They were called ‘the super-team for the ’90s.’  Can they get the job done in the 21st Century?  Your Major Spoilers review of New Warriors #1 awaits!

NewWarriors1CoverNEW WARRIORS #1
Writer: Christopher Yost
Artist: Marcus To
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Sana Amanat
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in New Warriors:  Long, long ago, in the faraway land called 1991, Marvel Comics united several of their teenage heroes (The Sub-Mariner’s cousin, The Thing’s old wrestling partner, a retired Nova Centurion, a Saturday-morning-cartoon outcast, 1986’s attempt to recreate Spider-Man and a kid who rides a skateboard) under the name of the New Warriors, eventually enveloping more heroes, and reaching an almost unprecedented level of diversity, even by today’s standards.  That team eventually drifted apart, lacking enough guys with blades on their hands, but has returned repeatedly to try again.  In one of their last attempts, the New Warriors were present at the disaster that destroyed a city and kicked off the superhuman Civil War.  Now, two of the team’s founding members have a plan to get the band back together…

HARD TO CAPTURE THAT OLD FAMILIAR FEELING

The story opens with a moment that is a bit difficult to understand without a big of knowledge, following poor, bloodied Bova (a cow-woman created by the High Evolutionary decades ago, best known for midwifing Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch) crawls away from the other denizens of what I believe is Wundagore mountain, before being murdered in cold blood by a shadowy figure who is clearly the Evolutionary himself.  We cut to New Salem, Colorado, where the surviving members of the original New Warriors (Justice and Speedball) seem to be getting into a super-villain fight…

…but looks can be deceiving.  Yost does really good work with the characters here, managing to pull of a Speedball who keeps the goofy, over-the-top mannerisms of his classic adventures while keeping him likeable.  We discover that there’s more to Salem than there seems (you really don’t want this part spoiled), then we find the Scarlet Spider, clone of Pete Parker, somewhere in Mexico with his new partner, Hummingbird.  Yost again manages to give us interesting and varied characterization, which is key to capturing the magic of the old New Warriors, while keeping the story interesting with the use of mysterious alien/robot monsters who have it in for creatures of not-entirely-human descent.

SCARLET SPIDER WAS A WARRIOR BEFORE…

Kaine’s bit of story is really well-handled, which is probably to be expected given that Yost handled his solo series, and the introduction of a new Sun Girl is likewise very well-handled.  Interestingly, she fills the “eager young hero” role that Justice had in the original New Warriors, while the introduction of a new Atlantean character comes across as a natural part of the story rather than a conscious attempt to replace Namorita.  The use of the mysterious *coughHighEvolutionarycough* villain to draw everyone together works well in its early stages.  Artistically, this issue is wonderful, giving us clear and well-defined art, and even making the cloying and difficult-to-like character of the new Nova look better than in his solo series.  (For one thing, here he has a normal-sized head.)  Sun-Girl’s introduction is a beautiful panel, and all the combat sequences really pop, while the design of the villainous Evolutionaries is excellent (if somewhat Iron Man-adjacent.)  The fact that a brief scene in the Morlock tunnels under Manhattan features recognizable versions of Callisto, Sunder and Marrow (at least one of whom was previously dead, I thought) is a lovely touch, while the body language of all the characters is truly excellent.  To’s art reminds me a bit of Jim Cheung’s work on Young Avengers, a very positive comparison for me.

THE BOTTOM LINE: AN INTRIGUING START

In short, while I do hope that more classic Warriors appear (are Silhouette and Rage dead yet?), this book has the makings of something interesting, and helps to cushion to loss of the latest chapter of Young Avengers, filling the niche of “teen super-duper teamup” admirably and looking great in so doing.  New Warriors #1 may be the sixth volume or some such, but it manages to make the concept of the group attractive for the first time since Version 1.0, introducing some cool new characters and making me happy to award it 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  I’m hoping for a lot more Sun Girl, as well…

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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3 Comments

  1. February 22, 2014 at 9:39 pm — Reply

    I recently (like, last weekend) power-marathoned through my entire run of V1 New Warriors, and realized that my entire good-will towards the Warriors (which I would’ve claimed was one of my favorite all-time books) was all due to Mark Bagley’s art. By the time Darrick Robertson took over (really, by #20-ish when Rage joined), and all still written by Fabian Nicieza, it had really come off the rails. I was looking forward to this reboot but thought it totally suffered from too many introductions and too much crap going on. V1 #1 had a couple of pages of intro and a threat to overcome (Terrax). They didn’t follow a simple, winning formula and it suffered. Boooo.

  2. Pantsthemonkey
    February 23, 2014 at 10:45 am — Reply

    The first page really turned me off and threatened my enjoyment of the whole book. It was more use of the old writing cheat of showing the bad guy is really bad by having him kill a defenseless innocent (often an animal or child) and I especially hate wasting an established character for a shortcut like this.

    Fortunately I’ve read a fair amount by Yost and decided to try it anyway. It was a nice start and the art was quite enjoyable. Hopefully the rocky start for me was a single poor choice.

    • February 23, 2014 at 5:38 pm — Reply

      Yeah, I totally agree on the Bova murder, but I’m not sure how established she is anymore. I was frankly stunned that anybody even remembered her to begin with.

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