I came for the Scarlet Spider and I stayed for what seemed to be the great beginnings of a new series to read. So, armed with some rudimentary knowledge of all but Kaine and his side-kick, join me as I review the first issue of the New Warriors.
The opening panel reveals a bloody trail, being left behind as a clearly sentient half-bull humanoid creature is trying to crawl its way to safety and past the fallen corpses of its brethren, all while asking why this happened. A voice tells it to try not to speak, but it asks why their kind were being killed and what was it that they did that was so wrong it warranted their deaths. The figure that was responsible for the slaughter states they did nothing wrong, but they were never meant to exist and judgment befalls even the innocent. And then it kills the innocent being while claiming for the sake of humanity’s survival…
So basically it’s following the creed of virtually every Purifier in existence.
The scene then skips to New Salem, where Speedball and Justice are continuing their road trip from leaving Avengers Academy and are engaging in combat with a group called the Salem Seven. It turns out, much like most brawls between heroes, that it all began with a misunderstanding when Speedball attacked one of their more frightening members because of how he looked. That’s profiling, something that you would think a hero would know better than to do.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, Kaine and Aracely continue their vaunt through the land south of the border after the events of the Scarlet Spider series when they come across a couple of tourist being mugged. Kaine, after being coerced into it by Aracely, dawns his outfit and doles out brutal justice by stabbing his stinger through one of the muggers’ wrist, giving the other the Mark of Kaine (use sticky power with hand on face and then pull away for maximum pain and scar), and Aracely finishes it up by inducing the other into running with her powers over emotions by giving him a fear of spiders. He then yells at the tourists he saved, telling them to get out of Mexico, keeping with his nature during his time in Houston.
Back in New York, aka Hero Central, Sun Girl takes down some punk robbing an armored truck. She then goes in search for more crime, although when she hears the name Spider-Man she feels disgusted because she was there in the Team-Up series when his mind-control over the Sinister Six failed and…well, Otto left a bad impression. She then heads over to Grand Central station when an explosion goes off since she was close by.
Back in New Salem, Speedball somehow managed to dig himself out of trouble and ends up playing games with the guy trying to kill him while Vertigo gives Justice a tour of New Salem. It turns out it’s a town of magicians and a safe haven for people born of magic. The Salem Seven were known as the Children of the Devil and have changed in an attempt to make it safe, which for some reason makes me think of Nico Minoru and the Runaways.
Justice, on the other hand, as part of the New Warriors has to deal with the stigma associated with their group being the cause of the Civil War Crossover Event and the Hero Registration that made Iron Man and Mister Fantastic Fans afraid to admit it when they kept kicking the dog. Speedball pushed a guy with explosive powers into a bus full of school children and, since the guy was juiced up on some super MGH, he killed everything nearby including elementary kids. That royal fuck-up has not been forgotten, but before either one can talk any further some flaming guys come in and say to burn them all for having tainted blood with one being a half-breed (Vertigo), and the other being a Mutant (Justice).
Back in Mexico Kaine and Aracely are catching some rays on a beach with money he stole from drug traffickers before he left Houston. Aracely wants to be doing something heroic with their powers, saying it’s their responsibility, but Kaine states he tried that in Houston and it nearly got all the people he cared for killed in what was the result of sleeping with a girl whose father he put into a coma, Kraven gutting a doctor and pissing off his cop husband, and turning into a big-ass spider monster to settle things with the climatic villain that came out of nowhere. Unfortunately his vacation comes to an end when a bunch of dead Atlantians dye the water red with their blood as one survivor, Faira Sar Namora, pops out and says she is seeking heroes…he can’t win.
Sungirl goes to check out the situation and sees that the flaming guys from New Salem are also in the subway, killing what appears to be either mutants, aliens, or inhumans. Not too clear on which one. They also appear to kill an Alien who was harassing Nova, only for the guy from the beginning who killed the bull people to shoot him in the back and claim they have plans for the Alien-Hybrid (Nova), ending the issue on a cliff-hanger.
Okay, review time.
Now my knowledge is limited to what I can gleam off wikia on the villains of the piece, but the Evolutionaries were the species that came before humans until an advance race took pity on them and gave them upgrades before assigning them to protect the species furthest along the evolutionary chain, which were mutants before. That included a plan to wipe out humanity, something that would make them the Anti-Bastions, but Cyclops killed all but one of them supposedly. I’m thinking they got reprogrammed in the wake of the Inhumanity event, but I can’t be certain until the plot unfolds.
Like I said before I came for the Scarlet Spider, but the majority of the cast seems interesting, the art is lovely, and I liked the interaction between Vertigo and Justice. The plot is akin to virtually every anti-mutant one I’ve read, but it’s too early to label it as such and the destination isn’t as important as the journey when it comes to plots. So I’m willing to give it a chance and an 5 out of 5 rating for an opening issue.
Stuff Happens. Important Stuff with the Kids.
At this point I’m starting to think that the NXS kids deserve their own side series like Wolverine’s do. But then I think about that travesty and decide this way better as I review Issue #17 of Uncanny X-Men…although I will admit the one about Toad was a good one.
The issue begins with the kids being dropped off in a strange landscape and left there with no instructions by Magik. Given that she can teleport across time and space, it’s natural to assume that they may not even be on earth, but each comes up with their own theory as to where they are and that they are being tested. Also it appears that Phoebe has dyed her hair red like she said she wanted back after Irma went black.
Anyway, Hijack reveals he kept his cellphone and whips it out. They tell him Cyclops said they can be tracked by them, but he states he couldn’t break his contract so he kept it and then states they’re in Montana. They are then split apart by a very large creature with jagged teeth and a deafening roar.
Eva, who has a very potty mouth upon being surprised, goes with Fabio and correctly guesses its training to see how they deal with unpredictable situations. That includes her and Fabio being surprised again by some Ostrich-dinosaur thing that chokes of Fabio’s goldballs (sorry for the phrasing) and keels over, but not before Eva has vanished in her Time Bubble and is nowhere to be seen.
With Phoebe and Irma, they have to put up with Triage screaming like a little girl because they ended up in a cave with a spider-slug thing the size of his fist. I will never let him live this down, but since the girls are trying to hide Irma does the mind manipulation thing they did in Limbo to make him brave. He seems to like it, but that might because he and Irma clearly are developing something and having a pretty girl in your head doesn’t sound too bad as long as you can stop thinking about dirty thoughts every few minutes. It worked for Cyclops and Emma, if you ignore she took advantage of his vulnerability while with Jean and then Jean hooked them up to avoid a bad future from the grave…Yeah, he might want to be careful in the long run. Anyway, Fabio finds them, but Eva is still nowhere to be seen.
We then skip to Benjamin, Hijack, and Celeste hiding. She explains they are in Tabula Rasa, a.k.a the place Archangel blew up and led to the bad future of Uncanny Avengers. She’s giving them an overview of them being in a bubble that will show what the earth will look like well after I’m good and dead when she can sense a mind in the distance. Unfortunately said minds don’t like her and mind-rape her to the point that her sister’s couldn’t hear her and assumed she was dead within their Hive Mind, leaving it to Benjamin to try and reason with them by using his powers to gain some level of trust and understanding and calming them down. It works to an extent, as they touch and read Benjamin’s mind, and they reactivate her brain.
She’s pissed, more than Emma when confronting an Adult Jean Grey, and tries to mentally assault them despite Benjamin stating that they are an evolved species. It goes poorly. But then Eva pops up and traps them in the time bubble.
She looks like she went through hell. Her hair is longer, her clothing are torn, and she looks like she aged a bit. But the first things she does were hug Benjamin as though she hadn’t seen him in a long time, tell Celeste not to tell anyone anything about what she gleamed from her mind, and kissed Fabio on the forehead. But she became downright hostile to Triage, who only wanted to heal her, and seeing as the two of them were the first of the team to meet up and be friends he must’ve fucked up bad in the future.
Anyway, SHIELD shows up with Nick Fury, Coulson, Fucking Hawkeye, and Spider-Woman because of Hijack’s phone. Yeah, he fucked up. They want Cyclops, the big fish, not the small minnows and tell them to put their hands up.
The Stepford Sisters can’t affect them because SHIELD regularly has anti-telepathy equipment given their line of work. Now Eva could probably take them again, but Hijack turns their fancy gear on them. It’s then that Magik teleports them out and back to their base.
Cyclops is pissed off. It was a field test to see how they reacted, and most of them passed with flying colors. Even Fabio, who stumbled his way into a victory. While I doubt Celeste and Triage did as well, the only one to outright fail was Hijack.
They were in the most unexplored place on the planet and SHIELD tracked them down in 15 minutes, because of his cellphone at that, and he revealed his power. Next time SHIELD is going to be prepared for it like they were with the Stepford Sisters. Cyclops can’t have that so they drop him off at his old place, which is bad when you remember what happened to Fabio and that Mystique will most likely be the one talking to him with that silver tongue of hers to turn him evil, and the issue ends.
Okay, review time.
First off, considering that Kitty was in the background during that lecture I’m assuming this is before the Trial of Jean Grey. Second off, according to rumors next issue revolves around Cyclops, Teen!Cyclops, the aftermath of this chapter, and Tempus’ crush on him.
While I want to believe she went to a bad future and took some training from hell, there is a chance that the writers aged her so they could pair her with Cyclops if what I’m hearing about her romance for him coming into play. You can’t blame the young girl either for the crush. He’s hot enough that Pixie, Irma (for a while), and even the teenage host of Lady Deathstrike in X-Men #11 wants him.
Teenage girls find him hot, to the extent even his teen version was getting some play before BOTA, but while Cyclops is a lot of things, and most of them positives with a spattering of negatives, he’s not skeezy enough to have a relationship with her like that. Even though he did meet her mother already, and she was his first rescue, and so on. That’s Wolverine’s department.
Not to mention, whenever she was at clearly traumatized her. I mean, getting lost in time is mandatory for an X-Men with powers remotely close to hers. But if there is any luck she learned more about her powers and will serve as the leader of the team behind the adults.
As for Hijack, I’m conflicted on how to feel because Cyclops was a little harsh, but he has a point since they stated he warned the idiot about the phone thing. It’d be one thing to kick him off the team because he was disobeying an order that was morally wrong, but Hijack admitted the main reason he didn’t toss his phone was because of the damn contract. You’re an X-Man, and a fugitive one at that, fuck the phone contract and worry about the giant-ass robots SHIELD and Helmet-Head keeps sending at you!
Honesty, Cyclops can’t have that sort of reckless behavior right now and was somewhat right to kick him out, despite the benefits his power-set has to offer. If he’d used his phone at the base, they would have been compromised in a hurry. Like Cyclops said, mistakes have killed good X-Men before.
But Hijack knows wayyyy too damn much to be let go if he decides to go traitor and turn them into SHIELD. I don’t normally agree with mind-fuckery, but at least fudge the location of their base in his mind so he can retain his abilities and know how they work without compromising the group. Even if he’s being used as SHIELD bait by some chance, like a couple of people suggest when I lurked in the forums.
The sad thing is that I liked Hijack as he had the potential to be a great character. A victim of prejudice-turned-crusader of their rights without going overboard, a neat power, and as an older member of the team he would have been an excellent big brother figure to the rest of the younger members (barring Benjamin since he’s collage-age). On the other hand, the X-Men are lacking interesting villains and if you can’t join or stay with the team…in the end it really depends on what the storyboard has laid out for Hijack, but this won’t be the last we see of him.
So, between Tempus having aged and gone on her own time travel trauma and Hijack gotten the boot, many things have happened. I’m calling this a must-have issue that will have major effects on the plot, so it gets a 5 out of 5.