Comic Review: New Warriors #1

new warriors coverThe New Warriors are one of those Marvel Teams that have been around for quite some time, but can't seem to find their footing after the initial series concluded. They do have the distinction of being the reason that Marvel's “Civil War” occurred, but beyond that they are just one of hundreds of superhero teams in the Marvel U. So what do you do with a team that's been on the sidelines for a few years, and you're looking for some new readers? Relaunch them of course!

The relaunch of New Warriors has been in the making for some time, as the seeds were planted in the current ongoing Nova title, but what makes this relaunched title different from the others at Marvel is that the characters themselves think of it as a relaunch, at least the ones that know they're on the team, that is. Writer Christopher Yost is penning the new series, and while this debut issue isn't exactly a well-structured narrative, it does show he has the chops for writing the characters.

When a new team is introduced into the Marvel U, the building of that team is quite often the focus of that first story arc, and that is no different here, but what separates it is there isn't an active attempt at adding to the numbers of the group. At the start of the issue, the New Warriors are all across the globe, and some of them don't even know that they're about to be asked to join the team. What is problematic about this series is that there is only a very thin connective tissue connecting all these sequences together. There's no flow to the story as it reads now, just scenes that play after one another.

Structure aside, Yost is already playing with the characters in a way that shows some potential for the future of the series. Where the quickness of the pacing and looseness of the structure harms these character moments is that we don't really get enough time with any of the characters for them to have a big impact on our enjoyment. Scarlet Spider and Hummingbird make the biggest impression, as their complicated relationship is easily the most compelling of the lot, but it shows why most of these characters are being thrust onto a team together - they're just not interesting by themselves.

Artist Marcus To does an exceptional job with the pencils in the series, especially his splash pages, which are some of the best I've seen in a while. It's advantageous for him, and us readers, that the series jumps around the globe and shows off so many various places as To's style lends itself perfectly to the tone of the series, wherever the sequences you're reading end up taking place. There are some moments where it feels like the art and words aren't meshing together, as the panels in one sequence seem to skip over some aspects of the action, asking you to fill in more so than usual for the story. Colorist David Curiel does a splendid job on the new title, as his additions to the art really set the tone for a “teen driven” team.

After the end of Young Avengers, it's no surprise that Marvel would want to bring about another primarily teenaged comic series. Unfortunately this one doesn't reach the same levels Young Avengers went after. Yost shows he has the knack for writing all of the characters, and To does extraordinary work with the art, but the lack of cohesion in the storyline is what makes this one fall flat.

Rating: 6/10