First, I wanted to give a shout out to this week’s issue of “Justice League”—and I can do that because I have no restrictions, haha. It’s actually quite a terrible Justice League story but a fantastic Metal Men story. Why they didn’t spin off this issue into a Metal Men stand alone is completely beyond me. But remember, DC doesn’t always make terrible stories, sometimes they just make awful decisions. The book I’m really going to review is “New Warriors”, the team of superheroes who have to introduce themselves every time as the guys who didn’t blow up Connecticut.
If you’re looking for a super team with a sordid past, look no further than the New Warriors. Mired in obscurity, they were first a knock off of Power Pack, then they were a reality show, then they were techno freedom fighters before finally settling on cannon fodder. This team is so steeped in failure that they give the Great Lakes Avengers a run for their money. Needless to say this is one of my favorite teams in comic book continuity ever so when I picked up this first issue I expected failure and ruination and I was not disappointed. First of all, Robbie Baldwin has abdicated his throne as emo prince of the Cry Baby people and returned to the fun loving screw ball that we all love. Justice is also back because when screw ups of this magnitude get together they need a straight man to roll his eyes and lament how much of a joke they are. But here’s where it gets interesting, none of the other members will be original New Warriors members even if a few are close similes to former members of the team. They have a female Atlantian to remind us that Namor had a cousin on the team and my favorite, the current Nova, Sam Alexander is also on this newest incarnation of the New Warriors… or will be, they haven’t really formed the team yet—well they have but they haven’t—uhhhhg, comic books…
Since this is a first issue, the team members are introduced individually. Yes Speedball and Justice already established they were putting the team back together in the pages of “Nova”—and Sam Alexander also agreed to be a member in “Nova”, only Justice and Speedball are shown together on a team. I suppose this is an opportunity to capture all the comic book readers who haven’t been reading “Nova” but it seems a bit formulaic. Step one: teenagers introduced, shown to have power but lack direction and training. Step two: have each solve a problem on their own and tell the reader why they aren’t already on a team. Step three: bigger foe steps in from stage left that’s too difficult to fight alone. Step four: make team. It’s quite tragic really because Chris Yost does a terrific job making interesting dialogue and individual personalities that stand out, the Scarlet Spider being one of my favorite grumpy teenage heroes, but they are confined to a certain set of rules that first issues of every team book obey. I’m not saying it’s bad but it certainly isn’t breaking any ground or even exploring a side that hasn’t been seen before. Truly tragic considering that even the weird background details are well thought out.
Something has been happening in the Marvel universe revolving around magic. First the “Thunderbolts Annual” has W.A.N.D. which is the best division of S.H.I.E.L.D. ever created. Then Marvel launches “Revolutionary War” which details a magic invasion in England. And now “New Warriors” creates an entire town on the Eastern Seaboard made entirely of magic folks and it is protected by one of the coolest magic teams that will show up once and then never again. Chris Yost is really excelling and making this expansive and full bodied universe for the flushed out and three dimensional heroes to work within, but its luster diminishes if the heroes keep hitting these checkpoints and not deviating from the common place of a teenage super team.
I really want to like this book; I’ve wanted to like this book since they hinted at a new New Warriors back in “Nova”. It is a bit early to start poo pooing what is essentially good characters with a bland start. “Invincible” didn’t take this labored route to making a team, they introduced the team and two pages later Mark was a member. Even when they formed a new team of Guardians to replace the old it was because the initial team had all been murdered and this new team was formed of teenage novices. Both of these were quick and simple ways to do what is essentially a chore to the reader. I’m still excited for this book but let’s get things moving.
“New Warriors” is 81% Invincible.