In the second half of 2011, the mini-series Vengeance was released as a semi-sequel to the Acts of Vengeance event, originally released back in 1989. The New Warriors first appeared in the Thor issues of Acts of Vengeance, so it’s a fitting coincidence that a few characters from the then-latest iteration of the New Warriors showed up here. All six issues have been aded to Limbo Part 4, kicking off a new Phase Six.
The mini-series is an odd project because while it recalls the Acts of Vengeance and features covers of the major villains from that event, it’s not really about that at all and those villains barely appear in the comics. Instead, it’s about the latest incarnation of the Teen Brigade, a clandestine group of teenagers who have secretly helped super-heroes behind the scenes. Apparently this version of the group is only the latest of about nine or ten iterations going back decades. The most famous version was seen in Avengers #1 from 1963 when Rick Jones tried to signal the Fantastic Four to stop a rampaging Hulk, which led to the first formation of the Avengers team.
This version of Teen Brigade is led by a new character called the Ultimate Nullifier, named after his pair of power-dampening guns that are reminiscent of the powerful device of the same name originally found by the Fantastic Four in the ship of Galactus. He’s joined by a new Miss America and a crew of people, presumably teenagers, who run computers and other equipment to monitor, hack and otherwise support their secret missions. This extensive support crew is left unnamed except for the so-called “power couple” of Angel Salvadore and Barnell Bohusk, who in New Warriors volume 4 went by the names Tempest and Blackwing respectively, but are more well known as Angel and Beak, respectively.
Both characters appear in all 6 issues of Vengeance, which appears to mostly takes place 3 months after the Fear Itself event. Since they’re part of a support crew, they are supporting characters, but they’re the only members of the support crew to get lines and certainly are crucial members of the Teen Brigade, having input along with Ultimate Nullifier and Miss America. Of the 6 issues, they appear most and get the most to do in Vengeance #3, where they go on the field to warn Doctor Octopus about some super-villains looking to kill him. In issues 1-2 and 6, they also appear throughout. But in issues 4 and 5, they only show up briefly on a page or two.
Both characters are powerless again, after briefly being seen in the Age of X reality with their powers back. Apparently, unlike Chamber, Legion correctly restored them to their previous pre-Age of X state (although Barnell is depicted with a more beak-like nose than he was seen in New Warriors). During a cosmic interlude with the In-Betweener, both Angel and Barnell are seen with their mutant powers back, but it’s clear this was not a literal state. Barnell is seen with his baseball bat he used as Beak and wears an oversized X-Men jacket.
No mention is made of Angel and Barnell’s kids. Did they travel with them? Were they part of the support crew? Are they still in New York? It’s anyone’s guess. There’s also no mention of their time with the New Warriors either but this type of organization certainly feels like a natural progression from that time. I also wonder if New Warriors volume 4 support crew members Kaz, Grace or Aja were part of the Teen Brigade’s support crew or maybe provided consulting to them.
Also seen in this mini-series is their former teammate Stacy X, who went by Ripcord in New Warriors volume 4. She is seen in Vengeance #1 for about 6 pages with plenty of dialogue. It also looks like she has a single-panel cameo in Vengeance #6, partying it up in Latveria (below). In New Warriors, she was thought to be killed during a fight with a task force, and there’s no explanation here how she survived that (although even in the issue it looked possible they could’ve been blown clear). Unlike Angel and Barnell, she inexplicably has her powers back. There’s no attempt to justify this. It’s possible she is still powerless but is wearing makeup or some kind of scaled-skin suit to appear like she’s a mutant again, but it’s doubtful and there’s nothing in the comic to support this. The best explanation is that she might’ve been on Utopia when the Age of X event occurred and, like Chamber, returned to this reality with her previous mutant powers restored. Rachel Grey told Chamber there were others that didn’t fit back right into their reality, so it’s entirely possible this could be used to explain other appearance discrepancies around this time. Even so, she apparently abandoned her heroic ways and eventually hooked up with the pop star Sugar Kane, and then ran into Ultimate Nullifier at a club (above). The three are then attacked by Magneto, who somehow tracked Stacy X down to confront her over her behavior, which he felt wasn’t respectable or helpful to the few remaining mutants on Earth (right).