I've been enjoying some of Marvels "Classics" series lately. Cheaper than buying a hardcover "Masterworks" volume and a step up from the bare bones, black and white reprints seen in Marvels "Essentials" series. The "Classics" series is a great way to get nicely reproduced color reprints of obscure bronze age Marvel titles at a fairly cheap price. The Champions Classics Vol 1 reprints Champions issues 1 thru 11.
Over the course of the first 11 issues collected in this volume, The Champions stay united to deal with mysteries in Black Widow's past, the Angel revealing his identity to the public and having his family fortune put at risk as a result as well as dealing with various villains including Titanium Man, Crimson Dynamo, The Griffin and two new characters; the down on his luck businessman turned super powerful villain called Rampage and Russian villainess turned Champions teammate Darkstar. The best of this collection are the stories that feature the art of George Tuska, all of which look very good. The not so good are those issues done by Bob Hall and Don Heck which are pretty rough. Also on hand to do some of his earliest work for Marvel is John Byrne doing pencils on issue 11.
The Champions certainly wasn't the best comic to come out of the Bronze Age. While it might have taken a back seat to The Defenders, they still had an entertaining and odd mixture of fun characters. The appeal to me then and now was the odd mixture of heroes, all of who had their own personalities and a unique, dynamic chemistry. It was a collection of characters that one would never have thought to put together into a team. The Champions seemed a dumping ground for unused heroes, but that gave the series a sort of "underdog" status. One of the things I always enjoyed about Marvel was their ability to make these B-Team books so engaging. Marvel Classics: Champions Volume One is definitely worth checking out.