Roundtable Review: New Warriors v4 #6

The NWCC quartet gather for another Roundtable Review. New Warriors #6 concludes the Defiant story arc. How did it fair? Read on!

JEREMY:
Here we are two months since last issue, with the final part of the first storyline in the newest New Warriors series. Where does Defiant part six leave us? Overall, I think this issue pulls it all together pretty well. For once, it feels like lots of things happen in the issue, and while it continues to misfire on certain fronts, many positive things can be said about this issue. I feel that, if nothing else, this issue is the right finale to this storyline.

COREY:
I don’t know if I agree that it pulls it all together pretty well, but it leaves things in a position where I’m looking forward to the next issue. Frankly, this has been a frustrating opening story arc. It’s had some moments of great stuff mixed with awkward and rather clumsy sequences.

JAMES:
I can see where Jeremy is coming from, I mean this issue does (basically) tie-up every major plot point which has been introduced since issue 1. We are now in a position to learn about the characters (and hopefully Grievoux will be able to add depth to them and make them more interesting then he has so far, but we’ll see).

I have to agree with Corey that it’s been a clumsy opening arc but, at least to an extent, I can write that off as Grievouix being new to the industry and having to learn the methods of writing comics (I may be defending beelzebub, but I’m feeling charitable this year, maybe because of the season!)

JEREMY:
Let’s get art on the table right now. We waited the extra month to keep Paco Medina on the book, and his art is, while not anything spectacular, the same utilitarian workhorse that has carried the series so far. I feel like his facial work is stronger in this issue, and he does a lot more background art here than he has in some previous issues.

COREY:
This is the first issue where I’ve noticed some Jim Cheung influence in his faces and character blocking. I don’t know if that’s true or I’m just making that up, but I kind of like it. Even so, his work remains good enough but never raises above the Marvel/DC standard for me. I still think the artistic style chosen for the book is a bit too fun and bright for a book that’s supposed to be about a subversive team. If the style suited the tone and direction of the book more, some of the dialogue and character acting maybe wouldn’t feel so overblown sometimes.

JAMES:
As a fan more interested in the writing then in the art, I don’t quite get what you mean when you say that Medina’s art “never raises above the Marvel/DC standard” Corey, can you explain that statement to me? (I would argue that both company’s have excellent artists). I still feel Medina’s backgrounds are lacking but I will agree with Jeremy that his facial work has improved in this issue (although they do still seem a little bland to me, in places).

[Editor’s note: We ran long and late this time around, so Corey opted to address James’ question in a future installment.]

JEREMY:
The primary role that Sykes and Givens have played in the story may be scaled back in future stories, from the way this issue wraps them up, and this makes me happy. I have enjoyed what they bring to the book, but at the same time I want a book about NEW WARRIORS. I may not have the team I want, but I would like to see at least half of each issue devoted to helping me get top know the new team better.

FLANK:
I’d love to never see Sykes and Givens again. They’re ham-fisted cliches who blunder through the story, trying to intimidate every single person they talk to. And I don’t buy that as a workable investigative technique.

COREY:
I too also hope we’re done with Sykes and Givens. In the end, I don’t think they really added much to the discovery or mystery of the team that Sophia couldn’t have done, had she been given more to do. Had it been her digging up info on this mysterious group suddenly so interested in her, we probably would’ve felt a stronger connection to her, and it probably would’ve added more drama and tension to her discoveries of Night Thrasher’s identity. If this is the last we see them, which would be fine with me, their entire journey was kind of pointless because all of their discoveries led to them doing nothing but sorta non-threatening Tony Stark. There was no pay off.

JAMES:
Like Jeremy, I’m really NOT sad to see the back of Sykes and Givens. They were interesting for maybe the first issue, but since then I feel they have been taking away panel time from the other characters. A reduction in characters to be explored should (hopefully) lead to more focus on the new Warriors which is something this series needs in my opinion.

JEREMY:
Al the identities are out of the bag now, and while the Ripcord shocker (Stacy X? Who would have guessed that?) certainly felt left-field, I am otherwise content with the information. Also content with the confirmation Jubilee is packing Wonder Gloves (I love the Wizard) and wondering who has “Turbo Armor” if that means what I think it means. Unlike many people, I am growing rather fond of the ex-mutant angle. I see lots of story potential in that, and I trust that at least some of your guys are on board with me here.

FLANK:
Ah, the ex-mutant question. Soap box time.

It struck me after I read this issue how strange this series concept is. Civil War put the Warriors in the spotlight like they’d never been before, caused a major change to their status quo, and tarnished their name. Relaunching NEW WARRIORS on the heels of it, about the team trying to reclaim their tarnished image, seems like an utter no-brainer.

But instead of picking up the team’s story post-Civil War, Marvel’s given us a comic about the fall-out of HOUSE OF M, several years late, packaged as the fall-out of CIVIL WAR. Which makes no sense.

I love the idea of former Xavier students trying to make it as heroes with tech-based powers and without their old community. There’s great stuff you could do with that, the least of which would be to play with the way the X-Men books are written as their own insular universe. I’d read that book. But that book has *nothing* to do with the New Warriors. Remember when THUNDERBOLTS became Supervillain Fight Club? This is like that, only run by someone who was in a couple issues of the original series to give it a tenuous tie to the product it claims to be.

From a story perspective or a branding perspective, it’s a bizarre move on Marvel’s part. But that said? I’m still enjoying it. It has its charms.

COREY:
That’s a great point.

For someone who hasn’t been reading X-Men comics for several years, like myself, a lot of the revelations kind of leave me cold. I think a little bit more effort to establish these people could go a long way. I don’t need their full life history, but a hint of putting their existence into perspective would be nice.

JAMES:
I can accept Flank’s point that it does have an element of charm but I have to say I’m *still* uncomftable with the number of ex-mutants on the team. 2 or 3 would have been fine but the whole team (bar one, Night thrasher) seems excessive to me.

What bothers me more then having a Warriors team of ex-mutants on the team, though, is the characters which were used. In particular I still don’t understand why Jono is on the team when he was last seen in NEW EXCALIBUR telling Pete Wisdom et.al to take a hike. this is quite a major development for the character (to suddenly migrate back to the US with no ties keeping him there) and it’s one which I feel should really have been explianed 9or at least touched upon) by now. Honestly, the whole Stacy-X/Ripcord scenario bothers me a lot less then Jono’s appearance in this title.

JEREMY:
This issue blew the past 5 out of the water in terms of offering up characterization for people that are not Sofia or the homeless. I feel like I know much more about each character than I did before (which doesn’t take much of course) but I have to say that I am now intrigued enough to want to know more. I don’t think that was true 2 issues ago.

FLANK:
As far as characterization goes, apparently Sofia formed a strong familial bond with the team… uh…. when, exactly? This is completely unfounded, but we get a page-long speech about it that convinces Thrash to keep the team going.

COREY:
That it took us 6 issues to get this much focus on the team is kind of perplexing but it was nice. I’m starting to feel like I’m getting to know these characters a bit more. But only a bit.

JAMES:
Although Sofia having a familial bond with the WHOLE team is unfounded, she has had a developing bond with Jubilee since issue #2, so that wasn’t completely out of the blue and it was Thrash who motivated her to finally be pro-active with her life, so the speech did make sense that far. On top of that, Sofia also new Beak at the Institute so that makes sense. The idea of her having a bond with the other 3 is completely out of the blue though.

JEREMY:
Dialogue. Still troublesome, as ever, but either it is getting a touch better of I am growing used to it. The cop dialogue was at its worst here, and the diner cast (whom I had hoped to see removed with the devastation of their titular diner) was consistently awful, but the actual Warriors seemed a bit better. I think.

FLANK:
Grievoux has described his dialogue as “an experiment in writing hyper-realistic teenagers living on there[sic] own and trying to make a way for themselves out of no way”… and based on the teenagers I know, or really, every human I’ve ever met, he’s totally failed. Nobody in this book says something clearly when they could come up with an elaborate-yet-cliche metaphor or idiom to beat around the bush about it. Sofia’s aforementioned monologue is one of the most glaring examples. And as far as bad dialogue goes, the prize this month goes to Grace. I’m not going to say “Nobody would ever say ‘hit and split like a model kit'” out of fear that someone, somewhere might actually seriously say that. This is ghetto slang, even white girl ghetto slang? On which planet?

COREY:
The colloquialisms remain pretty ridiculous. Only on Grace am I half-way buying it, because it’s clear she’s trying to be someone she’s not. Unfortunately it’s kind of overdone.

JAMES:
Ah the dialogue, I swear it gets worse and worse, the only ones who have sounded right, to me at least, are Beak and Jubilee (she sounds/reads far better then she ever used to!), Sofia seems to be getting steadily worse, and having read her dialogue under Defilippes and Weir (who created her!) it’s just becoming more and more glaringly obvious. Going by the quote Flank provided, I’m going to have to guess that Grievoux has no teenagers in his family and has never listened to kids talk either. I have yet to meet anyone who uses dialogue in the way that Grievoux is writing the Warriors (sorry about the clumsy sentence!)

JEREMY:
Final thoughts are, by necessity, devoted to the so-called Thrash revelation. While the book doesn’t outright state that Thrash is Bandit, I think it goes far enough that to retract the notion later will be a very harsh slap in the face. And I must say, out of all the theories around the net this ID is my favorite (aside from the Klaw theory). I always thought Bandit was an untapped resource, and so long as Kevin decides to reconcile his current MO with previous appearances, I’m happy.

I guess that sums it up in general: I’m happy. When I set this issue down, I smiled. I like it when I can blame a smile on an issue of New Warriors. I had, to be honest, forgotten what that felt like. It has been a long time. Maybe it’s because Silhouette is coming back.

FLANK:
I’m very hard on the book this month, but that’s because, in spite of its problems, I actually quite like it. And it frustrates me that it isn’t better, especially compared to Fabian’s run on the original. But I am indeed enjoying myself. That last page left me smiling too, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the book goes now that its groundwork has finally been laid.

COREY:
Looking over what I’ve written, I realize I haven’t said much good things about this issue, which makes it seem like I disliked it. In reality I’m frustrated at it being so close to what it could be but just missing the mark. As mentioned, there’s a lot of good pieces in this book. They’re just waiting to be put together. Here’s looking toward what’s to come.

JAMES:
I’ve been quite harsh on the book myself this month, it’s not that I don’t enjoy it, I do, (there are elements that really appeal to me, I just think it should be stronger and find it disappointing that it’s not, I see the potential in this title and I would like to see it being realised!). To be fair though, I think this issue (and indeed this whole first arc) would read better if the series had NOT been called NEW WARRIORS> As fans of the old series, I think we are all guilty of wanting the title to be something that it was never going to be. As to the Night Thrasher revelation (which is basically confirmed, between this issue and the preview for #7), I have to say I don’t hate it. To me, Bandit has the potential to be a very interesting character and it will be interesting to see how his brother’s death has changed Donyell. I’m just glad that Midnight’s Fire was not revealed to be Thrash (as some fans online hoped), that simply would not have worked for me. Donyel provides an interesting link between the old and the new Warriors though, not only through his romance with Silhouette but also through his time on the team with Turbo, Darkhawk and Alex Power (back in the “time and time Again” arc in volume 1). Donyel gives us a link to many corners of the MU (between he, Sofia and Jubilee, there is a link to every corner of the MU).

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: