(Over the weekend my copy of the New Warriors Omnibus came in the mail. I’m going to post some reviews of the issues/arcs inside. Because the 90’s were awesome.)
Penciler: Mark Bagley
Release Date: July, 1990
Where were you in 1990? I was still living in flyspeck little town were the closest thing to a comic ship was a spinner rack in the local grocery store. I certainly didn’t know who the New Warriors were. As great as Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley are they were mostly overshadowed, at leas tin my small world, by Rob Liefeld. (Somehow a Comics Scene Magazine all about the coming of this thing called X-Force had found its way into my hands.) My first issue of New Warriors was #16 and I didn’t read #1 until college when a friend lent my his run.
But none of that tells you about this issue. Basically it is a gathering issue. The mysterious Night Thrasher puts together his team to fight his war on crime. A war that started with the death of his parents. Oh yes, he is totally the new edgy Batman for this generation. And you know what? He is awesome. And he uses his massive fortune and tech to track and assemble his team. And he is kind of a jerk. Just ask Nova, who we are introduced to in the great opening pages.
Basically, Nicieza does a fantastic job of characterizing this cast of kids. They are a little archtypical, but just enough to sound unique in the crowd. Already we can see the team dynamic forming, both in terms of friendship and hostility, two things that teenagers are full of.
As for their first outing, the team fights Terrax, a former herald of Galactus, but I can’t remember if that is brought up. We are told that he is a cosmic baddy and it is only through a lucky exploitation of his fatal flaw that the team wins. It’s a fun fight.
My biggest impression is just how much happens in this one issue. We are introduced to our major and minor players, personalities are developed, and a team battle happens all in just over 20 pages. While I do like modern comics as well they do feel so deconstructed and written to the trade that a single issue is rarely a satisfying read. This #1 totally satisfies.
As for the art, it’s Mark Bagley. Sure, early Mark Bagley, but that is still some good Bagley. It is hard not to compare it to what he puts out today. The style is the same, but it was much less refined. It is a little dirtier and not as detailed. But it is still pretty to look at. I’ve always been a fan of Bagley, and this just serves to remind me of why I liked him originally.
My only real complaint about this issue? Coloring has come a long way and 90s’ Marvel was not really known for the quality of its colors. This isn’t about the flat coloring, were everything is either one color or another with no real gradients. I’m fine with that and sometimes find myself preferring it. But the coloring just looks sloppy. It looks like it is ever threatening to spill out of lines, and there are times when it does. With the amount of re-coloring, while preserving the original schemes, I’m a little disappointed that the omnibus didn’t get a fresh coat of paint. Or maybe it does in the later issues? Time will tell.
Overall this is a great issue, and a great #1. If you have never read it, find it and give it a read. If you have read it pick it up again and relive this fun issue.
Next time I’ll take a look at Thor #411 & #412, the first appearance of the New Warriors. Why aren’t I reviewing those issues first? Because this is the order they are presented in the omnibus.