New Warriors

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New Warriors

(pop culture)

Billed in their first issue as “heroes for the ‘90s,” the New Warriors were a team of young Marvel superheroes who were introduced by writer Tom DeFalco and artist Ron Frenz in Thor #411 (December 1989). The original New Warriors line-up included the team’s founder, Night Thrasher, along with Firestar, the third version of Marvel Boy, Namorita, Nova, and Speed-ball. Soon after the start of the new decade, the team moved into their own The New Warriors comic, beginning with the July 1990 issue; the series was originally written by Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Mark Bagley.

Created by DeFalco and Frenz in Thor #411, Night Thrasher was Dwayne Taylor, a wealthy young African American who became a costumed crime fighter, wearing a high-tech armored battlesuit. He later starred in his own short-lived solo series.

Firestar (Angelica Jones) was originally created for the animated television series Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, which debuted in 1981. She first appeared in Marvel universe comics continuity in Uncanny X-Men #193 (May 1985), and subsequently starred in her own Firestar comics miniseries in 1986, written by DeFalco and drawn by Mary Wilshire. She is a mutant who can manipulate microwave energy, enabling her to project heat and light, and to fly.

Marvel Boy (Vance Astrovik), who was later renamed Justice, is a mutant with telekinetic abilities. His counterpart in an alternate timeline, Vance Astro, is Major Victory of the original Guardians of the Galaxy.

Namorita is the bikini-clad daughter of Namora, the first cousin of Prince Namor the SubMariner. She is part human, part Atlantean, and possesses the same superpowers as theirs: superhuman strength, flight using the wings on her heels, and the ability to breathe both in air and water. Namorita was created by Bill Everett, who also created the Sub-Mariner, and debuted in Sub-Mariner #50 (June 1972). Writer/artist John Byrne established that she was actually an altered clone of Namora.

Nova (Richard Rider) is a youth from Long Island, New York, who was endowed by a dying alien with superstrength, the ability to fly, and other superpowers. Created by Steve Ditko and DeFalco, Speedball (Robbie Baldwin) is a high school student who accidentally gained the power to create a force field that absorbs and reflects kinetic energy, enabling him to travel by bouncing off walls through the air. He debuted in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22 (1988) and briefly starred in his own series that launched that same year.

Among the many young superheroes who later joined the New Warriors is Darkhawk (Chris Powell), who was created by DeFalco and artist Mike Manley and debuted in Darkhawk #1 (March 1991). He is a teenager who can mentally control an alien, armored, android body that has super-strength and the ability to fly.

Another New Warrior was Slapstick (Steve Harmon), who was created by writer Len Kaminski and artist James Fry in Slapstick #1 (November 1992). He is a student who became a being made of “electroplasm,” in which he is like an animated cartoon character: indestructible and able to alter his shape.

In 2006, the New Warriors were starring in a reality TV series when they battled a group of supervillains in Stamford, Connecticut. One of the villains, Nitro, used his power to explode, killing over 600 people, including 60 children, and, apparently, three New Warriors: Night Thrasher, Namorita, and a new addition, Microbe. Public opinion turned against superheroes, and Congress passed the Superhuman Registration Act. This led to super-heroes supporting the act battling superheroes who refused to register, as chronicled in Marvel’s Civil War series (2006–2007).

A former Avenger, Firestar joined the latest version of the Young Allies. Marvel Boy/Justice and Speedball became teachers of young superhumans at the Avengers Academy. Namorita’s mother Namora, who had been believed dead, proved to be alive, and is now a member of the Agents of Atlas, a team of superheroes from the 1950s, which also includes Jimmy Woo, Gorilla-Man, M-11 the Human Robot, the Uranian (the 1950s Marvel Boy), and Venus. Due to a temporal anomaly, Namorita has traveled from a point before her death to the present, and thus she has, in effect, come back to life. —PS