Thursday, June 9

New Warriors GO

Night Thrasher, Namorita, Nova, Speedball and Microbe make up the new New Warriors team.

I've been a fan of the original series which came out years ago in the mid-90s (so WHY is it still called 'NEW' after all these years still baffles me), with an impressive 60+ issue run. I kinda got turned off when it just felt too contrived during it's half-hearted second series run (along with the fact that they suddenly had Altlantean babe Namorita quit wearing bikinis all the time) and I just turned off.

Well, the Warriors are back for the 2000s, and they're off to a nice start in my opinion. The 6-issue limited series by writer Zeb Wells and artist Skottie Young takes several of the original Warriors (Masked avenger Night Thrasher, happy-go-lucky Speedball, Atlantean Princess Namorita (who's blue and bikini-clad for this one) and super-strong Nova), adds in a big but unexpectedly meek newcomer named Microbe (who is described as a 'germ empath'... go figure) and has the reformed team fighting crime in the context of a 'reality TV show'.
The schtick is, while the Avengers and the Fantastic Four and the X-men face off with big villains in big city America, there's no one to take out super-powered threats in the suburds, in the small town United States and in the salt of the earth confines of middle America. So this is where this group of somewhat second-string heroes come in... to fight supervillains who hide out where the big heroes don't bother to go.

The whole idea is apparently set forward by Thrasher, who felt that the backers behind the reality TV show have the cash to fund their crusade against crime. A cop-out and selling out? Well, that's how Namorita (the title's resident babe and the devil's advocate to the whole affair from the get-go) feels at the start, but after the Warriors take out their first villains and actually see their efforts pay off , it looks like the new TV superteam is on the air for the duration.

Personally, I like it. The first issue's script is nicely done, with the characters each showing off their personalities very well. It didn't come off as cold or as obnoxious as you'd think, and the heroes felt familiar and likeable... just as I hoped it would be, coming back to this title. There is a bit of parody in the side of the reality TV show schtick, but overall it's very sober and a nice read. Skottie Young's art, while cartoony in look, is gorgeous, and shows off action and movement excellently. There are even nice humorous panels that actually do seem to move like a cartoon, which is good.

All in all, I felt like I watched an episode of a New Warriors cartoon- like a Marvel version of Teen Titans GO, and that's really a good thing. With cool art and action, good characterizations and a quirky storyline, the latest incarnation of these second string heroes is pretty first rate. I'm just sad that there will probably be a lot of comic fans, particularly old New Warriors fans, who may reject the new treatment. Which is a pity since I'd rather have this new take than no New Warriors at all. So let's all support this cool new title and hopefully a more regular series will follow after. Hope, hope!

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