New Warriors #1 review

The New Warriors are back. Or rather, A New Warriors, as this Marvel Now revamp features only a couple of the originals from the Nineties hit. So we have Justice and Speedball, and that’s about it. There’s the new Nova, and a new Namora, the new Sun Girl, the new Scarlet Spider and sidekick Hummingbird, and some young guy on the cover who is apparently an Inhuman named Haechi, poor sod. Him, I looked up, having at first assumed he was connected to Salem’s Seven.

Because the old FF villains are in here and it seems they’ve gone straight, protecting the town of New Salem, Colorado, and making it a haven for magical people. Justice and Speedball are passing through when a fight breaks out due to a misunderstanding – the Seven have to be heroes, if that’s the sort of thing they do. In New York, meanwhile, laser lass Sun Girl is enjoying the life superheroic, human rocket Nova is battling old Rom enemy Hybrid in New Mexico, and Scarlet Spider and Hummingbird are trying to relax in (old) Mexico. It’s on a beach in Mexico that we meet the latest Namora, as she rises from a sea filled with murdered Atlanteans, in a grisly moment.

The book opens on an even nastier one, as the High Evolutionary seemingly slaughters his old friend Bova; we don’t see her die, but given the blood trailing from her even before the blast is aimed her way, it seems likely. It makes for a rather hateful set of images, one that immediately set me against a book I’d been looking forward to – the horrible murder of a much-loved supporting character is, and it pains me to say it, the modern DC’s stock-in-trade. Marvel Now has generally been a happier place to spend time, and This Sort of Thing is certainly not what I want to see in a revived teen heroes book. I suppose we’re in ‘young adult’ (stupid phrase) territory now, mind, what with a clone of Peter Parker having to be in his early 20s at least. Still.

It really was hard to concentrate on the rest of the issue, wondering about kindly midwife Bova, and odd to think I care more about an evolved cow than anyone else in this book. Chris Yost’s script is pretty decent – well-worked in its plotting, and considerate in its introduction of characters, but the choices don’t grab me: Justice has never been anything but bland; the supposedly amusing Speedball is impossible to take un-seriously after his Penance period; Nova is an annoying little kid, and so on.

While I did enjoy Scarlet Spider’s after-chat to tourists he’s just saved in Mexico, he seems an odd choice for a team book, being essentially a loner. The only hero I really took to was Sun Girl, for her sunny, can-do attitude – remove the daft x-wing thing on her back and she may have a future. Certainly, she’s a brave wee soul, barely flinching as she comes face to face with the imposing Evolutionaries, tasked with hunting down half-breeds.

Poor Bova …

… sorry, anyway, it’s only the first issue, I’ve enjoyed enough of Yost’s work to give him a few months to convince me that there’s a team to be formed. It’s possible New Salem will house their headquarters, and that could be very interesting, Plus, the super-serious Scarlet Spider is bound to clash with Speedball, and I’m going nowhere until someone has peeled back the High Evolutionary’s armour and given him a darn good seeing to. Perhaps Justice could ‘accidentally’ kill him, that’s kinda his thing.

And the artwork of Marcus To, coloured by David Curiel, is just gorgeous. To really knows how to lay out an action packed page, he makes Peter Parker clone Kaine surprisingly sexy and evokes real pathos as Yost – sorry, the High Evolutionary – has an eviscerated old cow-woman who’s never done anyone any harm beg for her life.

Sigh. 

30 thoughts on “New Warriors #1 review

  1. I enjoyed this issue a lot (this is also my first experience with a lot of these characters, besides Speedball who I recall from an issue of Alias I read). I've been missing a more normal superhero series after reading all these super serious or large scale epic tales, so it was nice to read something a bit different. I did review the issue over at AIPT (an 8.5 in my book).

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  2. sonuvabitch killed bova why Why would wyndham do this I mean I thought he reached a point of gnereal neutral to good alignment or maybe he went crazy again anyway's I'll still pick the book up also pick up moon knight mart in his 3rd issue he'll be punching ghosts

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  3. The original New Warriors title was gory for the time, so I think that element is less following DC's lead and more trying to get back the book's roots as a young adult superhero title. I appreciate the direction Yost has taken it because he abandons the terrible trend in previous volumes to launch the book around a “hook” (like the team being reality tv stars, or depowered mutants) that quickly dated something whose installments appeared on a monthly basis, but I think this is as much it's biggest problem as it is its selling-point, as it's tapping into a very narrow nostalgic vein where being too much like the original will turn new readers away, but too different and the older readers needed to keep the title afloat (it is a reboot of an old title, after all) will likely abandon it.

    Still, it's good to see Marvel try to print a teen book away from the monstrously tiresome big franchises like Avengers, F4 or X-Men, even if it's only to squat on the NW trademark for a few months.

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  4. I soooooo hope this works. I'd sell organs for it to work. The original is the only comic I've ever run home from the store to read (granted part of that was youth, I'd probably lose a hip running now), so while I've skipped the gimmick versions, this looks like it has a shot at getting back the same formula. Heck, the first issue even has a Fantastic Four connection.

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  5. too late phaeder is the father of quasar's arch enemy maelstrom he is the one who gave wyndham the notes to enhance his knowledge of genetics also he spread those notes to magento and other evil genetecists

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  6. So we start with the typical lazy cliche of killing off a sympathetic z-list character to big up the villain and show he means business, rather than doing so by, oh, I don't know, decent writing. That's put me off the comic before I've reached the splash page.

    And here's a bunch of characters I don't know in scenes so short there isn't time to make them interesting or sympathetic, and some faceless villains that remind me most of those cannonfodder guys from Power Rangers who fill in the time until the actual villain turns up.

    I did like Sun Girl, but then I always had a soft spot for the original. And Salem's Seven seem interesting. I'd read a comic about them.

    And did Namora get killed off again to make room for this new one? If you are going to use the name of a character pointlessly killed off, why not Namorita, since that's the one actually associated with New Warriors?

    And what a coincidence that a diverse bunch of characters are thrown together, half of whom use the names of characters who used to be on the same team together. What are the odds?

    Things I like about this comic are outweighed by the things I don't like, but I'll give it one more issue to bring me round.

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  7. Shoot Marionette, you said it better than I did – I don't disagree with anything you say. The Namora is definitely puzzling, isn't Namora still running with the Agents of Atlas? I wasn't aware Namor was a title rather than a forename.

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  8. but who would have the nigh impossible task of being mike gruenwald's successor tell me mart cause i would be crossed between jason “genius” aaron and dan “the man” slott

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  9. “Namor” means “Avenging Son” apparently. I do not now recall where I read that. By extrapolation “Namora” means “Avenging Daughter” and “Namorita”, being a diminutive of the latter, must mean “Little Avenging Daughter”

    The girl in this issue refers to herself as Faira Sar Namora of Atlantis.

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  10. maybe in atlantean it means the avenger of the avenging daughter or the will of the avenging daughter or even champion of the avenging daughter also yost says that the atlantean girl who will be codenamed water snake is on a mission for namorita and may have a history with her

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  11. The Namora thing I think comes from a writer wanting the original and Namor to knock boots and doing plot gymnastics to make it so Namora and Namor's names don't imply a familial connection. From there to downgrading it to some title makes sense and is an unfortunate side effect of a romance that could never be sustainable. That makes it a waste of panel space and more tragic as it is proven here to have devalued Namora I herself…

    And my gut gives this issue a four. Yost wrote it well and To To drew it very, very well but the plot was designed to make it very hard to give a fig. The disparate heroes unknowingly face a common threat and eventually come together as a team trope only works if you go into it either giving a shit about most of the cast or if they are much bigger name characters than any in the issue. I suspect four is the greatest number of the cast anyone will have affection toward and for me personally it was two. I'll give this an issue or two more to capture me because of how well To and Yost did despite Yost and his editor doing their best to come up with the worst plot possible but I have no hopes of them keeping me. At least it's better than teh ex-mutant angle and has better writing but I no longer stick with stinkers like I used to. Avengers World lost me with issue two and the new Wolverine solo book only got me for one…

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  12. Apologies, Steve, I thought I'd replied to your comment. I blame my tools …

    Anyway, hope you're enjoying the book. I'm not blown away, but we'll see how things settle down. I hope the character who seemed to die in the most recent issue simply 'died'.

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