New Warriors, volumes 4&5 ; A (re)review

Posted by Squares (6696 posts) - - Show Bio

A while back, I reviewed two volumes of the newest team to bear the name The New Warriors. Recently, however, I re-read the volumes in question, and ended up changing my opinion on the series.  I did some background research on the old New Warriors, a team consisting of members such as Namorita, Speedball, and Firestar (of whom I am a bit of a fan). As I discovered, this new team is almost nothing like the old one.
The founder this time around is Night thrasher, who not only has a really stupid name, but was also a member of the original team....or was he? Also, no, his identity wasn't surprising at all, nice try. This 'enigma' of a man hand-picked new members for his take on the classic team, choosing fresh, young faces...that all used to be X-men. Sounds promising? There's more: he only chose depowered ones. And the chances of you remembering some of them are very slim. Let's take a look; on the roster we 
have...

 We're supposed to like her

Jubilation Lee

 She was thought up at some point in the 90s and hasn't shut up since. As a member of not only the X-men themselves, but also Generation X (a series I was surprised to like), she's popped up all over the place, created as the character that 'kids today' (at the time of her creation, actually my generation) are supposed to identify with. My bias against her is long-standing, but I really, really tried to put it aside for this series. Sadly, in this instance she managed to somehow become even less likable, if I may say. Her personality herein can be described as having three aspects; 'sassy', 'responsible and authoritative', and 'serious'. That's it, really, and I'm sad to say that she really didn't do any of them particularly well. To boot, she's supposed to be the leader.
 
 
 
This guy NEVER smiles...

Jonothon Starsmore

You don't recognize this guy as Chamber of Generation X, and his short stay with the X-men for a year or so after the series ended (and he appeared in an issue of Excalibur, post M-day). I assume you won't recognize him for two reasons: Firstly, I read Generation X, in it's entirety (as far as I know, at least), about a week and a half before I started New Warriors v. 4&5, and I didn't recognize him; Secondly, also being the reason I didn't notice who he was, he's blue. Those of you who are new to this character may have been wondering about that, and no, he wasn't always blue...he just didn't have the lower half of his jaw. Or most of his chest (and the contents). Yeah, from mouth to waist he used to have this weird field of psionic energy just kinda sitting there, like a ball of sparks. To this day I still believe nobody really thought his powers through beforehand. Of course, after losing his powers, he almost died, and then something happened with him being related to Apocalypse; I'll be honest, I found it all kinda stupid and ignored most of it after the 'he's alive' point. What I'd like to point out is that this guy never stops moping. EVER. I don't care if he's British, I don't see how we're supposed to find him charming or even notable.   
 
 'Sassy'

Angel Salvadore

 She never had a codename. That's not to say she didn't have a sizeable role in the comics she appeared in ( New X-men, Grant Morrisson's take on the series), she just never had a code name. Incredibly rude, abrasive, and all-around unlikable, I think we were supposed to think of her as 'sassy', but ends up missing sassy and going right for obnoxious. She had five children with a classmate of hers, who was also depowered at M-day, named ...
 
 
 
 

 
 This is seriously the best picture I could find

Barnell Bohusk

 Or, as those of you familiar with him will know him, Beak. He was a prominent figure in the Exiles, and appeared alongside Angel as a member of the Xavier Institute's special class. You know, the one taught by Xorn, dude who led humans into ovens while his class watched. They may have retconned that, but I'm pretty sure it's still listed as having happened. I mention this purely for the sake of asking how the hell they end up so damn well-adjusted? All I'm saying is they should at least have like nightmares or something...right? All those people, dead, shouldn't that leave some kind of mark? 
This is totally beside the point, but him and Angel named their kids after the Jackson Five.
 
 
 Frequent victim of unfortunate art

Sophia Mantega

 From the more recent New X-men, Sophia is a character I actually liked. And what's not to like? She's sweet, has a good head on her shoulders, and in general someone you'd actually want to be friends with. Not to mention the fact that she was one of the focal characters in the series she debuted in, Sophia was the on-again, off-again girlfriend of Hellion, another student at the Institute. We're introduced to the series from her perspective; after M-day, she became a waitress in downtown New York. Not the worst kind of life for what we assume is a 20-something year old woman, but we're told to believe she's barely off the streets. I, for one, would have liked this series so much more if she had been the narrator throughout the entire thing.  

 
 HER again

Tattoo, her brother, and Redneck

 Oh, Tattoo. Not a good pick for a superhero team; nor, for that matter, were the others. Why? 
Not only did they (and three other students of the Institute) beat the crap out of five random college-age men they happened to hear saying they didn't really like Mutants very much, but the little group (the Omega Gang) also managed to start a riot at the Xavier institute, massively abuse street drugs, attack mutants and humans for stupid reasons, and generally act like total idiots. And I'm convinced that Tattoo has no higher brain functioning. At any rate, the siblings (along with the rest of the gang) were sent to prison- human prison- to serve a sentance appropriate to their crimes. THIS IS NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN.
I kid you not, these three, who were sent to prison (along with the rest of the gang) (yes, real 'don't drop the soap' prison, where Redneck complained about not being able to defend himself against the other inmates) for beating five innocent people almost to death (and other things besides) are treated li ke everyone else, poor little depowered mutants trying to make their way in the world. We're supposed to believe they just got let out of prison? For what reason? We aren't told anything, and yet it's as though we're expected to just know who all the members of the team were! Which leads me to our final team member...

Stacy X

 She used to be a prostitute. An honest-to-god, got paid for sex, prostitute. Used to have powers that dealt with the pleasure centers of the brain, lived in a big ranch house with three other prostitutes (who were mutants, too). Oh, and she was a colossal jerk. 
 
 
 
  
So much for a winning team. I gave them nicknames while reading the series because I couldn't stand the awful code names they had (Skybolt, Renascene, Ripcord, Wondra, Phaser, Longstrike, Tempest, Blackwing, Decibel).
You'll remember these people have no special powers of their own anymore. That's where Night Thrasher comes in. He somehow managed to find all this amazing 'technology' at the ruins of the Avengers' mansion (it got destroyed before M-day). Just lying around in the rubble and stuff. Not like anyone was using it...right?
NO. I'm calling him on that one. You do not find freaking super-power mimicking devices just lying around in a bunch of rubble. For that matter, that bunch of rubble belongs to the Avengers, which although no longer active, used to hold members like Tony Stark, who we're told is a control freak/genius (the later half of the series literally revolves around this point). Even if the ruins of the mansion weren't cleared of anything potentially harmful (by S.H.I.E.L.D or something), biohazardous (you know, because of all the 'awesome tech'), cordoned off, patrolled/watched 24/7, or something just as realistic, the chances of Night Thrasher getting there in time to take that many useful things is impossibly unlikely. This is New York, remember; there are a LOT of homeless people that would get there first. Not to mention the idiocy of leaving that kind of thing accessible; what if some D-list villain got some super-awesome death ray the Avengers had just lying around? They wouldn't risk that kind of thing. 
I'm not going to bother with the plot, because I honestly couldn't believe it for a second. I know, 'this is the world of comics, it's not supposed to be realistic' and whatnot, but the fact is that it is supposed to be somewhat realistic and/or plausible. That's something that defines good writing; that sense that, in a way, it could almost happen in real life. In this case, it's like they had to throw something together, so they didn't really try to make it good. All in all, it's mediocre at best, but I'm sad to say I've read worse. For having stupid code names, a senseless plot, unbelievable premise, the stupidest team roster ever, but decent art, this series gets a 3.
#1 Posted by Tavai (69 posts) - - Show Bio

I totally agree. I'm all for a team comprised of unlikely heroes but this line-up (and book in general) for lack of better words SUCKED. I actually had some hope for the book, the idea of a gang of former-super-wannabes protesting Iron Man and his Initiative seemed cool, but nothing made sense. There were way too many characters to keep track of most of which were completely unrecognizable, all of the female characters resembled one another, and half the time the team couldn't even function properly under anyone's leadership. Not to mention the terrible wrap up of the entire series. Ugh, this book was just a complete waste of time and it saddens me that some of my favorite characters were subjected to it.

#2 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio

You don't like Jubilee?  I always liked the bratty & gregarious characters like her.  To be honest, I thought she was the only likeable thing about the latest New Warriors series.  I've tried to like this series, I really have.  I bought all the backissues to read the series from start to finish... but I bearly made it halfway through.  I've no urge to pick it up & read it.  The characterisations feel more like forced cliches.

 

It was a nice idea to focus on depowered mutants.  It was a nice idea to have them try to take back the name of the New Warriors.  However, there was a strange choice of characters including too many unlikables, and the real ex-New Warriors did a better job of taking it back in Avengers: Initiative.  The series was a brave effort, but it failed in execution.

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#3 Edited by Vance Astro (91237 posts) - - Show Bio

I can only say to this too each his own.New Warriors was actually one of my favorite books and has been since the original line up.I didn't see it as a waste of time.I love story arcs actually.I didn't really see any problem with the book.I liked most of those characters as depowered tech users more than mutants.I'm a huge Jubilee fan.Loved her just the same as Wondra.I actually wish this book had lasted longer.

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#4 Posted by xerox_kitty (15762 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved the original series.  The second series, far from loved it as it failed to capture the spirit of the first.  The third series was enjoyable; it was a shame that it was so short-lived and then tainted by the shadow of the Civil War.  The last series wasn't horrendous, just felt like nothing special.   
 
It's hard to use an established team name without any of the familiar faces.  The only New Warrior was Night Thrasher, but we all quickly knew that it wasn't Dwayne.  On the other hand Avengers: Initiative gave us the old New Warriors in a more coherent guerilla unit.  I would have liked to have seen more of those guys then the ex X-Students.   
 
Don't get me wrong, I like those guys... but why did dorky social outcasts like Beak & Angel suddenly become stereotypical gorgeous & fighting fit heroes?  When they lost their mutations, they wouldn't have suddenly become beautiful.  There were too many things like that which bothered me.  There were better stories that could have been told with those characters.

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#5 Posted by twiztidtunes (75 posts) - - Show Bio

I am a HUGE New Warriors fan and with that said I wanted everybody except Jubilee and Chamber (back to the X-Books where they belong) dead by the end of it. I wouldn't call the series a failure as it has its followers but I'm not one of them. As for the Avengers: Resistance which the New Warrior grew into I could really done with out Tigra in there but was generally happy with it...except the Spiders dying.
#6 Posted by xonogram (5 posts) - - Show Bio

Problems: 
Too many characters 
Too many characters that didn't really have prior personalities established (Tattoo, Redneck, Radian) - so they weren't new, but weren't old either 
Not enough of who these characters were.  They best parts were Sofia dreaming and Jono talking about how he's changed his life.  There was little transition for a lot of these characters who have TONS of dangling plot threads and existing dominant personalities.  I just don't think the writer really knew these characters and that's a big mistake when utilizing D-List fan-favorites (either choose A-Listers or choose D-Listers and nerdgasm WITH us) 
Additionally, powers that for the most part didn't relate to the characters at all (Jono was the only one given a passable reason) 
Night Thrasher 2.0 - who cares? I didn't mind recycling the name "New Warriors" but this book really should have been set-up more firmly in the X-Verse. 
 
I would have used: 
Jubilee, Jono, Sofia, Prodigy, and I would've seen if I could've snagged Rictor and/or Moonstar. 
Civil War stuff is fine.  Give them a reason to fight for (ie against registration) 
Utilize Jubilee's then-recent past with an ex-mutant shelter.
Have them occasionally encounter other depowered mutants like Angel/Beak, Quicksilver, Marrow, Stacy X, Blob, etc.  
Establish a rivalry with a Marvel Universe villain group, perhaps exploiting their stance against registration
Arc with Diablo...conflict about using dark magic to restore their powers  
etc.

#7 Posted by Squares (6696 posts) - - Show Bio
@xonogram  D-list favourites? I highly doubt anyone knew who the hell Redneck or Radian were (let alone cared), or that anyone liked Tattoo that much...if at all. And while I see your point about it needing to be an established part of the X-men universe, what with involving depowered mutants and such, it didn't have anything to do with the X-men, or any of their other branches and whatnot, aside from the former mutants bit. I mean, are Wolverine's stays with the Avengers considered part of the X-verse?  
Thank you for mentioning that the powers were illogical, that bothered me too. However, considering that their 'tech' was scavenged, I'm willing to guess people just asked for whatever abilities they thought were super cool or something and hoped for the best. Though their explanation as to how this technology was acquired was tenuous at best, and that's being generous, the creators really didn't seem to give much thought into assigning which powers to whom. 
 
Why did you have to bring Moonstar into this? She's already all over the place, and there's no way in hell she'd deign to be seen around any of the other members you've mentioned...except maybe for Rictor. But Rictor stays put; at the time this series came out, he was part of X-factor, and he really has no need to be transplanted into some half-baked bid for attention series. Marrow was an obnoxious, ungrateful little brat that I, personally, see no need to ever drag back into any series ever. While it certainly shows more time and effort than the plot of the actual series, I can't say I'd enjoy your version that much...but it's still a huge improvement.
#8 Posted by MASTER_OF_SUPRISE (630 posts) - - Show Bio

Personally I liked Stacy in Joe Casey's run on Uncanny X-men. I know she was a jerk but I still liked her can't really explain why. Her backstory might have been part of it.

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