(Marvel Comics, 2014)
Written by Christopher Yost
Artwork by Marcus To
Color Artwork by David Curiel
Lettering by Joe Caramagna
I have been waiting for this first issue ever since the groundwork for a New Warriors reunion of sorts was put down in Nova. I was around for the first series and always felt that the book deserved a bigger audience. Now I know this is not exactly a reunion, this team is a bit more diverse and dynamic with a roster including; Sun Girl, Hummingbird, Justice, formerly Marvel Boy along with original members, Namorita, Speedball, Scarlet Spider and Nova, however this time it is Sam Alexander representing the Nova corps not Richard Ryder. Over two decades and four series, the New Warriors have starred in 105 eponymous issues, the longest run being a respectable 75 issues. The list of former members totals over 40 and features such illustrious names as; Night Thrasher, Darkhawk, Ripcord and Firestar. They have certainly come a long way from their humble beginning as guest stars in The Mighty Thor #411-412. Now prolific writer Christopher Yost and artist Marcus To take the helm on the brand new Marvel Now series and if the first issue is any indication of what’s to follow, this is going to be one heck of an exciting run.
In this first issue, The High Evolutionary has dispatched his minions to make ready his arrival on Earth. The Evolutionaries make short work of Justice and Sun Girl before they get to Nova who fares no better against the advanced robotic henchmen. While these events are taking place, Namorita shows up in Mexico where she approaches Scarlet Spider and Hummingbird from the bloody surf amidst lifeless bodies of her own people and announces that she is seeking heroes, very cryptic to say the least, but intriguing that’s for sure. Yost does an excellent job of setting up the tone of the series; he uses quick vignettes to introduce the characters while maintaining the continuity of the overall plot throughout. The action is staggered in rapid succession lending a further sense of urgency to the already break-neck pace employed by Yost. The dialogue is witty without being artificially hip for the sake of being hip; instead it rings true and genuinely age appropriate for the characters. Yost is extremely adept at writing young characters and making them likable not obnoxious, his work on the X-23 books is proof that a young character can be complex and multi-faceted as is his Red Robin run for DC. In New Warriors, Yost has an intriguing cast with a varied set of powers and diverse personalities which can only result in innovative and imaginative storylines. This series is also bolstered by the inclusion of Nova who is featured in an amazing solo series written by Gerry Duggan. The young Nova, Sam Alexander, is a perfect fit on this team; he brings a cosmic element that ties into the broader universe of The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. Can somebody say crossover?
Visually, Marcus To is an ideal fit for this book. His style is clean, dynamic and just right for a super hero series. To’s approach to storytelling works extremely well with Yost’s injections of bombastic action sequences and kinetically charged combat. I love his character designs for this team; the costumes are modern yet convey a certain nostalgic feel in some of the returning characters like Speedball who looks very much the same as he did in the 80’s.
Overall, this is a spectacular start to a much anticipated series. New Warriors has always been one of those fan favorite books that gets overlooked by the mainstream while maintaining a solid fan base nevertheless. I hope that this time around New Warriors gets the audience it so rightly deserves. Christopher Yost is a seasoned, accomplished and talented writer. He is just the type of top tier talent that can bring this series the recognition and accolades that will keep it around for a good long run. I highly recommend giving this book a try, even if you were not a fan of previous versions of the team, this book stands on its own merits. New Warriors is a comic book in the traditional and classic sense, it is full of big action scenes, colorful characters and smart dialogue, all the things we love about this medium. This ride is big fun and worth the price of admission. (4.5/5)
Shawn is an aspiring writer/ artist who has been reading, collecting and living comic books for over 30 years. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, their son, lots of cats, dogs and other various finned and furry friends.