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Comic Book / Outlawed

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Outlawed is a new status quo for the teen heroes of Marvel Comics. Launching with a one-shot in March 2020, it sees the enactment of a new law, called Kamala's Law, which means that anyone aged 21 or under is no longer allowed to be a vigilante. This, obviously, is a major problem for the many teen heroes, who, led by the Champions, will fight against this new law. The initiative sees the return of Power Pack. New Warriors was due back too, but then controversy and the COVID-19 Pandemic happened. The one-shot was written by Eve Ewing, who will also be writing the new Champions series.

Titles involved

  • Champions (2020) #1-10 Kamala's Law has been enacted, going against everything the Champions stand for. But the team isn't going away quietly. Written by Eve Ewing and drawn by Simone di Mio.
  • Power Pack The Power family are reunited... but what will they do when teenage superheroes are banned? Written by Ryan North and drawn by Nico Leon.
  • Magnificent Ms. Marvel - Issue #14-15 is a tie-in. Written by Saladin Ahmed and drawn by Minkyu Jung.
  • Miles Morales: Spider-Man (2018) - Issue #17-18 is a tie-in. Written by Saladin Ahmed and drawn by Carmen Carnero.
  • Ghost-Spider (2019) - Issue #8-#10 is a tie-in (despite only #10 being advertised as such). Written by Seanan McGuire and drawn by Ig Guara.
  • 2020 Ironheart - two part mini series advertised as an Iron Man 2020 (Event) tie-in, which turned out to also be part of Outlawed.


  • Accidental Celebrity: Kamala's civilian identity becomes famous against her wishes when she saves an activist from a collapsing building but falls into a coma when it falls on her. When she wakes up, she is less than happy to find out that they named a law after her that specifically prohibits her from saving people in both identities.
  • Artistic License Law:
    • The idea of Kamala's Law, making it illegal for superheroes to operate if they're under 21, runs directly against good Samaritan laws in every single state in the U.S. that protect people trying to save others from dangerous situations from being sued for wrongful death or injury in hopes of averting Bystander Syndrome.
    • "Kamala's Law" passes alarmingly quickly, to the point that C.R.A.D.L.E. is organized and the law begins being enforced within days of it passing. In real life, it can take weeks, months, or even years for legislation of this magnitude to pass, much less go into effect.
    • C.R.A.D.L.E. apparently can punish students for wearing clothing that "promotes vigilante violence", flying in the face of the Tinker v. Des Moines decision. This is only the tip of the dubiously constitutional iceberg, as they move onto private property without warrants, arrest nonviolent protestors, and hold a minor who is a citizen of a foreign country (Snowguard). Issue #5 of Champions reveals that C.R.A.D.L.E.'s forces were manned by Roxxon, so of course they'd be all happy to break laws if it suited their needs.
    • Vigilantes are already illegal in the Marvel Universe (it's in the name). While the Avengers were legally sanctioned by the UN and SHIELD, the majority of times that Spider-Man and other independent heroes deal with the police is having the other wanting to bring them in. Things like CRADLE and Fisk's Later Powers Act are just enforcing laws that are already on the books.
  • The Atoner:
    • Viv. She believes that she needs to bring her friends in to make up for the damage they did. However, she is told that doing this is actually doing more harm than good.
    • Bombshell is convinced that she actually did wrong due to the punishing nature of the re-education camps.
  • Big Damn Heroes: With Sam, Kamala, Riri and Miles pinned down in a treehouse and nowhere to go, they're suddenly saved by Cyclops and Dust, Cyclops telling C.R.A.D.L.E. members if unless they want a war with Krakoa, they should back down and let them take the kids in.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Unlike Civil War, Outlawed makes it clear that C.R.A.D.L.E is awful and fascist from the very get go. Even though some superheroes are working with it, the story shows the organization engaged in kidnapped and brainwashing from the get go. The Champions are, of course, shown to be virtuous and noble heroes defying a corrupt government.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The C.R.A.D.L.E. schools are ran like this. Many of the young heroes already captured (and it's assumed also the New Warriors) are believed to be under this train of thought. Locust believes the food might be poisoned.
  • The Bus Came Back: Jack and Katie Power (Alex and Julie are fresh off Future Foundation).
  • Condescending Compassion: At the senate hearing, Nova is outraged at how the government is punishing teen superheroes for trying to defend themselves and others for their supposed "well-being". This is when Congress still hasn't passed any kind of legislation to protect teens from drugs, gun violence, or poverty. Meanwhile, the apparent main speaker for Congress continues to speak with a smug grin on his face.
  • Continuity Nod: The events of the Outlawed one-shot involves Roxxon, who has risen back to prominence since War of the Realms and has been launching monsters out at the Immortal Hulk.
  • Continuity Snarl: Kamala's Law should not have been active yet in 2020 Ironheart. The issue is set during the Iron Man 2020 event, which explicitly starts on January 1st. Iron Man 2020 itself takes place before Empyre. But Power Pack #1 is set on the very day that Kamala's Law came into force, after Alex and Julie returned to Earth after their Future Foundation adventures in an issue of Fantastic Four that takes place after Empyre. Since it's not possible for Iron Man 2020 to be after Empyre, the timeline doesn't work out.
  • Covers Always Lie: The promo image (see above) shows many teen heroes, only a few of whom are actually likely to appear in the event itself.
    • The Runaways were on hiatus until October 2020, and with the group all demoralized in the wake of their most recent setback, they are unlikely to participate (and technically, they are already complying with Kamala's Law, as they were part of the J-Team franchise.)
    • X-23 is currently off on an X-Men-related mission.
    • Gwenpool, Hawkeye and Speed haven't been announced to appear in any Outlawed related comic.
      • Turns out Gwen is hiding on Krakoa.
  • Destructive Saviour: Part of what kicks off the passing of Kamala's Law is a battle between the Champions and a dragon that leads to a lot of collateral damage.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The panel where C.R.A.D.L.E. authorities are beating down the Lafayettes' door to seize Lunella looks an awful lot like ICE barging into the homes of undocumented immigrants.
    • Miles' classmate tries to start a junior chapter of C.R.A.D.L.E. at Brooklyn Visions while C.R.A.D.L.E. tries to get the kids to sign a pledge to report all suspected teen superhero activity. Does this sound like Soviet Russia, Communist China's Red Guards, or just plain Nineteen Eighty-Four to anyone?
  • Dramatic Irony: The law designed to corral in teen superheroes is named after the Secret Identity of the leader of the Champions.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While pursuing Ms. Marvel, one of the C.R.A.D.L.E. agents suggests rounding up every female of South Asian descent between the ages of 15 and 20 in the Jersey area, as one of them would logically be her. Dugan quickly shoots him down, insisting that even if that kind of profiling didn't result in a logistical headache or a public-relations nightmare, it would still be a cold day in Hell before he ever signed off on racial profiling.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Child Hero Reconnaissance and Disruption Law Enforcement or C.R.A.D.L.E. Squirrel Girl lampshades that they're omitting the H in the acronym.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Like with both Civil War and Civil War II, the story is set to make the case between the autonomy of young heroes and the need to train them properly in how to act. Becomes a Black-and-White Morality tale quickly with the reveal it's a Roxxon plot.
  • History Repeats: It's not the first time the government has taken a stand against superheroes. Unlike the other times, this time it's being deliberately pushed by a villainous organization.
  • Kid Hero: The story is an active examination of the lines between old and new, young and venerated superheroes, and the main players are child and teenage heroes like the Champions and Moon Girl.
  • Lawful Stupid: Dum Dum Dugan is reluctantly placed in charge of a unit of C.R.A.D.L.E. hunting down Ms. Marvel in the middle of a flood in New Jersey. Despite posssessing a military helicopter and plenty of space for passengers, Dugan's men choose to taser Ms. Marvel and try to apprehend her rather than help save lives because of the law.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: C.R.A.D.L.E. mobilizes a massive anti-teen hero coalition in a matter of days, patrolling towns with military helicopters, arming themselves with sci-fi weaponry, and quickly establishing posts in every major city in America. They also create fake crime sting operations to draw teen heroes out of hiding before taking them to what amounts to concentration camps to be brainwashed and tortured into compliance. Where is all this equipment and planning when actual supervillains attack and Alien Invasions begin? Who knows? Justified as it turns out Roxxon was paying for everything.
  • The Mole: There's a spy in the Champions. Champions (Outlawed) #1 reveals that it's Viv.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In issue #4, Viv ultimately realizes that her attempts to get the Champions caught by C.R.A.D.L.E. was doing more harm than good.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: Lampshaded when a young C.R.A.D.L.E. officer offers the "simple solution" of rounding up all of the young women of Middle Eastern descent in the greater Jersey area and then test them to find Ms. Marvel. Dum Dum Dugan (a World War II veteran) immediately shouts the idea down both for practical (as a PR and resource management problem) and personal (Dugan didn't fought all of his life against fascist forces to pull this crap) reasons.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: What kicks off the creation of "Kamala's Law" — a fight between the Champions and a Roxxon-made dragon leads to a lot of property damage, the disappearance of Viv Vision and the near-death of a vaunted child activist.
  • No Body Left Behind: Viv is nowhere to be seen after she apparently went critical to stop Roxxon's monster, leading others to assume she died. She's alive and intact, and sells out the Champion's hiding spot to the authorities with an encrypted message.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Ailana Kabua, a young environmental activist, has major shades of Greta Thunberg.
  • Shoehorned Acronym: C.R.A.D.L.E. stands for Child Hero Reconnaissance and Disruption Law Enforcement, the 'H' from Hero being ignored.
  • Super Registration Act: A downplayed example. The Underage Superhuman Welfare Act, the new law enacted, makes all superheroes under the age of 21 illegal unless you have an approved adult hero mentor.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Even when the Champions expose the re-education camps are abusive and involve kidnapping teen heroes, Kamala's Law remains on the books. They have to wait for Congress to get around to repealing it and, even then, it requires significant campaigning to get it done.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Ironheart. Twice. First in Iron Man 2020 Unfortunately, Riri's AI, N.A.T.A.L.I.E., ends up going rogue and stealing the suit, forcing her back into action. and then in Champions, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man and Nova visit her because she ignored their calls - she wanted to lie low to protect her mother. CRADLE, tipped off by a traitorous Viv Vision, comes to get them, forcing Riri to suit up again.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Senator who pushed for "Kamala's Law" genuinely wants to get unsupervised teenaged vigilantes off the streets or get them trained so they don't wreck things. It's just that the law is incredibly unpopular and C.R.A.D.L.E. is going down the slippery slope. And Roxxon is behind it all.