Or – “Weren’t We Just Doing This?”

NW2 copy_1.jpg

Here’s the problem with New Warriors: Three quarters of a year into the title, and we still haven’t had a decent, clear shot of the characters costumes, nor have we been given a reason to connect with their new identities, instead coasting on the name recognition that comes with their old hero selves.  With the exception of the Night Thrasher mystery, the basics of it all have been an endless series of scenes with half a dozen or more heroes milling about in darkness, and a big death scene that fell a bit flat due to a complete lack of connection to the character who died.  Now, yet again, the team is wondering what’s up with their mysterious leader, and yet again, we get a lot of posturing and whining without much substance to back it up…

NW1_1.jpgPreviously, on New Warriors:  The Scarlet Witch accidentally depowered most of the mutants on Earth, in a plotline that happened three crossovers ago, but seems like something from 1873 or so.  Because of this, a couple of dozen students were thrown out of the various X-Men teams, and were used as pathos fodder for about half an hour.  Now many of them, including the artists formerly known as Chamber, Jubilee, Beak, Angel II, and some even more minor players have been reassembled by the mysterious Night Thrasher.  Given technological abilities to replace their lost mutant powers, they’ve banded together as the New Warriors, and fight the unregistered fight in a post-Civil War world.  After one of their number is killed in battle with the new Zodiac, the rest of the New Warriors bond, finding that they’ve become a de facto family, even as Night Thrasher (half-brother of the original) questions whether they should have grouped at all…

We start with a flashback, as the Warriors recall their battle with a group of generic super-villains (big guy, hot girl, winged guy, horned guy, Batman analogue, and shapeshifter) where, once again, their supposed leader pulls a no show.  Paco Medina’s art is well done, but I’m starting to notice the failings in it, as the battle is remarkably static and kind of boring…  The Warriors, including new member Sofia Mantega (can we have a code name, PLEASE?) defeat the lamers only by the grace of a last-second save by Night Thrasher.  Something that interests me about the series thus far, is that while Paco Medina draws the new Thrasher wearing a variation on the original N. T.’s first helmet, cover artist Nic Klein has been drawing a variation on the SECOND helmet Thrash wore, which is very different…

In any case, back at their headquarters, the heroes formerly known as Chamber and Jubilee argue over whether they should trust the new Night Thrasher for approximately the 723rd time, and she explains how she was his first recruit.  Chamber explains that he feels like he owes Night Thrasher something, since he was ready to kill himself when they met.  Jubilee swears that she will find out what Night Thrasher is up to, and get him to tell the truth.  Elsewhere in the HQ, Donyell Taylor, the new Thrash (whose costume has gotten a rather attractive upgrade, I might add) is working on some sort of electronic gear when the team’s tech guy, Kaz, nearly walks in on him.  Donyell manages to get his helmet on in time, and Kaz is surprised to find him hiding inside.  Kaz tells N.T. that the team is starting to get very suspicious of his motive, and Thrash explains that he’s already prepared to offset any mutinous activity, by revealing… something.  We don’t see what, but he wears that only Kaz can help him, essentially, trick the team into trusting him.  Because that’ll work, sure.

Across town, Detective Sykes and Givens of the NYPD superpowered division discuss the cultural phenomenon that the New Warriors have started, and discuss each other’s backstory for a couple of pages, and I don’t really know what the point of it is.  Are they supposed to be our point of view characters?  Because the gruff older cop/young ethnic noble cop routine is seriously PLAYED, and unless they’re going to actually interact with the heroes at some point, we’re just burning daylight, here.  Back to the Warrior Cave, where Kaz watches Night Thrasher’s plan on a monitor before grudgingly offering his support.  “And then you’ll tell the truth?  About EVERYTHING?” he asks, and when Taylor agrees to do so, Kaz agrees to help.

I normally don’t like to be glib and snotty about my reviews, but here I just can’t bring myself to do much of anything else.  There is nothing in this issue, save Thrash’s new costume that we haven’t seen done before, dozens of times, in dozens of X-books.  Even if you dress it up with the Anti-Shield Youth Movement rhetoric, it’s basically Rob Liefeld’s X-Factor without the big guns and time travel.  This book has been treading over the same ground for about six issues now, and even the big reveal of “Who Is Night Thrasher?” didn’t give any closure.  It’s a case of same-old, same-old, and I have the same complaints as when I reviewed issue #5 before the hiatus.  I’m this close, honestly, to dropped the title and finding another way to spend $2.99 a month, because New Warriors just isn’t going anywhere.  Issue #9 earns a disapointed 1.5 out of 5 stars, and a spot on my “Three Months To Wow Me, Or I’m Dropping The Book” List, right next to Thunderbolts…


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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  1. Josh P.
    March 7, 2008 at 6:56 pm — Reply

    You do mean Rob Liefeld’s X-Force, not X-factor.

    Sorry to nitpick, but X-Force was the first super hero comic I ever bought, and the whole original run has a special place in my collection.

    I do agree that New Warriors is taking forever to get anywhere. And besides the ex-X-Men, I have no clue who any of the rest of the team is.

    I want to love this book, but the writer (the art is superb, I love me some Paco Medina) is killing any momentum the story might have had with the Night Thrasher reveal a couple of issues ago.

  2. Gaumer
    March 7, 2008 at 7:30 pm — Reply

    Great review

    I just dont understand this book

    I dropped it like it was hot a month or two ago because it just wasnt going anywhere

    I found myself at issue 5 asking myself “Who the hell are these people?!?!

    At least The Order is still good. Too bad marvel is cutting it

    I had such high hopes for the Initiative books and it looks like Avengers is the only one I’ll keep buying.

  3. March 7, 2008 at 9:07 pm — Reply

    “You do mean Rob Liefeld’s X-Force, not X-factor.”

    Like I know about X-books. :)

    But, yes, I did mean that…

  4. Brother129
    March 8, 2008 at 8:18 am — Reply

    Amen to the review. This book had so much potential and now appears to be a one-trick pony….how about sending all of these ex-X-men away and re-forming the “old” New Warriors. I’m over this already. But I’ll probably keep reading because I’m an idiot.

  5. Jim
    March 8, 2008 at 1:57 pm — Reply

    I couldn’t even get to issue #5 on this series. I thought the writing was very blah. It saddens me b/c I really dug the original NW (Amen to Brother’s point of reforming something closer to the spirit of the original). Between this and last year’s awful Omega Flight mini, Marvel is butchering some of my favorite off-beat series as a young’in.

  6. Josh P.
    March 8, 2008 at 3:33 pm — Reply

    You mean there isn’t an X-expert at stately Spoilers Manor?

    For shame.

  7. March 8, 2008 at 9:43 pm — Reply

    I’m the closest thing we’ve got, and with assistance from Wikipedia, that’ll usually do. Of course, when I write on a cappucino and sugar high, all bets are off… :)

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