Contest of Champions: The Life I’ve Left behind Me

The main story follows the summoning of Nigel Higgins, previously the Outlaw, the British Punisher to what it seems. Trying to live normal life and start a new life until he is startled by a noise outside his building and in the midst of investigating he hears “OUTLAW. You are summoned.” With one page turn you see the progression of what initially happens after he is summoned. Crystalized and released to a surprise from behind to fight for his life. Saved by Gamora, the most dangerous woman in the galaxy, sent to assist the billionaire man of iron Tony Stark, the Invincible Iron Man. Later revealed to all be a game run by The Collector and the titan Meastro.

Al Ewing and Paco Medina do a great job setting up the story together as unit. Panel to panel the story builds to create a backstory for a character that many people may not be so familiar with and throwing in characters that are associated with synonymously with the Marvel brand. Outlaw, Nigel Higgins, is trying to start a whole new life and each panel leading up to his capture I feel holds a certain telling how he tries to be normal. He got a cat, lives in a small town with barely any people walking, reads a TV guide, taking the idea of “Netflix and Chill” to a retired meaning with his cat. Not to mention his colors of choice for when he WAS Outlaw are placed in a memorabilia case as like a  I felt the personal struggle for Nigel of whether to put the suit on and get back into business.

Juan Vlasco and David Curiel do a phenomenal job coloring each panel, making them bright and vibrant. You feel the progression of the story through the wide shot panels and close ups of his face and a few that reach to mean those of the adjacent panels. The page turn to the panel with Venom standing behind Outlaw sets the pace for the story as it is overlapped by the stacked four panels on the next page helping the reader visualize the encounter, only to be interrupted by page turning panel on the very next page.  Page after page the action doesn’t slow only to show the constant movement and insane contest the Outlaw has found himself in.

This story slowly begins to wind down when the members of the newly found team find themselves together in a wide shot panel on top of a full page of mind boggling meeting. The Collector, the instigator of the Contest of Champions, standing next to Meastro, a man behind him that resembles Stick and Guillotine a cursed cowl and blade in search of the next victim’s blood. Ewing and Medina placed this panel very well to be a transition into the next story that just so happens to be the backstory for Guillotine and how she was roped into the Contest.

I have a few questions that arise after reading this:

1.If you’re trying to start a new life, why would you keep the suit of the life you’re trying to put behind you?

2.Messenger Knights? I like the spin on it, but why knights?

3.Why point your gun at the dinosaur?


Over-all I enjoyed this issue and I am curious to see how it develops and whether Ewing and Medina decide to follow the contest through Outlaw’s eyes or if they’re going jump from one hero or villain each issue.

If you haven’t already you should check out the Contest of Champions in the app store.

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment or tweet me what you think @gntlmnbowtie

Conor Watkins
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Conor Watkins

Comic Enthusiast at That Geek Show
Conor has been around comics for a few years now, researching and reading all sorts of series, characters, authors and illustrators. He is working on developing his illustrating technique during his free time. He is slightly biased toward the Marvel comics persuasion but is open to reader suggestions of all kinds.
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