Page-by-Page Review: New Warriors #5

New Warriors Volume 4, Issue 5
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 second 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 5, Defiant (Part Five) was released October 10th, 2007. It was written by Kevin Grevioux, with art by Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, and Marte Gracia.

COVER
Nic Klein brings us another fine cover, one that captures some real emotion (a failing of his earlier pieces). I love the flat lining graph effect… heck, I just love this cover. Sofia looks utterly doomed, but hey… if she takes the Diner with her (if you don’t hate the Diner as much as I do, you better RUSH back to your back issues and re-read the majesty that is Sofia’s day-job-dialogue. Oi.)

I think it goes without saying, but since I specialize in saying such things… that’s STILL the wrong Thrash armor.

For those counting, if we had a shadow number in the corner box, it would be 96.

AD
I… clearly don’t get that. Maybe the fact that I am a cell phone renegade has something to do with it. The image is striking, I suppose… in a “help, I have tetris blocks in my brain” sorta way.

RECAP PAGE
And I quote… “Sofia can’t help but imagine what it would be like to return to her life as a super hero.”

So THAT’S what those terribly subtle PAGES AND PAGES of dream sequences have been saying! I get it! [sarcasm off]

Nothing special in the recap text here, other than a reminder that poor Longstrike has already checked out of the Warriors.

PAGE ONE
Hey! Medina demonstrates on 15 faces (in 5 panels!) that he can draw SHOCKED PEOPLE!

There’s a mysterious dialogue monkey pumping out some poetry here (probably not Thrash or Wondra, methinks) while Tony Stark prepares his world-famous “I Told You So” maneuver.

PAGE TWO
Eeew. Medina draws a mean looking desiccated corpse, if you ask me. And Longstrike’s name was Christine (so hit it, all you Wikipediacs). Phaser seems… well, phased, by his sister’s death. And he unleashes a uni-beam (well, it could be) that appears to excite his Zodiac foe (is that Libra?). She kinda has a certain Pretty Persuasions-ness about her in that panel… energy weapons, masochism…

PAGE THREE
Thrash steps in heroically (and someone I can’t identify gets pasted in the background. Zodiac I assume…)

Wow, this page should be subtitled “Getting our butts kicked while our letterer busts out some little used sound effects!”

Ripcord’s cool Constrictor coils aren’t saving her from her IMPENDING DOOM. You heard it here folks, since Ripcord is the only Warrior we have NO ID speculation clues on, she is next on my projected kill list.

AD
The Transformers movie was enjoyable, save for the fact that throughout the entire thing I couldn’t shake the need to stand up and scream “The first one was better!”

Cuz, well, it was.

PAGE FOUR
Observation: Paco’s action choreography is not strong enough to do fight pages with minimal dialogue. Kevin’s dialogue is not strong enough to do fight pages with minimal panels. This page is an example of the two of them NOT finding a happy medium between their strengths and weaknesses.

Why are all of the panels in this issue horizontal?

WHAT IS SOFIA DOING!?!?! Foolish girl! If you die, my deathpool on Ripcord gets blown all to heck!

PAGE FIVE
The cops (so important to this series thusfar) say something! And apparently the NYPD is now teaching courses in understatements… “This is getting bad”? I think it was bad when the girl DIED buddy…

Tempest is changing batteries, and I can not tell you how happy that makes me. Honestly. It’s nice to see the limitations of an entirely tech-based team coming to the fore.

I still maintain Phaser’s firing posture looks VERY awkward. Hopefully the big reveal on his tech will explain why he has to hold his arms that way to fire…

PAGE SIX
… Carlton and Aegis had a lovechild???

I really, truly hate everything this page is trying to get across. Nobody picks on the kids who would CLEARLY be out there emulating the Avengers or the FF. No… let’s continue to scapegoat the Warriors, even in their own book…

Sofia has that “screwing up Pen’s deathpool” look in her eyes…

AD
Only thing cool about this ad is her right eye. Really.
Haven’t watched the show yet, so I reserve my judgment.

PAGE SEVEN
Hindsight Aegis is down. And our panels start to diversify! Yay!

I know it’s hard to run in an apron (don’t ask) so I am proud of Sofia for taking the time to remove hers before she rushes headlong to her DOOM!

I like her internal dialogue here. It feels like Sofia… for the first time in 5 issues.

PAGE EIGHT
A sharp panel, and one of Medina’s best faces in the series thusfar, IMO. And look Thrash, Sofia doesn’t need any cool tech-weapons, she has an APRON! (What should make you really nervous is that she is kicking more butt with her apron than Jubilee is with the Wizard’s vaunted Wonder Gloves.)

Red Dog 44? I…HATE….named attack formations in comics. HATE. There is ONE person who can pull of that dialogue, and I bet Marvel nixed Kevin’s plans to have Steve Rogers be the real ID of Night Thrasher…

PAGE NINE
Top panel is an example of when art and dialogue work together to describe something that either one alone would have failed at. Good job boys!

I think Skybolt shows up for the first time this issue here. He’s currently my favorite Warrior, so I’m glad he’s shown up.

Again I tell you, I really want to see what’s under Jono’s scarf there. Where are those handy handbook writer guys? I need a handbook of super villain equipment, stat!

PAGE TEN
I still wish they had bothered to roll-call the Zodiac for me.

Panel two- it looks to me like Tempest just made Penance out of ice crystals. I know that isn’t what happened here, but it does, kinda, doesn’t it?

Hindsight Aegis (or should I just cal him Lovechild?) is alive! How comforting…

NO! SOFIA GOES DOWN! CURSE YOU DEATHPOOL SPOILING WAITRESS GIRL!

ADx2
The commercials for this game look silly, but I am intrigued because I dig spidey-villains (who doesn’t?) I wish it wasn’t movie-design based, though. Doesn’t really matter to me, I guess, as I own none of the systems it shall be released on…

PAGE ELEVEN
Poor car. I dig the inset panel (#3)

The Zodiac bamfs in a very Skeletor-1984 kinda way. If only there had been malefic cackling…

PAGE TWELVE
“We don’t leave Soldiers behind”? That line is so NOT Dwayne that it wraps around to being Chord! I haven’t harped on the WHO IS NIGHT THRASHER issue lately, but let me take this chance to say- black guy in armor is not Dwayne. If it is, he’s been body-swapped with someone else, because he doesn’t feel at all like my Dwayne. Not to me, anyways.

Plus, why would he be wearing the LEAST sophisticated version of his armor ever (aside from the solid-sound weapons) instead of the better armor drawn in the cover art every issue?

Why don’t the Warriors use their funky teleporter to flee the scene? Wouldn’t that be more efficient? It kinda looks here like they can all fly but Thrash.

PAGE THIRTEEN
Sofia is dead, and I lost my bet. ‘Cept with me not believing she is really dead and all, of course.

Who is that tousled-hair stranger in the shadows? If he was Elixir Sofia would be much better off than whoever he is, I’d say…

AD
People pay money for those things?

PAGE FOURTEEN
Sofia lives (the paper says critical condition, not dead, so I am still safe with my Ripcord bet). Sally looks very… not like Sally here. And Kat, well, I can live with Kat.

KAT FARREL IS THE VOICE OF REASON?!?! I too want to know how the old Warriors feel about it.

I question the wisdom of adding MORE non-combatants to our cast before telling us anything useful about our team members.

PAGE FIFTEEN
If this were 15 years ago, this page would have taken 2 panels. As it is, I think I now know more about Sally Floyd’s appetite than I cared to know in a Warriors book. *sigh* I thought killing the Diner was going to end the Dialogue Gremlin infestation…

PAGE SIXTEEN
Wow. Sofia has another dream sequence. Shocking. I have no more sarcasm for these things. I just hope that issue 6 finally puts them to rest, because I can stomach them as a recurring theme throughout a story arc, but NOT throughout a SERIES.

AD
I love Scene It, but no one will play Marvel Scene It with me. I bet all of you reading this have the EXACT SAME problem.

PAGE SEVENTEEN
Wow, even doctors are divided on the issue of if the Warriors are good or bad. If Sofia is 17 (barely) aren’t there some legal immigration issues that need to be addressed here? I guess we are to assume Chuck took care of all that when she left the Mansion…

AD
Must be a good game if it makes it to number 3, right? Same must be true of movies, too…

PAGE EIGHTEEN
Kooning is back, and still walking all over Tony. I LOVE IT! I hate the wasted space on this page (I am tired of horizontal/page width panels) and I may be dumb, but I have no idea what that picture is at the desk in the last panel.

AD
When Hot Topic is carrying Halo 3 things, I think they have forfeited their supposed role as counter-culture headquarters.

PAGE NINETEEN
Our cops are back! I was worried about them… or maybe I hadn’t missed them at all. Go figure.

T’chala said “wrought” so I forgive him for any future dialogue transgressions.

PAGE TWENTY
Is T’chala saying Sykes is from Wakanda, or is this an African motherland thing?

So, if I understand this page correctly, he just handed over all of the proof that says he bought the NW stuff? Or what? I need help, because this doesn’t actually tell me anything, and maybe that’s just because I am tired. Maybe.

He suggests that she investigate closer to home… so I say Thrash is either Syke’s husband or KLAW! (Sorry… had to.)

PAGE TWENTY-ONE
We just got meanwhiled. I love it when that happens!

Now that Skybolt is SPEAKING, I may have to take back him being my favorite.

“Young’un”? How old is HE?

Tempest suggests Thrash is gone all the time (like he has a day job… as a SUPER VILLAIN, perhaps?). I bet that’s a clue. Write it down in your handy dandy notebook.

PAGE TWENTY-TWO
CRAP. Thrash just disbanded the team, which, everyone knows, was Dwayne Taylor’s only real superpower.

Maybe it IS badly-written Dwayne under that armor!

AD
Is it still an ad if it’s for your own book? Also… why couldn’t we have had a letters page???

AD
None in Iowa. Go figure.

BACK COVER
The man who invented “Army Strong” should be taken out back and pummeled with five years of lame advertisements. I miss Army of One.

SEE YOU NEXT MONTH!

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