- Whatever Thor canst do -- Hercules canst accomplish more mightily!
- -- Hercules
Appearing in "The World Still Needs... The Champions!"
- The Champions (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The World Still Needs... The Champions!"
The story opens with Warren (Angel) and Bobby (Iceman) on the campus of UCLA. They both briefly discuss how college life isn't meeting their expectations. They are interrupted rather suddenly when a hole in mid-air expels several green-tinted harpies who demand to know where the goddess Venus is hiding. Bobby, in civilian garb, quickly saves a fellow student from a pummeling by the harpies while Warren changes into his costume. Warren returns in time to assist Iceman, albeit without a mask to hide his identity. Warren declares he is done hiding who he is.
While Iceman and Angel are battling the harpies outside, Natasha (Black Widow) impatiently paces inside UCLA- waiting for her job interview to teach Russian. Her friend Ivan is there and gives her encouragement. He asks if she seeks the job to get her mind off of her relationship with Daredevil. Their conversation is interrupted the same as with Angel and Bobby. A hole opens up and several Amazon women pour out demanding to know the location of Venus. A fight breaks out.
As the battle continues, the Humanities Professor Dr. Victoria Starr enters the conference room to greet Natasha. The Amazons exclaim that Victoria is Venus and seek to seize her. Natasha and Victoria make a hasty escape, leaving Ivan behind.
Meanwhile, Johnny Blaze (Ghost Rider) rides his motorcycle onto the UCLA campus and is stopped by Cerberus. Johnny changes form to the Ghost Rider and throws a little hellfire before deciding he isn't up to the task and leaves.
Also on a seperate part of the UCLA campus is Hercules. He is there to prepare for a future lecture about Mythology with the lecture agent Richard Fenster. Hercules is jumped from behind by many ugly mutates and eventually they all crash through a wall and land outside where Ghost Rider is still fleeing Cerberus. Ghost Rider grabs Hercules and they both escape on his motorcycle.
Ghost Rider, Hercules, Iceman, Black Widow, Venus, and Angel finds themselves chased near each other by the various enemies mentioned earlier. They work together but can't seem to succeed until Angel takes Venus above the mob and they all see her 'Golden Girdle- Cestus'. It leaves the enemies swooning and immobile.
While the heroes rehash the events that transpired- Ares, Pluto and Hippolyta appear and state that before the day is done, Hercules shall wed Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. They also state that Venus shall wed Ares. It is said that if they refuse-- the universe dies.
- Although the team members of The Champions work together for the first time, they won't form a team until issue #5.
- Richard Fenster will become a handler for Champions Inc. He is seen next in Champions #5
- Iceman and Angel last appeared X-Men Vol 1 94
- Venus last appeared Sub-Mariner Vol 1 57
- The Angel decides to make his identity public in this issue.
- The Angel is outfitted with a new yellow and orange outfit. The primary reason for this is that writer Tony Isabella felt the previous dark blue outfit the Angel wore in X-Men #66 was too blue. Since the Black Widow and Ghost Rider also wore dark blue outfits, the writer felt there would be too much dark blue color in the new title.
- The Hercules image from this cover is later used for marketing, particularly for the Champions 1977 Slurpee Cups.
- The "scrawny mop-haired New York writer who spends all his time writing about some bloodthirsty barbarian named Co--" mentioned by Fenster on page 18 is probably Roy Thomas, author of Marvel's Conan the Barbarian.
Links and References
- The Grand Comics Database: Champions 
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