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.