Or – “Sometimes A Decision Makes Itself…”

For some time now, I’ve been wavering back and forth on this title, sliding from casual optimism to hate-filled diatribes on the new New Warriors and the surprises contained therein.  Kevin Grevioux started out strong, with some compelling mysteries, but the reveals we’ve seen thus far have been anti-climactic, and many of the story beats puzzling, to say the least.  This issue is the sixth since I made my customary “Six Issues To Wow Me Or I’ll Have To Drop The Title” resolution…  How will the chips fall?


Previously, on New Warriors:  In the wake of the death of (most of) the original New Warriors in the Stamford disaster that predicated Civil War, Donyell Taylor (half-brother of the original Night Thrasher) took up the red helmet of his brother and assembled a new team.  Before Civil War, however, came the House of M, during which The Scarlet Witch mystically depowered the majority of the mutants in the universe, which gave Donyell a large pool of former X-Men from which to draw his new recruits.  Starting with the artist formerly known as Jubilee, the new Thrasher used existing technologies (mostly stolen from people like Henry Pym, Peter Parker, and the various villainous soooper-geniuses of the Marvel Universe) to give these experienced super-combatants powers again, and reassembled his team.  Their first mission ended in tragedy when one of their own was killed in battle with a new Zodiac, and since then, the Warriors have been confused and angry about Night Thrasher’s identity, his motives, and his tendency to disappear for no reason when it’s least convenient.  For his part, Thrash just wants them to shut up and be good little pawns, and has gone to the unheard of end of trying to find a way to keep the team under his thumb a little longer…

We begin this issue with Jubilee…  excuse me, with WONDRA running her troops through their paces, acknowledging how they’ve come together, how they’ve improved.  She encourages them all, expositioning each of their names and the stolen technologies they’re using very awkwardly (“Ripcord!  Between the frog springs, web-shooters and the Slyde suit, you should be untouchable!”)  Her last analysis is of Sofia Mantega, the former New X-Man known as Winddancer, now going by the name “Renascense” (which, according to Dictionary.com, is a variation of “Renaissance,” meaning ‘rebirth.’)  Their battle sequence (and have you noticed that every team has a “Danger Room” hidden in their basement?) ends abruptly with Wondra’s simulated death, and she peevishly shuts down training time.  Sofia bids her friends farewell, saying that she never wants to be fully reliant on a superhero life again, and heads off to work.  As soon as she’s gone, a fight breaks out over whether or not NIght Thrasher is to blame for their recent unpleasantness. 

The slapfight is interrupted by the man himself, as Night Thrasher (or at least a hologram of him) stops the fight, and tells them to meet him in the War Room in half an hour for a full explanation of everything.  For a second, we see Midnight’s Fire (arch-enemy of the original Night Thrasher) stalking Fantastic Four baddie Diablo in Mexico, then we cut to detectives Whatsisname and Whatserface who have been handling the New Warriors case for the NYPD.  We return to the Warriors’ Crash Pad, as the team argues over who he is (somebody says Synch, which cracks me up) and Thrash reveals his masterstroke: The Transhuman Activity Monitor, which allows him to track superhumans around the globe!  He explains how this will explain everything, and Jubilee suddenly interrupts.  “That’s a CROCK!  How could you have this technology and both Stark and Reed Richards not?  What, they’re not smart enough?”  She stands up to him, though her argument is as specious as his, and they force the team to choose.  ALL the New Warriors stand by Night Thrasher, and Jubilee takes her ball and goes home, but not before she abuses N.T.’s retinue of teenage tech geniuses, nearly making one of them cry.  Aja (a character who I swear to you I do not remember having seen before this issue, even though I know I should know better) berates her, telling her that Trash saved them all from various cliche fates worse than death, and she seems to reconsider her hate-face stance.  We end with Sofia, back at work at the diner, getting blind-sided by Kat Farrell of the Daily Bugle, who demands an interview, remembering her taking down Scorpio two issues ago…

Honestly, without trying to sound snarky or unpleasant, I have no idea what’s going on in this issue.  Night Thrasher’s identity, while still known to us, is still obscure to the Warriors, and even the conflict feels very stilted and unreal.  Wondra’s change of heart feels very forced, especially given that it was she who, maybe five issues ago, talked Wolverine into believing that the Warriors are a good thing.  Add to that the fact that I STILL haven’t gotten a clear idea which name goes with which costume.  This issue finally did explain which one was Ripcord and which one was Skybolt, but I have to go through a complicated “Wait, she used to be…” thought process every time I try to figure out the players on the field.  And I read Legion of Super-Heroes!  With all the new titles that want my attention, I’ve come to the realization that I can’t keep buying New Warriors and not knowing what’s going on.  Even if issue #12 wraps up all these storylines into a pretty little bow, that’s twelve times $2.99 that I could have spent on something that was more satisfying.  I can’t give New Warriors #10 more than 1.5 stars (the art was good, as usual, though the issue felt a bit rushed in places) out of 5, and I’ve officially removed it from my hold list.  It started with a lot of potential, but the execution has pretty much killed the story’s momentum, and my hope that it’s going somewhere interesting.


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.
    April 10, 2008 at 7:27 am — Reply

    It’s for books like this that I am glad I don’t read individual issues anymore and only pick things up in trade.

    The first six issues read better in trade than they came across in your reviews.

    My biggest complaint about this book is not knowing who any of the characters are except for Jubes, Jono, Sophia, Angel, Beak and Thrash. And I only know who they are because they were prominant members of an X-Team at one point or another (except, of course, Thrash).

    Who are all these other characters hanging around Murderworld? They’re supposed to be depowered mutants for the most part, but which ones? I didn’t care when what’s her named was killed off by the Zodiac in the first arc because I DIDN’T KNOW WHO SHE WAS!!!

    I can’t care about a character if I don’t even know who they’re supposed to be.

    Grevioux did a very good job making me care about Sophia again. And just knowing who Beak, Angel, Jubes and Jono originally were was enough to create a connection. As far as I’m concerned, every other character on the New Warriors is there simply as potential cannon fodder.

    I really would like this book a lot more if the team was better identified.

  2. Gaumer
    April 10, 2008 at 12:27 pm — Reply

    I couldnt agrre with Josh P. more.

    I cant beleive this book is selling well enough to keep it ongoing but Matt Fraction’s The Order is going away.

  3. Josh P.
    April 10, 2008 at 6:05 pm — Reply

    I think New Warriors sells more than the Order based on recognition factor.

    Also, it’s so very hard for Marvel and DC to produce a book with all new characters.

    I wonder what the sales were like for the Order trade that just came out. It seems to me that a lot of new or original series don’t stick because the monthly issue model is what drives Marvel and DC. A lot of original concepts from the big two would probably do much better if there were conceived and produced as graphic novels and released that way.

    Alan Grant over at CBR has a very good column called Permanent Damage and he demonstrated the weakness of the comic written for the monthly 22 pager and then collected in trade from, even when things are written “for the trade.”

    Back on topic, yeah New Warriors suffers from being written for monthly comics with an eye towards the collected edition. Because of this it never seems to move forward. Every issue requires the writer to re-present the underlying conflicts and themes.

  4. Brother129
    April 10, 2008 at 7:07 pm — Reply

    From what I understand…The Order is being put on hiatus because Matt Fraction wants to leave it for now…whatever that means.

  5. April 10, 2008 at 9:08 pm — Reply

    That means nobody was buying it. :)

  6. Baal
    April 10, 2008 at 10:57 pm — Reply

    Part of NW’s survival also has to be rate of pay. I suspect that Fraction gets a higher paycheck than Grevioux so his books have to bring in more money. I really do believe that The Order got shit canned for the exact same reason newxtwave did.

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