Wayback Review: Mighty Thor #411-412 (1st New Warriors appearance)

These issues technically came out first but are written (or New Warriors #1 is written) so that these two come out later in the timeline. Find my review of New Warrior #1 here.

3063708-198912+thor+v1+#412+-+page+1Mighty Thor #411-412

Writer: Tom DeFalco

Penciler: Ron Frenz

Publisher: Marvel

Release Date: December 1989, January 1990

I like the DeFalco and Frenz combo. They might not always put out the greatest comics ever, but everything I have read by them has always been really solid. And this issue makes me really want to visit their Thor run. I’ve only read a few issues of their Thor, but did read the follow up Thunderstrike, which I enjoyed. These issues fall smack in the middle of the Acts of Vengeance. I’ve read issues of that and can never quite figure out if it actually counts as an event or more of a gimmick/springboard. The difference is all the difference. Still, we got some good fights as a result and also Loki looks really good in just a suit. Is that a spoiler? I really don’t know.

But enough of Thor. The only reason I am reading these issues know is because I recently got the New Warriors Omnibus and am revising my youth. So, what do I think of these issues as a backdoor pilot for New Warriors?

Honestly? In these issues are heroes are very generic. I can’t really see anything in these issues that sets them apart from other teams that appeared in Marvel comics to ever really get there own books. I’m thinking of the Winer Guard and the Texas Rangers (or whatever that southwestern team was that featured in several issues of West Coast Avengers.) Was it that, other than Night Thrasher, these were mostly discarded teen characters? I don’t know. Compared to how strongly they are characterized by Nicieza, they all seem somewhat bland in here. Still all the pieces are there, even Chord and Tai.

Except, look closer at Chord. Notice anything. He isn’t black. Other than that he looks basically the same. I don’t know if he is supposed to be white. He might be, but skin tone-wise he is the same as Tai. Maybe he was supposed to be asian? Or was it just a printing error? Not that it matters. I’m just curious about the creation process. The omnibus is a great collection, but having some behind the scenes insight would have been nice. Were the New Warriors a pure DeFalco and Frenz creation that they wanted to write? Or were those two, who to some extent shared plotting duties, instructed to use these New Warriors? How did Nicieza and Bagley get the actual assignment? I’m just curious. Maybe there was just a surprising fan reaction and Marvel pounced. But there was only 6 months between the team’s first appearance and their #1, so something had to cooking, right? Unanswered questions. Or maybe there are answers and I just failed in my google-fu.

Either way, these are entertaining issues, but I’m glad that the actual NW #1 shows the team forming and do find it to be a much better introduction of the team. Although, these are much better Thor books, so take that New Warriors!

I haven’t looked at how many issues are in the next arc, but I’ll look over a chunk of issues for another Wayback Review: New Warriors edition.

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