Remember the days of untrained heroes and episodic writing. Remember the New Warriors.
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Mark Bagley
Release Date: August-Septermber 1990
Publisher: Marvel Comics
These are two mixed issues. Issue #2 adds a lot to Dwayne Taylor and really sets up more issues that will be the main focus of some of the best issues of these first 26. Issue #3 has the Mad Thinker. he doesn’t really do anything other than gather the heroes and say “Hey! Plot hook!” One of these issues is better than the other.
I like the whole idea execution of Midnights Fire and Silhouette. On the surface they have the same goal’s as night Thrasher, but Fire is willing to go to extremes that Thrasher is not. Kind of. Thrasher borders the edgy, dark hero that was all the rage during this period. He walks a fine line and in a way it is his brightly covered teammates that keep him from crossing over. Or not, because so far he only sees them as tools to be used. Perhaps it is the idealism that we will learn comes from Silhouette?
While #2 adds to Night Thrasher, #3 focuses on the rest of the team. We learn a lot about the various home lives of our characters. however, we do so by the Mad Thinker visiting them to deliver a mysterious message. While the character scenes are nice, there is less of a build and more of a slog to the issue. It ends with a feeling that the next issue will be the payoff we had to wait for. So far this has been the weakest issue, including the Thor appearances. but then again, I’ve never been keen on the Mad Thinker, and while I do appreciate his narration, the overall issue leaves me cold.
However, this does remind me of the perks of episodic comics. To sound like an old grump for a bit, nowadays it seems like any storyline lasts 5-7 issues, while these are essentially done in one issues that are also assembling the pieces of the longer narrative. There have been several current titles that while I appreciate the quality of the work, I just don’t care about certain elements of an arc (be it villain used, set-up reasons, etc.) Rather than just tuning in next issue for fresh start, I have to wait months for an arc to wrap up and then remember to try again. (For examples of books that I think I would have liked if the opening arc hadn’t left me cold: the most recent Elektra, Young Avengers and the current Uncanny Avengers )
Plus, I love that these heroes aren’t really considered that good with their power sets yet. We have a great training scene and see that they have limits. No more is this more noticeable than with Marvel Boy, who is noted as a rather weak telekinetic. Of course, their limits flex with what the story needs, but I do like heroes with limits. I sometimes feel this is often overlooked nowadays. (Yes, still in old man mode. Disengaging.)
Bagley’s pencils are already stronger than in the first issue. Maybe he had more time? However, the production values of today and then are very different. Already I’m noticing less backgrounds than I’m used to. But, the best is just the delicious fashions. Rich Rider rocking a belly shirt. Oh yeah!
I still feel we are in the warm up have of New Warriors. I’m seeing the hints at the greatness I remember from this series. These are the issues I had the least access to, so they aren’t as embedded in my memory as the later half, which is good because I get to enjoy them a little but more with fresh eyes, but I also feel that gnaw of impatience to wanting to see the issues I used to own.
It looks like the next batch of issues is the first extended storyline. I’m excited. I hope you are, too.