Review: New Warriors #1
With a plethora of team books already, Marvel is taking a chance with relaunching New Warriors. New Warriors #1 surprised me, and looks to be something the Avengers books can’t offer.
Chris Yost starts the book with his team at multiple points in the country, and not really a team just yet. Yost spends most of the issue developing characters and their personalities for readers who might not know them. Since this is a C-list hero team, this ends up helping the book instead of hindering. I’ve been (or was) reading Scarlet Spider and Nova, so a long recap of characters I’m familiar with would have ruined the momentum. Yost avoids this by leaving exposition dumps behind in favor situations that bring out personality traits of the character, which is a something I always look for in a #1. It makes me an active reader in the proceedings, and leaves me feeling more engaged in the story. Yost’s character work is great, and it’s no surprise given Yost has been working with half the team as of late. Between his recently cancelled Scarlet Spider (RIP) and Avenging Spider-Man/Superior Spider-Man Team-Up (where Sun Girl is from), these characters fit in nicely. I’m a little lost on how old Justice and Speedball are by the end of the issue though. I remember Justice being around Tony Stark’s age during Avengers: the Initiative, but now he seems around 20. Speedball seems to have de-aged a little between his time as Penance and donning the Speedball moniker again.
Marvel will never be able to replace Young Avengers, but New Warriors will help heal the wounds. The teen angst from the younger members isn’t filled with whining, but written with respect. The constant humor is great addition, and helps the book itself apart from the ever increasing seriousness in the Avengers books. Kaine and Aracely’s bickering had me laughing out loud. The classic superhero mix-up trope and Yost’s poking fun at it had me chuckling. The only thing I’m not completely sold on is the villain. The High Evolutionary seems a little out of this group’s power range, besides Nova. But then again, that seems to be the theme of this book; don’t let a person’s history affect your judgment of them now. I think Civil War be a constant thread in this book is going to pay dividends down the road. Overcoming odds and changing perceptions others and yourself have about you is a classic young adult theme that most of these heroes haven’t dealt with yet (sans Scarlet Spider).
Marcus To’s artwork is quite strong in New Warriors #1. Part of the reason I think Justice and Speedball look so young is because of To’s artwork. They look slightly older than Nova, who seems to be around 15 or 16. That aside, this is a great looking issue. The Evolutionaries entrance looks great and stuns the reader as much as Justice and Vertigo. Speedball’s kinetic fighting style flows well on the page, even if it’s only for one panel. I like that To adds a little facial movement to Kaine’s mask, but just enough to sell the humor in Yost’s script. I’ve always hated having Spider-Man’s mask move completely with his face. David Curiel’s uses a lighter color palette than other team books at the moment, but it helps set the tone as a younger, slightly happier team book than others.
New Warriors #1 is a good start to a series. Unlike the Young Allies series that launched with the Heroic Age, I feel like this series will be around for a while.
New Warriors #1 gets 4/5.