Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Marvel Comics' The New Warriors are back!

All is well within the Marvel Universe once again.  The New Warriors are back...sort of.  When I heard that Marvel was giving the Warriors another chance with a new title I was beside myself.  I wasn't a fan of the previous version of the title that was a part of the whole Civil War saga.  Even though this new line-up isn't exactly the same as the original, it's the closest it's been since the original series was cancelled with issue #75.

Let's rewind a bit to the summer of 1990.  I was on the verge of going into the 9th grade in Junior High.  My appreciation for toys wasn't in place yet and the only real hobby I had to speak of had just started, baseball cards.  My older brother had always been into reading and collecting comics, but I guess at that age I just didn't have the attention span to read a comic book.  However that summer Marvel launched two new titles that my brother would have me read, Guardians of the Galaxy and New Warriors.

Initially I loved both books and continued to use what little money I had at that time to read both titles each month.  After a year or so I dropped the Guardians (a decision I would later regret) and just stuck with the New Warriors.  Perhaps initially I was drawn to the New Warriors because the heroes were all young, like myself.  Or perhaps it was the fact that many of the characters were either new or seldom used characters so they didn't bring a lot of "baggage" to the team.  What I mean by that is if you didn't know that Nova had a title in the late 70's / early 80's or that Firestar was once a member of the White Queen's Hellions it wasn't a big deal.

I stuck with the original title and saw it through until it was cancelled.  I picked up all of the tie-in issues with Darkhawk, X-Force and various issues of Spider-Man once Marvel folded the team temporarily into the Spider-Man family of books.  I bought the Justice limited series as well as Nova and Night Thrasher's ongoing titles as well.  The more I read about the characters the more I was fascinated.  Fabian Nicieza was an excellent writer and Mark Bagley I thought did a great job with the pencils in the original series.  Like all good things however the title eventually came to an end after a decent run.

Marvel tried to bring back the Warriors with a volume 2 that just never caught on.  Of course I bought and read all of the issues, but with the book lacking some of the mainstays from the original team it just felt "off".  Apparently a lot of readers felt the same as me as the 2nd volume didn't even last a full year.  Marvel hadn't given up hope for the young heroes yet as the Warriors then received a mini-series that would lead into one of Marvel's biggest and most controversial summer events ever, Civil War.

The mini-series followed Night Thrasher, Namorita, Speedball and new characters, Debrii and Microbe as the Warriors were hosting their own reality television show.  Where the Avengers have Tony Starks' money to finance the team, the Warriors had Night Thrasher and his bank accounts.  However after the events of the 1st volume, Dwayne Turner Enterprises (Night Thrasher's company) was no longer so the Warriors had to find ways to finance their endeavors so to speak.  During a raid on a house full of super villains located in Stamford, CT the worst possible scenario happened.  Being that the team was being followed and filmed as part of their own reality television show, the events of that day would be forever captured on video.  Speedball crashed through the door only to find Nitro, a villain that has the power to explode.  While on his own Nitro's powers weren't nothing to laugh at, but this time however he and other villains had been playing around with MGH, a mutant growth hormone that amplified their powers.  During the skirmish between Nitro and Speedball, Nitro would detonate himself causing massive damage to the surrounding area.  In this surrounding area was an elementary school where hundreds of children would be killed.

Now I find it hard to believe that a story like this could take place in today's society what with all the school violence and shootings that have taken place in the real world.  But even then I remember reading these events in Civil War #1 and being shocked and almost disgusted.  I know the story isn't real, but it's easy to imagine and picture things in your head, especially when aided by artwork and that scene was disturbing to say the least.

After the events of Civil War #1 the New Warriors were basically no more.  Robbie Baldwin aka Speedball
temporarily lost his powers and was the only surviving member left of his team.  He would later adopt a new persona called Penance and wear a spiked suit of armor, punishing himself for the sins he committed.  He was used as part of the Thunderbolts for a period of time.  During the Civil War period Marvel found a way to launch a 4th volume of the New Warriors, however there really wasn't much of a tie to the original team.  Night Thrasher was mysteriously back, but it was later revealed that he was Dwayne's brother.  The rest of the new cast were mostly comprised of mutant characters I knew little about.  I bought the title because of the name, but I really didn't care for the stories.

There was now a huge New Warriors void.  Thankfully readers and fans of the team were teased with appearances by some of the original members in the pages of Nova's post Annihilation series and in the pages of Young Allies and Marvel Divas (mainly Firestar).  While it was a nice treat, I wanted more.  Then Marvel had the audacity to "kill" Richard Rider aka Nova as he sought to save his on and off again girlfriend and former teammate, Namorita.  I'm still waiting to find out what happened to those characters.  In the mean time we have to watch this new young Nova fly around in the pages of his own title.  I wasn't thrilled about the idea of a new Nova character, but I kept an open mind and read his book.  The stories seemed to get better and better and then Marvel started to have Vance Astrovik aka Justice and Robbie Baldwin appear!

Could a reboot of the New Warriors be on the horizon?!  At the time I was trying not to get my hopes up so I just continued to read Nova (and Guardians of the Galaxy!).  I figured I'd just let the creative team lead me where they wanted to go.

The other Marvel book I had been captivated by was the Superior Spider-Man.  While I won't go into much detail there, I was introduced to a new character by the name of Sun Girl.  It was kinda cool to read about her in the pages of Superior prior to finding out she was going to be one of the new members on the upcoming New Warriors reboot.

Of course I'm still waiting to find out more info on who these other new characters are that have been introduced in the newest New Warriors #1 issue.  From my time with Spider-Man I know a little about Kaine as Scarlet Spider and I knew he had "befriend" a girl (Aracely Penalba) during his time spent in Houston, TX, however I didn't realize that girl had super powers and or she went by the alias Hummerbird!  The musclebound shirtless guy on the cover is called Haechi, who is an Inhuman, but he really doesn't make his first appearance until issue #2.  We know the team will have an Atlantean that goes by the name Water Snake, but not much is mentioned about her in the first issue.  I do find it a nice nod by Marvel to include an Atlantean on the team.  She may not be Namorita, but for now she'll do.

Overall I'm super excited about this new title.  So far writer Christopher Yost has my attention and Marcus To, whom I'm not familiar with, is doing an excellent job on pencils.  In fact, the opening splash page featuring Justice and Nova reminded me a bit of Mark Bagley's work from the original series.  I have high hopes for this series and I really hope the creative team(s) have a chance to answer some questions that are currently left unanswered.  I refuse to believe Hasbro will leave Rich Richard and Namorita in the Cancerverse.  Even though I know that is a stretch, I believe that somehow Dwayne Turner is still alive.  With connections with the Atlanteans and Inhumans I can see several possible future stories there and what about Kaine and his connection to Peter Parker?  We all know that Peter is getting ready to make his triumphant return to the webs so will be see a Spidey / New Warriors crossover again?  And of course what about Firestar?  I'm reading the X title she is in, but she just doesn't fit.  I know she's a mutant and all, but she deserves a place with the team, especially since she has returned to her retro costume!

So until my questions are answered, make mine Marvel!


  1. I haven't read a Marvel title other than X-Factor and Guardians in years, so I'm not really familiar with what's been going on with these new characters that've been introduced. I'm super excited that this team is back, but I'm with you about Nova and Namorita. They need to answer that question. Stat.

  2. Dang. What happened to my pictures?!