Page-by-Page Review: New Warriors #4

Long-time New Warriors fan Jeremy “Penagain” Schwennen brings his popular page-by-page review format to the NWCC. He starts with this week’s new release, New Warriors #4. Needless to say, beware of SPOILERS. Add your own comments below!

New Warriors Volume 4, Issue 4
A Penagain Page-by-Page Review
(C)2007, Jeremiah Lee Schwennen

How it Works:
To appreciate this review, you’ll need to have the issue in question in front of you. I’ll be commenting on the ENTIRE issue, cover to cover, including ads. The commentary will range from witty to insightful, and from inane to annoying. All-in-all, it will take you less time to enjoy and/or loathe it than it took me to write it, so consider yourself lucky! This is our first page-by-page in our new and EXCLUSIVE home at the New Warriors Continuity Conundrum! Stop in and say something!

DETAILS
New Warriors Volume 4 Issue 4, Defiant (Part Four) was released September 6th, 2007. It was written by Kevin Grevioux, with art by Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, and Marte Gracia.

COVER
Issue four brings us our fourth cover in a row by Nic Klein. This is my favorite cover so far, but it still lacks in internal consistency (Thrash is wearing the wrong armor and Blackwing has exposed hair that doesn’t belong). Scorpio looks as though he’s stolen Crimson Cowl’s, er, Cowl…. But it is a dynamic cover. Once more, I find myself wishing there was a bit more vibrancy here… and THE INITIATIVE banner continues to put in an appearance.

For those counting, if we had a shadow number in the corner box, it would be 95.

AD
Old Spice continues to appeal to my raging masculinity by showing me sexy women in odd situations. They also, coincidentally, continue to fail. The bear is cute though.

RECAP PAGE
A tradition is continued here in that the recap page features last issue’s cover art (again with the wrong Thrash and Blackwing costumes, of course). I love these pages, especially as they sometimes serve to focus my attention on details I wasn’t recalling from before that have suddenly become more important. Like what Detective Givens’ first name is. I don’t even know if I really knew that before. Hopefully that’s a sign that he survived last month’s encounter with Night Thrasher…

PAGE ONE
Danny Granville is here again (and I enjoy his appearances), but this calls into my mind the question of how this integrates with World War Hulk. I have no idea. And he said Bailiwick, which makes me think that previous issues’ dialogue gremlins may be rallying for one last attempt at a comeback…

Chang constitutes another new face in the Costumed Division half of our book. One wonders how important this half of the book will be once the “Who is everyone” mysteries are resolved.

Medina gives both of these cops square butts. Just sayin’.

PAGE TWO
Dwayne is NOT Thrash. Dwayne would never scotch tape cops to a window. Honestly, the note is, well, juvenile. And since Thrash was presumably alone when he attacked Givens and Sykes last issue… this feels very un-Dwayne to me.

And Hank shows up, marking another appearance from the non-Xuniverse… working hard to balance the scales, methinks. Also curious that the shrinking gas is NOT Pym Particles. But strangely like Foster-Particles… which I just named. Right here. Nah. Too boring.

I’ll get back to you when I think of something clever. This does, however, remind me of a Bill Foster nephew who was all subplotted up in the Civil War stuff, and then never showed up again. Hmmmmmmmm.

I like that Hank feels bad. It’s fun. He should, after all. (I promise to not get all preachy here. But still. Bill Foster is dead, and fully three-quarters of the readers of Civil War never knew who he was in the FIRST PLACE!)

PAGE THREE
Oh look, Granville uses more of his lame Issue One dialogue. The Gremlins are back!!! I think that the banter between Granville and Givens would go over better if it didn’t feel one hundred percent antagonistic to me. It is not giving me a “playful” feeling at all. Is it supposed to?

Where were Sykes and Givens standing when Hank sprayed them? Just curious.

AD
Heroes is coming back! Great! Milk is not my hero, however. Lactose intolerant.
If this were an ad for Sylar (who’s cool) pushing goat’s milk (which is my parents’ livelihood) I would be tickled pink. As it is, I am tickled off-white, Maybe eggshell.

PAGE FOUR
Granville does something useful AND Hank cops a feel of Sykes! Now things are jumping! (Bitter note: Page four and nothing has really HAPPENED.)

They hear Wakanda and they think Panther. I hear Wakanda, and I think KLAW! If Thrash were Klaw, I would be happy. In a lame way.

Is that shadowy figure Storm? Silhouette? Whoever it is, they look a bit… booby… if you ask me.

AD
I miss old school Megaman. Even Megaman X. Just an observation. I wonder if we’ll ever see the old Nova villain Megaman make a comeback?

PAGE FIVE
Yay! More Stark! (He says sarcastically). I enjoy the sense of escalating tension Kevin is trying for here, but I hate going this far without an appearance by, oh, I don’t know, THE WARRIORS!

Secretary Kooning is new. And, I think, important. Let’s make a note of him.

He said New New Warriors. Glad to see even politicians stumble over the awkwardness that having NEW in your team name causes. *shrug*

Oooh. They want to send in the Tbolts. This I endorse- because I want to see this book crossover with other books, you see… and a New Warriors book can NOT go six whole issues without an appearance by Speedball (in some form). Can not happen.

PAGE SIX
Power Pack gets a shout out! Panel 4 is awkward. Very awkward.

The only thing I truly love about this page is Tony getting spanked a little. It’s nice to know that he has some opposition in the government. It makes his need to shut down the Warriors a bit more… desperate. I like desperate.

On a side note, can you really hang up on Tony? Doesn’t his Extremis ability mean he can keep talking to you through your toaster, or whatever?

PAGE SEVEN
In the observation area, our support staff shows up again- Kaz (who reminds me of Taki from X-Terminators) and Grace, who makes me want to punch her in the nose. She manages that evocative power with only two word balloons, even. So maybe somebody on this team DOES have powers.

There are nine current Warriors, counting Thrash.

Hey, Nic Klein, note how Blackwing doesn’t have exposed hair.

Thrash has a glowing energy shield, kinda pinkish… like one made of solid sound even (points for my KLAW theory).

Jubilee goes DOWN! Every time that happens, the part of me that watched the 90s X-Men cartoon cheers.

AD
… I’m all for drug abuse prevention. Sometimes, though, these ads just make my head hurt.

PAGE EIGHT
I expect all of these things to be worth noting: Energy shield (as discussed last page), solid truncheon, complete lack of assembly on back for holding the skateboard (awwww).

Top panel art is kinda off of Medina’s game, for some reason.

Longstrike and (Unnamed guy) are brother and sister… I think. Thrash lists Doc Ock, Nitro, and Nefaria as threats… that is a VERY wide range of ability there.

NOOOOOOOO! Tempest (or whatever elemental girl’s name is) is ANGEL from New X-Men… the bug girl! And she still loves Beak! And Beak/Barnell is pretty now! And she seems nice! What kind of twilight zone are we living in here?

My only consolation on this page is the reference to anti-gravity discs. Every reference to the Wizard makes me happy, because poor old Bentley doesn’t get enough loving in comics these days.

PAGE NINE
Thrash’s dialogue strongly suggests he is NOT an ex-mutant. Furthermore, in spite of the colorist’s best efforts to obscure it, I really do think he’s black under that helmet. But Klaw is made of solid sound… DOES NOT COMPUTE!

Longstrike is using Stiltman technology. Wait? I thought Thrash was a GENIUS. Why would a genius consider Stilty’s weapons worth salvaging?

Ripcord speaks! And it seems as though these kids have a life outside of training (good)—it would be nice to see that, I think.

Theory time: Are Longstrike’s hands legit or mechanical? If she is using stilty tech, wouldn’t they HAVE to be mechanical?

PAGE TEN
Shouldn’t Iceman be snowy in that picture? I get the impression THIS Thrash hasn’t fought alongside either of these two teams… just a feeling from the dialogue.

Wouldn’t it be “Iron Hand” not “Iron Fist”? Unless Thrash is… LUKE CAGE!

Nah. He’s still Klaw until I say otherwise. Thrash left Jubes in charge of training, intimating that he isn’t always around. Where could he be then?

PAGE ELEVEN
Cochise? I’m not hip enough to know that one.

Hmmm. Jubilee is at least passing familiar with who is under the mask- or thinks she is. And not close friends with them, I think, because she lacks in the “joy” expression one would expect for a friend returned from the grave. In my opinion, her dialogue does nothing but clash with the idea that this is Dwayne Taylor.

AD x2
How can a two page add in a little comic book make something look roomier? Silly Nissan.

PAGE TWELVE
Stern looks don’t tell us anything, dangit!

Why are the Initiative kids fighting without their designated grown-ups?

And it seems Jubilee and Thrahs shall table their discussion of his ID for now…

AD
Wolverine+Venom=90s’s collectors market FRENZY!

I love Avatar. Is soooo much fun.

PAGE THIRTEEN
NO! The diner is back! That means the stronghold of the dialogue gremlins is front and center! BRACE FOR IMPACT!

I think the newscaster’s use of the phrase “New initiative heroes” is awkward.

I don’t think I have to say anything else about the diner cast’s dialog. I mean…

Really.

Sofia is doing her job well! It is as if she has made up her mind to stay away from the super-hero life! How good her life will now surely turn out…

PAGE FOURTEEN
I don’t hate Tina. I hate everyone else in the diner, but sometimes I like Tina. That being said, I bet she dies.

THE DINER IS DESTROYED!!!!!!!!!!!! Praise be to whatever and whoever you send your praise to, our war against the dialog gremlins just had its first true victory!

PAGE FIFTEEN
Good old fashioned collateral damage. It is, after all, what this book has been missing.

Sofia feels the call to action… as any good child of the atom surely would. I feel like that last panel on page fourteen is the beginning of what this book is really going to become. It feels… portentious.

I think I made that word up.

AD
What is INSIDE that thing’s helmet? A glow in the dark lego?

PAGE SIXTEEN
Real villains that fight back! This IS a turning point! When did we last see any version of the Zodiac? Johns-era Avengers?

Poor Initiative kids. They got stomped.

I see only 10 Zodiac folk. Is gathering the other 2 the “completing the circle” of which Scorpio speaks, I wonder? I am very observant, you see.

I was going to name all of the Zodiacs in the row… but I have no idea on several of them. Baal Abib? I got no idea.

Looks like Skybolt threw a…well…sky bolt…

AD
Hey! Is this ad running in lots of books? This is NW exposure! We NEVER get that!

PAGE SEVENTEEN
Oops, that was Phaser. Waitaminute! If Phaser is Longstrike’s brother, we now have all nine members named!
Left to right: Blackwing, Skybolt, Wondra, Phaser, Tempest, Longstrike, Night Thrasher, Decibel, Ripcord!

Decibel’s weapon looks like Tanager’s shriek attack, from Air Force (you know, back in Night Thrasher 5?)

PAGE EIGHTEEN
If they reveal Wondra is NOT using Wonder Gloves (from the Wizard) I will be very sad.

Decibel can make forceshields too? Hmmmmm. Klaw technology? KLAW IS THRASH!

No. I won’t get over it, even though I know it’s wrong. Sue me.

Blackwing has an energy attack. Does that mean EVERYONE has ranged attacks except for (maybe) Thrash and Wondra?

PAGE NINETEEN
Tempest is developing a southern turn of phrase (as she should have, if I recall the Morrison-era version of the character)… but I wish she wasn’t named Angel. It makes me miss Firestar.

Thrash’s truncheon is now energy-made. Curious.

For those who were still doubting, Decibel is CLEARLY Chamber/Jonothan Starsmore. And I am beginning to wonder if he isn’t packing multiple pieces of hardware, because his powers seem very inconsistent. ARGH, this is driving me nuts, not knowing who can do what!

AD
Oooh, lets run out and buy the pilot episode of a canceled TV show…

PAGE TWENTY
Everyone shows off their nifty weapons… and I think Phaser’s attack method looks awkward. Plus I have NO IDEA what Skybolt’s missiles do… they kinda look like they are making ice, but I think that ice is left-over form Tempest a few pages back…

Looking at Sofia’s face makes me think something bad is going to happen (and I don’t just say that because I pre-read the issue or saw next month’s solicits…)

PAGE TWENTY-ONE
Longstrike… oh, poor girl… the Stiltman curse strikes again…

The only time bad dialog is OK: when villains are using it.

PAGE TWENTY-TWO
Eeew. Gross. Our membership is now down to 8.

Wow, Jono REALLY looks like Apocalypse there. Which, I know, is how it is supposed to be, but still.

And now we know- one way or another, Sofia will have to make a choice next issue.

AD
Is advertising for the army in an anti-establishment book such as this one all that wise?

BACK COVER
I kinda dig the rhino on the shoe. I don’t know what that says about me.

SEE YOU NEXT MONTH!

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Comments

  • DH the Lurker  On September 11, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    So… all we need to do is find out who Skybolt, Phaser, Ripcord,
    Night Thrasher, and Longstrike are… er… were…

    Theres at least one returning warrior, right?

  • Jeremy Schwennen  On September 12, 2007 at 4:32 am

    But what if “returning” means Night Thrasher, solely in the sense that the NAME is returning to the team?

    I have a tiny fear of that.

  • Andrew Aguirre  On September 12, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    That was a fun read!

    I have a suspicion that Skybolt has many types of missiles. Like Hawkeye and his arrows.

    Well at least we only have two more issues left before we find out who Thrash is (Jubes knows, they can’t dodge it much longer, and the TPB archetype is a major revelation occurs after 6 issues). Bill Foster makes sense. A lot of sense.

  • Jeremy Schwennen  On September 12, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    Tom Foster, actually (Bill’s nephew)… and, unfortunately, my belief in that revelation is somewhat shaken by recent interviews with the World War Hulk creative team…

    So I guess I’l fall back on KLAW!

  • Jeff  On September 17, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks! With so many characters I know nothing about (and so little being revealed), it’s nice to have somebody break it down for me. But why kill a character when I could care less about her because I never found out who she was? That makes no sense.

    This is turning into too much of an X-book for my tastes. I never read any of the books thee folks were in and I feel really out of it. It makes me long for the Fabian days when seemingly every splash page came with roll calls and power descriptions.

    There’s never an omniscient narrator around anymore when you need one….

  • Josh X  On September 19, 2007 at 5:13 am

    Night Thrasher is obviously Tom Foster.

    First, the Wakanda connection. In reference to the pink shield, the “Klaw” theory follows the right string here, but it doesn’t go all the way. Ultimately Klaw’s power came from his use of Wakandan technology, the vibranium gauntlet he wore. We’ve also seen this same technology used in the hard-light wings Black Panther once made for the Falcon.

    Second, the Foster connection. Someone familiar with Foster’s formula, or perhaps Foster himself, must have produced the “Foster particles.” Add to that the fact that the technology used by the New Warriors to approximate their lost powers seems uncannily familiar to that used by the various villains Bill Foster fought during his solo time as Black Goliath: Warhawk, Stilt-Man, the Hijacker… Hijacker’s M.O. was appropriating the technology of other heroes and villains, by the way. Coincidence?

    Tom Foster is the only person who ties all this stuff together. He’s Bill Foster’s nephew, and a genius MIT student. The biggest piece of evidence to support my theory is in Black Panther #23, wherein Tom said he was going to dedicate himself to cracking the secret of the Pym particles, and BP promised to help him.

  • James Hunter  On September 19, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    The problem with that theory is that Tom Foster is busy in another series (one of the ones being launched as a result of World War Hulk, and that’s akl we know about it).

    I doubt he’ll be there and here to.

    Cheers.

    James.

  • Josh X  On September 20, 2007 at 2:15 am

    As far as Tom Foster’s post-WWH business goes, Greg Pak has only said so far that Foster would “play a big role” in the AFTERSMASH one-shot (which is not a series). It could very well be the role he plays is as Night Thrasher.

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