Marvel Comics has always had a propensity for creating series featuring the super heroic youth element of the Marvel Universe. Combating both super villainous threats and the drama-fueled tribulations of adolescence, we have seen a number of teenage hero teams follow in the footsteps of their idols: the Young Allies, the Runaways, and the students of Avengers Academy just to name a few. But if you were to ask any comic book buff which one is the quintessential teenage team of heroes, more often than not you’ll get the New Warriors. It’s been quite some time since we’ve last seen them, but here’s why the New Warriors need a comeback!
Who Are The New Warriors?
Introducing new characters within the pages of series featuring more well-known heroes as a testing ground is common practice for publishers, and the New Warriors are no exception. The New Warriors made their inaugural appearance as a team in The Mighty Thor (Vol. 1) #411 with their origin story taking place in the first issue of their titular series a year later. The first New Warriors roster consisted of Firestar, Justice, Speedball, Namorita, Nova, and Night Thrasher, the team’s leader and financial benefactor. Over the course of their eclectic career, the New Warriors faced a multitude of foes both new and familiar. They even worked alongside established heroes such as X-Force and the Inhumans on occasion. And it goes without saying they faced the drama that comes with the territory of being a teenager.
But for all their emphasis on teamwork and friendship, the New Warriors had a somewhat fractious relationship that led to conflicts of interest and some members leaving the team for extended periods of time. But their tumultuous downward spiral began in earnest when the New Warriors signed a contract to allow their exploits to be taped for a cheap and degrading reality show. While taking down a quartet of C-list villains in Stamford, Connecticut, the team underestimated the explosive abilities of the villain Nitro—which he ended up using.
Nitro's explosive reprisal led to the deaths of 600 people including most of the New Warriors team. Not only was this the catalyst for the passage of the Superhuman Registration Act and the subsequent schism of the hero community during the “Civil War” event, but it also led to surviving New Warriors having blood on their hands and the public associating them with the irresponsible application of super abilities. The New Warriors have since regained the public’s respect and their name, but readers haven’t seen much of them after that.
Why They Deserve Their Own Series
At this moment, Marvel doesn’t have any ongoing series featuring a team of teenage heroes to compete with DC’s own Teen Titans or add that youthful perspective to the Marvel Universe. For one reason or another, the publisher has always danced around the subject of relaunching The New Warriors by instead offering alternatives such as The Young Avengers, Avengers Academy, and The Young Allies. As it stands, the Young Avengers have disbanded, the Avengers Academy students are way under the thumb of their Avengers instructors, and the Young Allies left such an insignificant mark on the MU that they’ve been subtly swept under the rug and forgotten.
Essentially, there’s no teen super team bucking the system and protecting the world in a manner they see fit regardless of misgivings from their heroic elders. And that’s what made the New Warriors so unique, the enemies and general threats they faced fell under the radar of most heroes, but yet they required the kind of approach only they could deliver. And these threats were typically reflective of adolescent issues such as conservation, street violence, and corrupt politics.
Now the matter comes down to who would be chosen to be a part of a new incarnation of New Warriors. With most of the original team having grown up or died after the Stamford incident, Marvel would have to look to their near endless catalog of current teen heroes. Right now there’s a new, younger Nova that would be the perfect—and obvious—replacement for his namesake. Other excellent candidates would be Lyra the Savage She-Hulk, the new Power Man (Victor Alvarez), and fan-favorite Amadeus Cho. Hopefully there will be room for the New Warriors down the line, what with Marvel's recently announced "Marvel Now" relaunch.
Would you read a New Warriors comic series?