Issue: Champions 7 Date: Aug-76 Story: The Man Who Created the Black Widow (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman Regular Characters: Ivan Petrovitch, Richard Fenster, Emerson Bale Guest Stars: the Commissar (Alexi Bruskin) Villains: Rampage, Griffin, Darkstar (Laynia), the Titanium Man (Bullski), the new Crimson Dynamo (Yuri Petrovitch, the Outcast) Other Characters: Synopsis: A guided missile crashes through the window of the Champions' new office, and gives them a time of it before Hercules can catch it. Angel is unable to convince Rampage to use his lawyer. He and Ghost Rider are unable to stop Griffin and Darkstar from flying off with him. Fenster has arranged a public gala to announce the Champions, and he, Iceman, and Hercules search the building the night before as a security precaution. They find a child, who saw their ad and wants their help, and overlook Ivan's vengeful son. Ivan and Widow realize that Commissar sent the missile, and she meets with him. He was her superior as a Soviet agent and wants to warn her, but is attacked by the Titanium Man. Issue: Champions 8 Date: Oct-76 Story: Divide and Conquer! (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman Regular Characters: Ivan Petrovitch, Richard Fenster, Emerson Bale Guest Stars: the Commissar, Gov. Jerry Brown Villains: Rampage, Griffin, Darkstar, the Titanium Man, the Crimson Dynamo/the Outcast Other Characters: Pierre Synopsis: Rampage shows the Champions photos of Widow and Commissar, who are captives of the Outcast. He attempts to attack and instead blows himself up: his teammates sabotaged his suit to get rid of him. The Champions get him to a hospital for a second time. Fenster makes the team clean up the ravaged office; Angel replaces his costume. The Dynamo plans to send the Widow, the Commissar, and his father Yuri back to Russia as traitors. Ivan and Iceman track the Commissar through the black pearls he always carries. Angel and Hercules publicly announce the Champions as L.A.'s first super-hero group, and are interrupted by the Dynamo, Griffin, and Titanium Man. Issue: Champions 9 Date: Dec-76 Story: The Battle of Los Angeles (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman Regular Characters: Ivan Petrovitch, Richard Fenster, Emerson Bale Guest Stars: the Commissar, Gov. Jerry Brown; Daredevil, Hawkeye (in flashback) Villains: Griffin, Darkstar, the Titanium Man, the Crimson Dynamo Other Characters: Pierre Synopsis: Angel tries in vain to calm the panicked crowd, while the governor flees and calls out the National Guard. Angel, Hercules, Ghost Rider, and even Fenster fend off the attack. Angel bashes Titanium Man, making him crash into Hercules, which distracts Ghost Rider, leaving him open to Griffin, who also blasts Angel. Iceman and Ivan arrive at the villains' base in Venice, CA, just as they return with the fallen Champions. Iceman is quickly defeated, and Ivan runs off to rescue Widow. She has already freed herself, and is battling Darkstar. The villains all arrive, with the fallen Champions as hostages. The Dynamo reveals himself to be Ivan's son. Issue: Champions 10 Date: Jan-77 Story: One Man's Son Is Another Man's Poison (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman Regular Characters: Ivan Petrovitch, Richard Fenster, Emerson Bale Guest Stars: the Commissar, Gov. Jerry Brown; Daredevil, Hawkeye (in flashback) Villains: Griffin, Darkstar, the Titanium Man, the Crimson Dynamo; Brackett, Medvedev (in flashback) Other Characters: Boris, Capt. Andreyivich Synopsis: Darkstar has Angel, Iceman, Ghost Rider, and Hercules captive in her energy field, but can't maintain it, so she ports away with her teammates, leaving the Champions in a vault beneath the San Andreas fault. If they break out, they cause an earthquake. Ghost Rider has to restrain Hercules from trying. The Dynamo has the rest on a plane, and tells his tale: Ivan was a scientist who refused to defect; he sent wife and son away for safety, but they were gunned down in their car, the woman killed, the boy captive. The boy assumed his father arranged this, to be rid of them. He was raised by American agents, but resisted and arranged to be rescued. The Commissar reveals that in reality, he set the whole thing up, to make the boy a loyal tool. The U.S. Air Force intercepts the plane; Titanium Man flies out and destroys them. Darkstar frees the captives, both in the plane and in the vault, because the Dynamo refuses to listen to the truth. He subdues the Widow and Darkstar, and flies to a waiting sub. The Champions arrive, fight, and subdue their foes. The Commissar uses a grenade to damage the sub and is shot by its captain. Darkstar and Ivan let the Dynamo go free, and he vows to return. Ivan keeps his secrets from the team. Issue: Champions 11 Date: Feb-77 Story: The Shadow from the Stars (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman, Darkstar Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Black Goliath (Bill Foster), Hawkeye (Clint Barton, also in flashback as Giant Man II), The Two-Gun Kid (Matt Hawk); Giant Man I (Henry Pym, in flashback) Villains: Warlord Kaa and shadow soldiers; Stilt-Man Other Characters: Synopsis: The Champions test drive their new sky car, and nearly crash, but its designer, Black Goliath, catches them. He introduces himself as Tony Stark's West Coast representative, and fixes the car, which he says was built with sub-standard metal. Darkstar joins them, having defected. Widow is a bit peeved at not being asked first. In Arizona, Ghost Rider is nearly trampled by stampeding cattle. He finds Hawkeye and the Two-Gun Kid teamed up to help some local ranchers, and together they investigate a flying saucer. The rest of the Champions see it on TV and come running. Shadows move across the rock; they possess the ranchers through their shadows. Hawkeye illuminates them, and they identify themselves as the alien Kaa and his shadow soldiers. Darkstar's power is ineffective against such beings; Iceman saves her (he has a crush on her). Hercules is possessed, but overcomes it. Kaa tries to possess Angel, but he flies so high that his shadow disappears, killing Kaa. Ghost Rider puts one of Hawkeye's arrows aGhost Rider; he shoots it into the mother ship, illuminating and destroying all the shadows. Black Goliath calls with an emergency: Stilt-Man has attacked, wanting the Stranger's box that had been stolen from Stark's lab. Issue: Champions 12 Date: Mar-77 Story: Did Someone Say... The Stranger? (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman, Darkstar Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Black Goliath; Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, Adam Warlock (in flashback) Villains: Stilt-Man, the Stranger, Kamo Tharn Other Characters: Regina "Reggie" Clayborne Synopsis: The Champions return from Arizona in time to fight Stilt-Man. Angel knocks the Z-Ray out of his hand, and Darkstar destroys it. He beats off Black Goliath, Hercules, and Angel. Ghost Rider melts the tar beneath his stilts, gluing him, but he detaches his pods and walks away. Black Goliath chases him. Reggie's boyfriend stole a box from Stark; she came to the Champions for help when he disappeared and it started glowing. The Stranger appears, warning them that it is a null-life bomb. They don't trust him enough to give it to him, and fight him when he tries to take it. A silver structure emerges from the box and swallows Reggie, then the Stranger. He explains that it will expand and swallow the earth, unless the Champions can retrieve the one thing that will disarm it. He ports them to Kamo Tharn's world, who attacks them, having previous history with Hercules. Meanwhile, Black Goliath has walloped Stilt-Man, live on TV. Issue: Champions 13 Date: May-77 Story: The Doom That Went On Forever (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman, Darkstar Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Black Goliath Villains: the Stranger, Kamo Tharn, Mechanoids Other Characters: Reggie Clayborne Synopsis: Black Goliath is sucked into the null-life bomb, meets the Stranger and Reggie, and is defeated by the bomb's Mechanoid defences. Kamo Tharn wants his runestaff back, which Hercules and Sif had taken to help Thor. His creatures attack the Champions. Darkstar tries to keep the Stranger's portal to earth open, and she and Iceman go through it into deep space. They form spheres (of Darkfield and of ice) to save their lives and make it to the other end of the portal. Darkstar ignores Iceman, and tells the Stranger that Kamo Tharn's staff is on earth (in a broom closet). He helps her use it to make the bomb simply expand forever, which negates it as a threat. The Champions realize that Kamo Tharn is battling them with illusions, and break out of it, then Angel breaks his face, then the Stranger brings them home. Issue: Champions 14 Date: Jul-77 Story: The Creature Called... Swarm! (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman, Darkstar Regular Characters: Ivan Petrovitch Guest Stars: Villains: Swarm (Fritz Von Meyer, see next iss.) Other Characters: Frankie Synopsis: The Champions' automated defences attack Hercules. Iceman dons his new, mature, full-body costume and comes to the rescue, and is attacked himself by Rampage's armor. He gets the armor to knock out the building's generator, shutting down all systems. He finds the problem was faulty wiring. Ivan says goodbye to Widow, Darkstar, and Ghost Rider and returns to Russia, on a secret mission for Nick Fury. On the same dock, giant mechanical bees attack an Interpol agent, and the Champions come to his rescue. Swarm kills him; he is composed of a swarm of bees. He flees when the Champions approach, and they take the dead man's briefcase. Angel flies in with a warning: a huge swarm of killer bees is about to attack. Issue: Champions 15 Date: Sep-77 Story: Death Drone! (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman, Darkstar Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Villains: Swarm Other Characters: Synopsis: Swarm and his swarm attack the Champions, as well as the residents of Los Angeles. He grabs the briefcase from Widow and seals himself inside the hive formed on the top of the Champion's headquarters. Angel and Ghost Rider do what they can in the city; Darkstar and Iceman are stung by giant bees and brought into the hive. Swarm explains he was a Nazi toxicologist in South America who found mutant, civilized killer bees, whom he made his army. They turned on him, destroying his body, but he grabbed the queen bee, and his mind lives on in the swarm. The queen was captured by Interpol and encased in amber. The queen's mind reaches out to Darkstar, who shatters the amber, freeing her. Swarm and the now giant queen plan to conquer the world, but Hercules throws her out to sea, and the swarm follows. Swarm collapses, nothing left but bare bones. Issue: Super-Villain Team-Up 14 Date: Oct-77 Story: A World for the Winning! (17 pages) Feature Characters: Regular Characters: Guest Stars: X-Men Nightcrawler, Colossus, Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, Banshee (in flashback); Avengers Vision, Scarlet Witch, Beast, Iron Man, Yellowjacket, Thor, Capt. America, Wonder Man, Wasp; Champions Angel, Darkstar, Ghost Rider, Hercules, Iceman, Black Widow Villains: Magneto, Dr. Doom; Eric the Red (in flashback) Other Characters: Synopsis: Doom has decreed a celebration of his victory over Red Skull (SVTU 10-12); Magneto arrives, tips over Doom's statue, introduces himself, and offers to team up to conquer and rule the world. Doom reveals that he has secretly released a gas that allows him to control anyone in the world, including Magneto. But he is bored with his secret victory and desires a challenge. He drugs Magneto but also gives him an antidote to his mind-controlling gas. Magneto bursts into Avengers' mansion, is attacked, but eventually gets the heroes to listen: he wants allies against Doom. But Doom then asserts his control over all the Avengers, who kneel to him. Magneto redirects the Beast's blood flow and frees his mind. They are unable to contact the X-Men or Fantastic Four, so they try the Champions. Issue: Champions 16 Date: Nov-77 Story: A World Lost! (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman, Darkstar Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Beast, Hulk, Pres. James Earl Carter, Cyrus Vance Villains: Magneto Other Characters: Synopsis: The Champions have been told by the mind-controlled Avengers that Beast has turned traitor, so they attack him and Magneto. Meanwhile, Carter turns America over to Doom. Doom summons the Hulk to protect him from Magneto, who distracts him with Hercules, holds off the others, and attacks Doom. Ghost Rider is the only Champion not effected by Doom's mind control; he blasts Doom's mask with hellfire, forcing him to remove it and breathe his own mind-controlling gas, thus freeing everyone else. Hulk bounds away; Magneto scoots, too, before the ex-X-Men attack him; Doom tries to figure out how to obey himself. Issue: Champions 17 Date: Jan-78 Story: The Sentinels Hunt Again! (17 pages) Feature Characters: Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Ghost Rider, Iceman, Darkstar Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Villains: Sentinels; the Vanisher; the Blob, Unus the Untouchable, Lorelei; Eric the Red (in flashback) Other Characters: Synopsis: The Blob, Unus, and Lorelei flee to the Champions for help against Sentinels, who have cancelled their powers. Hercules and Widow defend them and call the others for help. Angel sees the "Champsignal" (a pattern of lights on the building) and retrieves Iceman, Darkstar, and Ghost Rider from the latter's movie premiere (inadvertently sparking an anti-mutant riot in the audience). Together, the Champions defeat the strangely inept Sentinels. The Blob explains that the three villains had been restored from infancy by Eric the Red, were attacked, and fled to the ex-X-men for help. But Warren and Bobby see through this pretense, and the Vanisher stuns all the Champions with a ray gun. He is behind this plot to destroy the Champions, using leftover Sentinels that he assembled on Steven Lang's orbital platform (see Uncanny X-Men 98-100). Darkstar recovers consciousness and uses her dark force to reanimate one of the fallen Sentinels, and it fells Blob, Unus, and Lorelei. Iceman freezes the Vanisher's ray gun, so he decides to vanish. But Darkstar throws her force at him, and he is stuck halfway in transport. She admits to not being more than human. Note: this is the last issue in the series; the story continues in Avengers 163.
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