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Thursday, June 21, 2007

New Warriors # 1

I finally got around to reading New Warriors # 1 which is a book that I did not want to miss. And why is that? Because I'm a huge fan of the original 25 issues of New Warriors. I became a fan in the 5th grade when a friend let me read his copy of issue # 1. This series was the first 4 color super hero team book I really sank my teeth into. Other books I was reading at the time were heavily tied to my love for 80's action movies and cartoons, such as Punisher and G.I. Joe, or featured a solo character such as Amazing Spider-man. The first team book I got into was Uncanny X-men (which I jumped on around issue # 270) however the tone of Uncanny X-men at the time was more serious and sometimes darker then the standard super hero fare. Magneto was issues away from killing Zaladane in the Savage Land; Wolverine, Jubilee & Psylocke had just fought off the Mandarin, mind control and a cadre of Hand ninjas in Madripoor; Dazzler was stalked by an obsessive fan; the mutant hating nation of Genosha had just kidnapped Xavier's students, which resulted in one of their deaths. This era of X-men stories were extremely well crafted, so much that they are partially responsible for the "sophisicated, written for the big screen" type comics that dominant the current comic book landscape, however they lacked the one thing that New Warriors excelled at and helped to turn me on to: good old fashion super hero fun.

Issue # 1 of this current New Warriors series by Kevin Grevioux and Paco Medina doesn't have that same sense of super heroics that Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley's original series did. Where the original New Warriors comics were at most times easy going and fun, this version of the New Warriors seems to forgo the light hearted nature of its predecessor and takes up a completely new agenda of its own which seems to only be saying "F You" to Tony Stark and the Registration. The only real light moment that comes up in this issue is the flirtation between Sofia and a young male customer who frequents the dinner she works at. Unfortunately, it suffers from the same poor dialogue that affects most teen characters in a medium that is mostly curated by middle aged men, a flaw that Nicieza himself, in my opinion, never really suffered from. Other than that, the rest of the book deals with the agenda at hand.

We start up with a glimpse of the New Warriors in action, chasing and catching a villian, only to leave him tied up with a message for both the super-villian community and the authorities in charge: Consider yourself warned. A sub plot is dangled in front of us, involving some NY police detectives that will be no doubt on the case of these New Warriors. We get a look inside the head of our lead character, Sofia, a former New Mutant by the name of Wind Dancer that lost her powers in the Decimation that came from House Of M. The recruitment process for Sofia starts off with a series of mysterious messages from an unknown party that ends with her being led into the Base Of Operations of the New Warriors. Night Thrasher, a former New Warriors, is re-introduced in a cliff hanger ending, leading us to question whether not he is somehow back from the explosion that killed him in Civil War # 1 or his suit is being worn by someone else. Its an interesting introduction to a new series, but its obviously far from over. We're still missing some members from the roster and its safe to say that we're 5 issues away from the obligatory "Woah, Buddy!" moment that solidifies every new super hero team's line up and mission purpose.

This isn't a comic book for new readers. Its a comic book for the fans of the New Warriors and Captain America's anti-Registration side, a demographic that is by its very nature is specific and narrow. Any complaints of the issue being "new reader unfriendly" really miss the point. This is for those Marvel fans that are intimately familiar with what has happened in the past two years of Marvel's publishing schedule, giving them a chance to see some kind of possible redemption for story lines that they are unhappy with. A mutant who was depowered due to Scarlet Witch's "No More Mutants" is given both the character, and all 5 of her fans, a second chance. The New Warriors are brought back to life, turning them from mere cannon fodder into the ones that are now manning the cannons. And they're pointing them directly at Stark Tower. The banner that was dropped by the anti-Registration's side at the end of Civil War is being picked right back up and turned into guerilla-styled tactics and subversive slogans painted on city walls to give voice to protest. The war is over but the revolution lives on...

Its not the worse book out there. It is nice to think of this being the book that echoes our own sentiments towards the outcome of Civil War. At some point, one of the lead characters will undoubtfully being wearing a 'Cap Was Right' t-shirt. Soon enough, we will see our New Warriors going toe to toe with Iron Man & Co. giving a select few of us that strange moment of escapist fantasy where our favorite D-Lister gets to smack Mr. Stark a good one for being such a prick. The only difference from New Warriors and the other comics that feature characters with dissenting voices against the Pro-Registration side such as Nova or the New Avengers is that the whole crux of this foray in escapism is very much dependent on the current state of things. What happens when that status quo changes? When the Post Civil War Marvel U. reverts back into the Plain Ol' Marvel U, a character like Nova can just fly back into space and pick up where the past decade of Marvel publishing has left off. And the New Avengers have Spider-man and Wolverine. What will be left for the New Warriors to do once there is no more Fascist Tony Stark to get them all riled up? Is there a Fugazi in the future for the Marvel U's Minor Threat?

Probably not. When this series gets cancelled, we'll be left with the same small group of dedicated New Warriors fans, begging blogging for a return to a time when Kickflip 5-0s to Haymakers ruled, Speedball was a fun, lovable loser, and Namorita was a shining example of a female super hero done right. Until then, we can be content with a group of nobodies telling Tony Stark to go $#&@ himself.

9 comments:

Jason said...

I can only hope that this book sells enough for them to commission an Essential New Warriors book. This book does seem to be created with a short shelf life in mind. Granted, it doesn't help that Marvel has, like 30 teams books coming out right now (I'm looking at you Omega Flight & Champ...um, er The Order0.

Spencer Carnage said...

Essentials? No way. Give it to me in full color, baby! Its not enough that I own all the single issues, but I need the trade as well!

There are a lot of books, but you gotta milk it for what its worth!

Woody! said...

I loved the original series, even after Fabian left. This one's pretty good and I had to buy it considering what a bad rap the Warriors have been getting in the Marvel U.

pachoob said...

i'm just pumped you used the word "cadre."

Jon Hex said...

As someone who has been looking forward to Tony being bitchslapped since he set that trap in Civil War #3, I can't wait for the New Warriors movement to take efect in the general Marvel population. I can't stand the fact that Rage and Justice are in The Initiative letting their dead friends be badmouthed on a daily basis without doing something about it.

Jason said...

Hey dude, I tagged you with a meme.

Sorry about that, but hopefully you'll enjoy it.

Spencer Carnage said...

Jon,

Amen. How you gonna let your boys get punked like that and not be pissed off?

Jason,

I was just gonna tag you myself when I post mine later today. Guess I'll just have to tag seth, which should be colorful and lewd, as always.

Alyson said...

I just cant believe theres a solid core of New Warrior Fans like me..i stumbled upon them in 5th grade too by seeing thrashs badass suit on a comic..im like im getting that damnit and i did..New Warriors for Life!

Spencer Carnage said...

We got nothing but love for the New Warriors up in her, Alyson! And yes, Thrash's suit is super-bad ass....