[This article was originally published in September 2016, but with the news that New Warriors has been picked up as a comedy, we’re bringing it back to provide some background info on the comic series — and why making it a comedy may not be the best idea]
If a recent report is accurate, Marvel Comics’ New Warriors might be the latest Marvel concept to head to television. However, instead of an action series featuring some of Marvel’s younger heroes, New Warriors is being developed as a half hour comedy… featuring Squirrel Girl. But before we go into why this is a bad idea, let’s look back at the comic history of the New Warriors, their legacy, and yes, where Squirrel Girl fits in to all of it.
Who Are The New Warriors?
At their original creation by writer Tom DeFalco, then Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, and artist Ron Frenz, the New Warriors were mostly comprised of characters that Marvel hadn’t been using as much as they could at the time. The microwaving mutant Firestar, who first appeared in the animated Spider-Man and the Amazing Friends cartoon, had her own miniseries and made some X-Men-related appearances, but hadn’t been seen in a regular monthly series. Marv Wolfman‘s creation Nova, the human rocket, had lost his powers and was not used by Marvel for so long that a new character had taken his name. Namorita, aquatic cousin of Namor the Sub-Mariner, was a cute addition but also hadn’t seen a lot of action. Then-recent creation Speedball the Masked Marvel, whose short-lived series was drawn by Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko, bounced his way onto the team and was finally taken seriously as a hero within the pages of the book. Lastly, telekinetic Vance Astrovik also known as Marvel Boy was actually better known for his character’s future as one of comics’ original Guardians of the Galaxy in the 31th century of the Marvel Universe (it’s complicated). Those five characters were brought together by Dwayne Taylor, a.k.a. Night Thrasher, who despite the skateboard motif had an origin similar to DC Comics’ Batman, but with many added layers that would be unpeeled in the early years of the team’s publication history.
As a young reader at age 12 when the New Warriors’ first appearances came out, I finally had a “new” team to enjoy for the first time. Older kids might’ve gotten their starts with DC’s New Teen Titans or Marvel’s update of the X-Men, but if you were a kid who had recently started collecting around this time, The New Warriors was your chance to hop on with something new. “Heroes of the 90s,” they called it. Following a two-part guest shot in Marvel’s Thor comic book during the “Acts of Vengeance” crossover, the New Warriors’ origin was finally told in the pages of their own self-titled comic book series.
The New Warriors stood out as a book that was full of diversity at a time when comic book publishers didn’t make as much of an effort to be that way. Beyond the African-American character Night Thrasher, characters from various backgrounds including Tai, Chord, Silhouette, Midnight’s Fire, Turbo, and Rage populated the book through its first 75-issue run.