Or – “Thankfully, They Know New WARRIORS History As Well As New Mutants…”

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Internet wags, myself included, have made much of the fact that the New Warriors seem to be comprised entirely of Ex-X-Men. The somewhat bad news is, that trend doesn’t stop in this issue. Thankfully, though, we do finally see a glimpse of why a group of Xavier’s misfits would have the temerity to call themselves New Warriors, and while questions are answered, each secret uncovered creates two more in it’s place, like some mythical thing Veronica Sawyer’s eight-grade boyfriend would know about. And possibly the most important question remains up in the air: Who Is The Mysterious Night Thrasher?

Previously, on New Warriors: Even in the newly minted autocracy of Baron Iron Man NW1.jpgthe first, a few flies still float in the ointment, heroes who refuse to register and join his army of cannon-fodder. A mysterious group calling themselves the New Warriors defies both the law and the court of public opinion an operates outside the law in the traditional superhero manner. The kids have creatively utilized existing technology including devices that evoke the function of Spider-Man’s discarded web-shooters and the size-changing gas of Henry Pym in their war on crime. Sofia Mantega, once the New Mutant known as Wind Dancer, finds her new non-powered worldview shattered, when the Warriors court her for membership, revealing that two of their members are old friends. Wondra, once known as X-Man Jubilee, and Blackwing, formerly Beak, introduce her to their mysterious leader who wears the armor of the long-dead Night Thrasher. Their underground activity creates a cult following, as well as gaining the attention of the NYPD’s super-powers unit. First order of business: make sure that the OLD Warriors are actually bereft of life…

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The coroner reveals that analysis of Night Thrasher’s remains has not only yielded no BODY, not only is the uniform lacking enough carbon residue to confirm vaporization of the body, but the DNA evidence found on the uniform is incomplete. The human remains cannot be 100% verified to be Dwayne Taylor’s. “So, is Taylor dead, or what?” The doctor BELIEVES so, but this IS the Marvel Universe after all, and Benjamin J. Grimm said it best: “If ya ain’t got a body, then they ain’t dead yet.” As for the New Warriors, they’re in a training exercise, but not working together very well. Skybolt nearly blasts his own teammate, and only the quick thinking of Decibel saves the day (almost as if he has some experience as a superhero.) Wondra is disgusted with her partners, and dresses them down…

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And another member is revealed. Decibel is none other than Jonathan Starsmore, the former Chamber of Generation X, (and an ex-X-Man himself) which probably explains his experience. Jubilee checks with her support team, consisting of a young Asian man that I thought for a moment was Whiz Kid of the X-Terminators and a teenage girl who seems to believe that she’s Snoop Dogg despite massive evidence to the contrary. Across town at Stark Tower (seemingly placing this arc before the events of Planet Hulk) Herr Gruppenfuhrer Stark finds that his offer of clemency to the Warriors has garnered a response, though not the one he might have hoped for…

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Heh. ‘Losers & Dorks.” Jubilee returns to Sofia, who waits for her in the giant pinball machine that Arcade once used to torture Spider-Man and Captain Britain, confirming that the Warriors have appropriated one of his old Murderworld haunts for their hideout. Miz Lee puts the membership speech to full effect trying to recruit Sofia. “We’ve were X-Men, Sofia. We’ve been to different dimensions, the other side of the universe and back, seen things that most people can’t even imagine. Thrash gave me a chance to be ALIVE again!” Sofia giggles at the hard-sell, throwing Jubilee of her stride for a moment…

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Sofia raises a good point, asking Jubilation how well she actually KNOWS Night Thrasher and what he’s done to make her trust him (other than give her super-powers.) “Ever consider that you’re being played?” Meanwhile, the NYPD investigation continues, leading them to one of the New Warriors who got out alive: Donyell Taylor, half-brother of Dwayne. Formerly the Warrior called Bandit, Donyell now fills his time administering a new Taylor Foundation…

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The police officers ask him if any of his old partners would have wanted to restart the Warriors in his stead, and Bandit tells them the truth. “Yeah. All of them. But they wouldn’t do that…” When they ask why, Donyell explains that it really wouldn’t be the New Warriors without Night Thrasher, the heart and soul of the team. They reveal to him that they think his brother is still among the living, citing evidence of Night Thrasher’s M.O. in recent criminal apprehensions. As they prepare to leave, Donyell reveals one piece of information he had been hiding…

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Who had those codes, you ask? No one save Bandit himself… unless you count the FORMER head of the Taylor Foundation, Dwayne Taylor himself. With the identity of Night Thrasher seemingly coming to light, another member finds that her disguise isn’t quite as opaque as she had hoped. Wondra and Blackwing work on the lair, and Sofia’s words have shaken her. Despite her questions, Barnell Bohusk is a trusting soul, reminding her that Night Thrasher gave them a chance to be heroes again, and that’s really all he needs to know. Suddenly, a match strike lights up the tunnel, and Jubes is confronted by her old best friend/mentor/pseudo-boyfriend. It’s too bad that he doesn’t make a few more appearances so that I could remember his name. “What are you DOING here?” Jubes asks, and he tells her he’s just here for some facetime… “You don’t approve of our group, do you?” she accuses, and he calmly responds, “Not for me to say.”

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Interesting… As he leaves, Jubilee calls out to him “You an me… We’re good.” He smiles as he leaves, with a flippant “Who said we weren’t?” Heh. I can see why people found this relationship compelling. As Wolverine hurries off to appear in New Avengers, Astonishing X-Men, Planet Hulk: X-Men, Wolverine, Wolverine: Origins, and indeed half the Marvel line, we cut back to police headquarters, where the technos have analyzed the recordings of Donyell’s mysterious blackmailer…

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95% probability, hmm? That’s still a 5% chance of a swerve, I’d say. Officer Sykes worries that the New Warriors are correct, sharing the story of how Spider-Man was there to save her cop father years ago, making her wonder if superheroes don’t do more good than harm. Worse than that, she worries that hunting the kids down may be the WRONG thing to do. They decide to track down any mass purchases of technology to find anyone who might be setting up a superhero base when a voice speaks to them from a dark corner of the parking lot. “You’re asking questions about DEAD people. I suggest you forget about them… for your own good.” He throws a small gas weapon, and the officers are engulfed by smoke. When it clears, they find that things have gotten complicated indeed.

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We fade to black with Thrash’s warning that they’ll be safer if they leave this one alone, and I’m left with a sense of worry. Dwayne Taylor was a bit of a loose cannon, but I’m not sure he’d have terrorized two police officers to make his point. Something is definitely up here, and I’m not sure if the original Night Thrasher is back or if someone just desperately wants us to BELIEVE the original Night Thrasher is back.

Either way, this issue is very interesting. Kevin Grevioux makes a compelling mystery (actually more than one) and draws it out in a believable and well-paced way. I’m still not feeling Detective Sykes and her mustachioed partner, but the character interaction is nice. We’re given an answer to one question with the Chamber reveal, but the question of identities isn’t entirely given away. It reminds me, in a way, of Thunderbolts #1 all those years ago, with the Masters of Evil reveal at the end… It’s a well-done issue, with excellent art by Paco Medina, even if I’m not entirely sold on all the costumes yet. As a fan of the original incarnation of the Warriors, I like the nods to history, I like the respect for what went before, and I await the beating of Gauntlet with great glee. It’s a 3.5 out of 5 star issue, well above average and nicely executed.

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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7 Comments

  1. Brent F.
    August 6, 2007 at 2:25 pm — Reply

    I still think Bandit is Night Thrasher.

  2. Brother129
    August 6, 2007 at 2:58 pm — Reply

    So do we really think these guys are all going to be ex-X-Men

  3. Maximus Rift
    August 6, 2007 at 3:04 pm — Reply

    Ah, but Mr. Peterson… if Dwayne Taylor did survive and saw that his team was used as a scapegoat for an oppressive piece of legislature and that NOBODY came to their defense, would he really trust the cops? Even if he did, wouldn’t he try to scare them off so the only opponents he would have to face are SHIELD and the criminals?

    …or he could be a Skrull… you never know these days…

  4. August 7, 2007 at 12:04 am — Reply

    Have you ever noticed how many legitimate Skrulls there are around right now?

    Xavin… The Crusader… Super-Skrull… Hulkling…

  5. Brother129
    August 7, 2007 at 8:49 am — Reply

    I definitely noticed the emergence of Hulking and Xavin…I can’t wait for Quesada to tell me that was all part of the Skrull plan. Gotta love the ability to retcon….

  6. Brent F.
    August 7, 2007 at 5:03 pm — Reply

    The Skrull story just really wreaks of lazy writing. So far it really doesn’t seem that different from Battlestar Galactica.

  7. August 7, 2007 at 5:07 pm — Reply

    So far it really doesn’t seem that different from Battlestar Galactica.

    Well if it works – use it, borrow it, steal it…

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