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.