I’m back in town, and have another “Secret Invasion” review ready to go. Tomorrow, I’ll review “Ms. Marvel #28-30” and get the reviews caught up until Wednesday’s new comics arrive.

General Information

Title: New Warriors #14-15

Author: Kevin Grevioux

Illustrator(s): Koi Turnbull (pencils), Sal Regla (inks) and Beth Sotelo (colours)

Cover Date: September and October 2008

Cover Price: $2.99 US / $3.05 Can each

Detailed coverage of all applicable issues of all Secret Invasion related titles can be found at this address.

Premise

Donyell Taylor, brother of Dwayne Taylor and the new Night Thrasher, learns of the Secret Invasion. Realizing the possibility that the man who died in the Civil War was not his brother (given how the entire “reality TV” deal was so far out of character for the entire team) he immediately begins to hunt for the corpse to determine whether or not Dwayne is really dead.

High Point

Seeing some actual New Warriors in the comic for once.

Low Point

This team had a hard time with Machinesmith. This was clearly seen in earlier issues, and even pointed out here once more. Yet, they’re able to pull this off? That’s rather unlikely. I guess the guest stars must have done the vast majority of the heavy lifting.

The Concept

I find that most of my opinions and attitudes about this title are coloured by its very nature. As these issues will impact this review, I’ll spell them out here.

Back when I was in junior high, I read and enjoyed Speedball #1 and followed him onto The New Warriors. I started collecting with issue 7, and eventually read the first 40+ issues before I stopped collecting comics in general. (It was the first Spider-Man movie and Marvel’s Essential line that sucked me back in.) I really enjoyed that team, so I was excited by the announcement that they’d be a part of Civil War. I was very displeased by how they were used, as I felt the “reality TV” bent was well out of character for them. When I heard of the relaunched title, I was hoping to catch up with some of those old characters I really enjoyed, but that’s not what happened. In fact, the only member of this team that was a member of the old one is the new Night Thrasher, who I don’t even remember from the first run. The rest of the team is comprised of mutants that were depowered during “House of M,” and who have gotten back in the hero game using technology Donyell provided them. To give Grevioux the proper credit, when asked why he used these particular characters, he responded “because those were the characters Marvel gave me.” I suspect he wanted to use more of the original team, but they were either dead or claimed by other titles (“Avengers: The Initiative” and “Nova” in particular) so he had to make do.

The problem with this is that none of the characters have familiar looks. They’ve all got new outfits, new code names and new powers. In some cases (such as Beak), their appearance has changed, while in others (such as Chamber) it hasn’t, though no reason has been given for why some characters change and others don’t. In fact, they are often difficult to tell apart, as they were introduced en masse with nothing to connect them to their past forms, except for Chamber’s look. I started collecting this title due to Civil War and nostalgia, and decided to stick with it through this crossover to give it a chance to win me over.

The Scores

This isn’t original. It goes directly back to the Civil War, answering questions that have appeared in every online comics forum I’ve seen since the Secret Invasion was announced. It’s a story that needed to be told, and this was the most appropriate place to tell it, but it’s still not original, even following the standard “fight now, then team up against the real enemy” formula that every team-up seems to follow. I give it 3 out of 6.

The artwork is constantly off model, which I find very distasteful. The design choices inherited from Medina are also tough to work with, as the characters can be hard to distinguish, making battles difficult to follow. I give it 3 out of 6.

The story is one that needs to be told, but I think it would have been better served with one more issue. As it stands, the two teams meet, fight, integrate and coordinate far too easily. A third issue would have given a lot more opportunity to explore the interactions between the teams. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization of Justice and Rage (two guest stars) is very well done. The rest are shallow, and as hard to distinguish as the art used to depict them. This makes conversations hard to follow. I’ve bought and read the first 15 issues, and I still find myself going to Wikipedia to get the team roster when I enter them in my collection database (software highly recommended for collecting comics, movies, and other stuff) because I don’t remember who they are or what their code names are. The character work on the title has been flat enough that I just don’t care about these characters. The only regular team member that’s well defined is Donyell, and he’s not likeable in the first place. Knowing that Marvel gave Grevioux the team roster to work with, I wonder how much familiarity he had with this group when he started writing them. I’m guessing it wasn’t a lot. I give it 3 out of 6.

The emotional response is pretty flat. As I said, I haven’t been made to care enough about the team to keep track of who they even are. The only really enjoyable moments were when some “actual” New Warriors show up for a team-up, but even those characters were handled better in Avengers: The Initiative by Slott and Gage. I give it 3 out of 6.

The flow is hampered by the difficulty tracking characters in battle. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, I give these lackluster issues 3 out of 6. These are my last issues of the title.

In total, New Warriors #14-15 receive 23 out of 42.

Secret Invasion Review Checklists

Background reviews:

Infiltration reviews:

Main Event reviews (including date the last issue should be available, or “complete” if they’re all out):

  • Secret Invasion #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7: October 22, #8: November 19, full series: November 19
  • Avengers: The Intiaitive #14-19: November 26
  • Black Panther #39-41
  • Captain Britain and MI 13 #1, #2, #3, and #4.
  • Deadpool #1-3
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #4-6: October 15
  • Incredible Hercules #117, #118-120
  • Iron Man: Diretor of S.H.I.E.L.D. #33-35: November 19
  • Mighty Avengers #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, 17-20: November 26
  • Ms. Marvel #28-30: complete
  • New Avengers #40, #41, #42-47: November 26
  • New Warriors #14-15
  • Nova #16-18: October 29
  • Punisher: War Journal #24-25: November 29
  • Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man #1-3: October 22
  • Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1, #2, and #3.
  • Secret Invasion: Frontline #1-5: November 19
  • Secret Invasion: Home Invasion (online only)
  • Secret Invasion: Inhumans #1-4: November 12
  • Secret Invasion: Runaways / Young Avengers #1-3
  • Secret Invasion: Thor #1-3: October 29
  • Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust?
  • Secret Invasion: X-Men #1-4: November 19
  • Thunderbolts #122-125: October 22
  • X-Factor #33-34, She-Hulk #31-33

Aftermath (Dark Reign) reviews:

  • Avengers: The Iniative #20-?
  • Dark Reign: New Nation
  • Invincible Iron Man #8-?
  • Ms. Marvel #34-?
  • New Avengers #48-?
  • Secret Invasion: Dark Reign
  • Secret Invasion: Requiem #1
  • War Machine #1-?
  • several unannounced titles, I’m sure