Monday, September 19, 2016


So here’s the deal: I’m working my way through Marvel Firsts: The 1990s Omnibus [$125] a story at a time. All 1288 pages of it. I was not a big fan of Marvel during the 1990s, but I figured it was time to take another look at the characters and comics launched in what has been called “comics' most divisive decade.”

The New Warriors #1 [July 1990] should have been in my wheelhouse. I was no stranger to writing super-hero teams comprised of members who had no business being teammates and had grown somewhat fonder of my work on The Champions in the 1970s.

Writer Fabian Nicieza was someone whose work I enjoyed in a number of other Marvel titles. Penciler Mark Bagley was also a favorite, a solid storyteller who kept the characters on model. Back in the day, we used to care about stuff like that. Bagley was inked by the legendary Al Williamson. At the Grand Comics Database, this concise summary of the issue can be found:

Night Thrasher invites a select group of young heroes to form a new super team which he is funding. When a group of scientists accidentally unleash Terrax from his underground stasis, the New Warriors defeat him and are born as an official fighting unit.
That’s only partly accurate. Night Thrasher does, indeed, recruit  Kid Nova, Marvel Boy and Firestar, but Namorita and Speedball just happen to be at the scene of Terrax’s return. Thrasher’s concept of recruiting includes throwing Kid Nova off a roof to see if he still has his powers and essentially blackmailing Firestar. Yeah, Night Thrasher is a dick. Probably a charter member of the Charles Xavier Fan Club. But I digress.

Thrasher became a super-hero after his parents were murdered by a robber in an alley and a skateboard crashed through his window. I only made up a part of that. His parents were murdered and he has decided to devote his life to fighting crime. As I recall, the New Warriors did not fight a whole lot of what I would consider crime. They battled the usual super-villains and would-be conquerors. I can relate to this because - back in the 1970s - I never actually managed to achieve my goal of turning the Champions into the heroes of the common man. Maybe next time.

This issue pushed a lot of my “ugh” buttons. Besides Thrasher being a dick, Captain America and the Avengers are dicks in this issue. Kid Nova is a horny jerk. Marvel Boy is a cold fish. And, just to get this team off to a “good” start, Thrasher and Marvel Boy trick their teammates into killing Terrax. Though there was some pseudo-science mumbo jumbo that claimed this Terrax was not really alive,  I didn’t buy it then or now.

This first run of The New Warriors lasted 75 issues. I think I may have read it sporadically, but I don’t have any strong memories of anything beyond the Sphinx making a multi-issue appearance. There were some other New Warriors series along the way, but I’m not sure if I read those.

What I do remember is the team was sacrificed on the altar of Civil War, yet another cumbersome and unsatisfying event driven by heroes getting killed off for shock value and the Marvel Universe getting a little less marvelous. Very sad.

If you are keeping score, the 1990s are trailing 1-2 in my Marvel Firsts: The 1990s Omnibus reviews. I’ll be back tomorrow to discuss another story from the volume. See you then.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

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