Posted by: Brian Hibbs on June 6, 2007
NEW WARRIORS #1: In the post-CIVIL WAR Marvel U, Marvel is trying their damnedest to spin-out a whole lot of new franchises. There’s this, the AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE (which is going to need a new logo in a few months, when the “The Initiative” cover banner gets played out), the soon-to-launch not-CHAMPIONS, and so on.
This is a smart move, I reckon — trying to build new franchises by playing out on the end of CIVIL WAR, without having those be “cross overs”, or be part of an “event”, per se. Marvel really appears to be looking forward, while, to my eyes, DC is right now looking inside.
The “New Warriors” is an odd attempt — while there’s probably some certain amount of nostalgia for the name (I’ve been having far too many conversations lately where someone says to me “yeah, Darkhawk was totally my favorite character as a kid” — when did I become so OLD?!?!), but until the very last page there’s absolutely no relation to the former incarnation in any way shape or form. For those of us too old to really care much about “Heroes For The 90s”, that last page was kind of “Ugh, not that guy, the lamest of the lame… and we’re talking about a team with Speedball on it, for gods sake!” And for those readers new to the Marvel U, who might have possibly been brought in by CIVIL WAR, the reveal is probably “Who ‘dat?”
I only bring that up because it is strange, to me, to launch a book with such a nostalgic name (and loaded, too, in the context of CIVIL WAR), then not have that be an effect on your first 21 pages of story, really.
There’s two plot threads here, really — first off you’ve got the unnamed kid on the cover being a clandestine super-hero, followed by several pages of procedural stuff. This is all fairly uninspiring, especially with the 3/4 page reveal of New Warriors graffiti that is staged in such a way to lead me to beleive everyone else in the scene is literally blind, and ends with a line that no detective would ever say.
There’s also a long meandering plot involving “Sofia”, apparently a depowered mutant of some kind, though there’s no narration here to indicate who she might be. I’m thinking I very vaguely remember her from NEW X-MEN (not the Morrison version) — could she be a Guthrie sister? I suppose it doesn’t really matter THAT much, but without some sort of context, I kept thinking “am I SUPPOSED to know this cipher-girl?”
There’s one more character — Barnell Bohusk, who really has the most awesome name ever, and who I remembered readily — but I think the decision to make him a pretty boy from a CW network show is a really bad one. We’ve not seen any other purely-physical mutations be reversed, and even if his was, you’d think he’d stay ugly in any case…
There’s nothing wrong with this first issue (except I don’t think those checking it from nostalgia are going to be rushing back), really, in a technical sense. It reads adequately, the art is fine. But I did very much keep thinking “and why do I care?” as I read it. 22 pages of story, and reasonably dense story at that, and I don’t really know what the premise is, yet. I don’t really care about the characters at all, because there’s nothing memorable about their circumstances. And I pretty much have no reason to pay another $3 for issue #2 unless I care why “He rides a skateboard…. at night!” isn’t dead.
Which I can’t say has spent even a pico second in MY brain at least.
Overall: Very EH, which is hardly what you want from a brand new monthly ongoing title.
What did YOU think?