L to R, T to B: Nova, Firestar, Justice, Speedball, Night Thrasher, Namorita. The guy in the back is Gideon, a villain.
The New Warriors is a team of young superheroes published by the Marvel Comics company. Created in the 1990s as Marvel's answer to DC Comics' Teen Titans, they were at first, like the Titans, composed mostly of teenage superheroes who had already appeared in other comics, though new characters were added as well. Among their most notable members are:
Dwayne Taylor / Night Thrasher, an orphaned African-American who uses his parents' inheritance to create a gadget-equipped suit (and a skateboard) and organize the group to avenge the murder of his parents, sort of an urbanized Batman. Created specifically for the series.
Richard "Richie" Rider / Nova, whose origin resembles that of Hal Jordan: inheriting the powers of a dying alien member of the Nova Corps. First appeared in his original solo comic, which ran in the mid-to-late '70s, languished in obscurity before Thrasher restored his powers and recruited him for the Warriors, and has since had three ongoing solo series of varying success. Recently Took A Level In Bad Ass.
Robert "Robbie" Baldwin / Speedball, an unsuccessful attempt by Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko to create another character whose struggles with friends, family and school are complicated by his superpowers, albeit with more wackiness. He possesses the ability to redirect kinetic energy, which he uses mostly for bouncing. The team series kept the family problems but recast him as the mostly-ineffectual Plucky Comic Relief, although he gets more competent as the series progresses.
Vance Astrovik / Justice, originally called Marvel Boy. The alternate past version of Major Victory from both Guardians of the Galaxy teams. A mutant with telekinetic powers; he and Firestar dated and were engaged.
Namorita Prentiss / Namorita, cousin of Namor the Sub-Mariner, prince of Atlantis.
Other members include Rage, a super-strong angry young Black man, Silhouette, a crippled girl with darkness powers who fights crime on crutches; Turbo, actually a guy and a girl who shared the superpowered Torpedo costume between them; Hindsight Lad, a nerdy Joke Character; Microbe, who could make people sick, and a few others. The most famous non-original members include Darkhawk, Cloak & Dagger, the Scarlet Spider, and Slapstick.The first series started in 1990, thrived during the comics industry's boom years following, limped through the market's contraction and finally ended in 1996. Firestar and Justice "graduated" to the ranks of The Avengers, while the rest of the cast went their separate ways.In a later revival, the team was deprived of their funding, forcing them to star in a Reality Show in order to make ends meet.Whilst filming an episode of their reality show, the team entered a fight with several supervillains in Stamford, Connecticut. One of the villains, Nitronote A former Captain Marvel villain, caused an explosion which killed the majority of the team, their camera crew and destroyed several city blocks, including an Elementary School. The New Warriors became the face of superhero negligence and were the catalyst of Civil War. Speedball survived, but with an extreme case of Survivor Guilt. The very term "New Warrior" became an insult amongst people who hated Supers, much to the annoyance of the former team members and the majority of the team was forced to register under the Super Human Registration Act & receive formal training; the exceptions being Justicenote Instructor for the Inititave, Novanote Off-world dealing with Nova Corps business, Firestarnote Retired and Speedballnote Assumed the identity of Penance and placed on the Thunderbolts roster.At the same time, a new group led by someone in a Night Thrasher costume began calling themselves "New Warriors" and striking at the government that passed the Super Registration Act. However, with the exception of Night Thrasher, every member of the team was a former member of the X-Men depowered following the events of House of M. With a lack of trust between Night Thrasher and the rest of the team, due to Night Thrasher secretly working to resurrect the original Night Thrasher and using the rest of the team as a distraction on numerous occasions, the former X-Men eventually tired of his leadership and disbanded after a trip to an alternate future where the original Night Thrasher had been resurrected, manuevered his way into office as Head of S.H.I.E.L.D, stole the Iron Man armor for himself (Tony Stark took the Night Thrasher identity) and banished the majority of the superheroes to the Negative Zone.Eventually, the former New Warriors who had joined the Initiative, along with the surviving Scarlet Spiders, left after they felt the Inititave was becoming corrupt and needed someone to regulate them to stop an abuse of power, adopting the name Counter Force until the current New Warriors team disbanded, at which point they recruited the second Night Thrasher and briefly took the New Warriors name back, before Tigra & Gauntlet joined them and renamed the group the Avengers Resistance in the wake of Norman Osborn taking control following Secret Invasion. This team operated until the events of Siege, when they mounted an attack on the former Inititave training camp to keep Osborn's back-up occupied whilst the New Avengers & Secret Warriors fought the Dark Avengers. After their victory, the Avengers Resistance disbanded and a new team of New Warriors has yet to form.That is until phase 2 of Marvel Now, when Speedball, Justice, and the second Nova all find themselves being thrown into the Second Evolutionary War. The new team will consist of founding members Speedball and Justice, and new members Nova II, Scarlet Spider, Hummingbird, Sun Girl, Haechi and Water Snake.
Tropes for the 1990s series
Abusive Parents: Marvel Boy's father beat him for being "different". Eventually Vance lashed out at him with his telekinetic powers...and killed him.
A God Am I: Nova's archenermy Sphinx is this. He/she had fought the New Warriors and altered reality twice.
And Now for Someone Completely Different: New Warriors Vol. 4 didn't feature a single former member of the team, instead filling the roster with X-Men characters who had been depowered following House of M. Whilst there was a Night Thrasher on the team, it was quickly revealed to be the younger brother of the original.
Appropriated Appellation: The New Warriors got named when a random reporter referred to them that way, and Night Thrasher hurriedly announced they'd be sticking with that before any of his team could come up with anything more embarrassing.
Ascended Extra - Except for Thrasher, the original cast members were protagonists of cancelled series (Nova, Speedball) or minor supporting characters elsewhere. Several characters went on to new solo series, Nova being the most successful (albeit intermittently.)
Likewise, the latest version of the team was made up of numerous depowered former X-Men and students of the Xavier Institute, including Jubilee, Angel Salvadore, Beak, and the remnants of the Omega Gang.
Ascended Fanboy - Hindsight, and Marvel Boy gushes so much super-hero trivia that his teammates nickname him "Super-Tights".
Battle Couple - Tempest and Blackwing on the latest team, on the original: Thrasher and Silhouette, Firestar and Justice, Nova and Namorita.
Beware the Nice Ones: Firestar is the nicest redhead girl of the group but if any loved one or friend is threatened, she becomes fearsome. One of the boys who had raped her best friend in the party found the hard way.
Beware the Silly Ones: Speedball may look ridiculous with his costume, powers and his attitude but he has proven himself a badass at times. In the tie-in issue of Infinity War crossover, Speedball found an evil doppelganger of himself terrorising his mother and destroyed the doppelganger with a lot of kinetic energy bubbles.
Clones Are People Too: Namorita is the clone of Namora, Sub-Mariner's seldom-seen cousin. Namorita is a much more of a major character, appearing continually whereas Namora sometimes goes decades without having her existence acknowledged. Until recently anyway. Namorita has died and now Namora appears more frequently. Basically, Namora couldn't have children, so she had her science folks implant her with an embryo made entirely from herself. The plot has always treated her like more of a daughter, though her clone status has been discovered and caused trouble at times.
Cold-Blooded Torture: The New Warriors broke in into Gideon's house to interrogate him for the information of the ties of the Taylor Foundation had to Ophrah Industries. However, it horribly backfired on them as they were unprepared for Gideon's mutant power of other mimicking superpowers and skills that he easily defeated them. In return, he tortured Marvel Boy and Firestar while saying out the painful details.
Cursed with Awesome: Firestar may have visually awesome fire powers (microwave heat) but her microwave heat powers also render her sterile if she uses it too much.
Later Averted when Firestar and Justice joined the Avengers; Hank Pym discovers a genetic potential for immunity to her own powers that failed to develop naturally, and provides tech to stimulate those dormant genes.
Dark Age - Some see the team as being part of this
Expy - Bandit (to the X-Men's Gambit) and Chord (to the X-Men's Cable; they even worked together once as mercenaries) The original Night Thrasher bears a distinct similarity to Batman. As he was a character created by market research conducted in 1989, it's perhaps unsurprising that the result was "Batman-Punisher-Skateboard". (Fabian even referred to him as "Bat Punisher" in his pitch.)
Face-Heel Turn - Hindsight Lad, who outed several of the surviving Warriors in the wake of the Stamford incident, because he felt betrayed by the dead Warriors' actions.
Fad Super - Night Thrasher and his skateboard gimmick, although no less than The Punisher comments, "I called it stupid? It's a shield, a weapon and transport. Maybe I should get one..."
Foregone Conclusion: When the 3rd series of New Warriors issues were cancelled, the fans knew their fate before Civil War started.
Henshin Hero: Robbie Baldwin transforms into Speedball whenever he absorbs any impact.
Legacy Character - Turbo, whose armor belonged to Rom ally The Torpedo. Justice/Marvel Boy is an odd inversion: his Buck Rogers-like future self, Vance Astro of the Guardians Of The Galaxy, was introduced first, and he travels back in time to prevent the present Vance from becoming an astronaut. Vance's Marvel Boy costume is modeled on Astro's black-and-white spacesuit. The Scarlet Spiders also joined the Counter Force/Avengers Resistance incarnation of the group, wearing modified versions of the Iron Spider armor. Also, the current Night Thrasher is the brother of the first, who was killed.
Nova, Scarlet Spider, and Sun Girl will be these in the Marvel NOW! volume. Nova and Sun Girl also count as Affirmative Action Legacy heroes.
Lets Wait Awhile - Vance and Angelica decide not to consummate their relationship (literally) in the wake of his aborted jailbreak.
Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Night Thrasher occasionally uses his skateboard as a shield. A retractable blade is built into the nose, but otherwise it's mostly used for defense. The Punisher, of all people, commented:
"I called it stupid? It serves as a shield, a weapon and transport. Maybe I should get one."
Missing Mom: Firestar's mother is not mentioned in any backstory, she lives with her father.
Considering that she and her cousin Namor are both amphibious and were raised in Atlantean society, doesn't it make sense that both of them wear outfits that are essentially swimsuits? One wonders at the practicality of full-blooded Atlanteans in the Marvel Universe, who are often portrayed as dressing in voluminous, heavy robes and dresses—underwater.
Parental Abandonment: Night Thrasher is initially driven by the murder of his parents when he was a child. Rage was an orphaned child and raised by his grandmother until she was murdered by Poison Memories gangsters.
Power Pack - Alex Power, now a teenager, joined the team with all of his siblings' powers (calling himself Powerpax)
Prison Episode: After he was convicted of killing his abusive father (actually a negligent homicide), Marvel Boy spent several issues in The Vault, a prison for Superpowered-Individuals.
Re Power - The current Warriors are depowered mutants using stolen or reverse-engineered technology
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In one storyline, the mafia Poison Memories had targeted the family members of the New Warriors as part of a vendetta against the Warriors and one of them was Elvin's grandmother who was killed by the gangsters. Elvin Haliday (also known as Rage) was very pissed-off and went after the gangsters that on the final confrontation, he brutally snapped the neck of the gang leader as a result.
ROM Space Knight - Rom's enemies, the Dire Wraiths, returned in the Warriors series to reclaim team member Turbo's power suit (which was created with Wraith technology in Rom's series).
Stolen Good, Returned Better: Played with this a bit. The character Silhouette stole an Unstable Molecule costume from Reed Richards (she could meld into the shadows for teleportation but would always lose her clothes in the process since they can't meld with her, forcing her to find something with less Fanservice.) She shed her old costume and stole the new one, feeling guilty about the situation afterwards. She tried to return it to Richards but he was fine with the situation and ended up tweaking it slightly for her and offering to make further costumes in the future.
Stripperific - Namorita's preferred costume is a bathing suit. Frequently a bikini, as depicted above.
Superhero Sobriquets: Speedball is known as 'The Masked Marvel' and Nova is known as 'The Human Rocket'.
Tarot Motifs: Every introduction page of 'Justice: Four Balance' mini-series starts off with the image of Vance holding the scales as a motif of Justice tarot card.
Token Minority Couple: Night Thrasher (black guy) and Silhouette (a handicapped half-black, half-Cambodian girl)
If mutants are counted, it's Justice and Firestar.
Tornado Move: Turbo was the name given to two different characters who mostly appeared in the New Warriors as members.
True Love Is Boring: To be fair, Fabian Nicieza (the man who made Justice and Firestar a couple in the first place) said that he had always planned to split them up, but simply left the book before he was able to. Nonetheless, later authors had the pair get engaged and used them as an introspective of what it's like to be young would-be newlyweds working as Avengers. However, eventually, the two characters wound up back in the hands of Nicieza, who promptly broke them up.
Younger than They Look: Rage was about 14 when he started his superhero career, but looked like he was at least 30 due to his gargantuan size and muscles. Of course, prior to getting his powers he looked like a regular kid. In any case, this gives him the distinction of being the youngest Avenger ever - so young that when the team discovered his true age they sent him to the New Warriors and told him to come back when he was 18.
Actually the Avengers kept Rage on the team even after learning his age; he was, however, demoted to "training" status. It wasn't until he stole one of their jets to help the New Warriors that they kicked him off the team, and the New Warriors took him in.
Speedball was about 15 when he joined the New Warriors, he looked like he was at least 18 or early 20s when he is in his superhero persona. When Chord told Speedball to drop his superhero stint and go undercover, he transformed back to the short, scrawny Robbie Baldwin much to the surprise of his teammates in the early issues.
When Rage joined the New Warriors, he and Speedball became good friends when they found that they had something in common, forming a classic Big Guy, Little Guy duo (as even in "hero" form, the skinny Speedball is dwarfed by Rage's massive physique.
The New Team. clockwise, T to B: Justice, Hummingbird, Scarlet Spider, Nova II, Speedball, Haechi, Sungirl. Water Snake is in the middle.
A Marvel NOW relaunch for the series has been confirmed, to be written by Chris Yost and drawn by Marcus To. Speedball and Justice from the original series will be back, with some new recruits like the latest Nova and Scarlet Spider as well.
Berserk Button: Kaine doesn't like being called Spider-Man. Nova keeps pressing it.
Big Damn Heroes: At the beginning of issue four, Water Snake, Hummingbird, and Scarlet Spider have all been captured. Nova is being strangled to death by an Evolutionary. Fortunately, Justice, Speedball, Sun Girl, and Haechi show up right then to save them.
Big Friendly Dog: Caninus, who renames himself Jake Waffles, is an anthropomorphic dog at about the same size as the heroes, and unlike his feline companion, he is very friendly and unfailingly polite. Though his first appearance reveals that he is allied to a dark, ominous creature who has plans for the New Warriors, so time will tell if this trope holds true or not. Yost has revealed in interviews that the being Jake was playing chess with was Chthon and that the deal the canine secured was to save the life of his best friend, but strongly implied that Jake doesn't or can't fully comprehend the dangers of such a deal.
Blood Is Squicker in Water: Aracely mentions the water seeming to catch the light of the setting sun at the beach, until Kaine points out it's not the sun turning it red.
Cats Are Mean: Felinatus, or as he is renamed, Mister Whiskers, who is violent, disdainful and is always frowning and flinging insults. Kaine lampshades it.
The Champion: Kaine is Aracely's. According to her he's going to save her sometime in the near future from a situation brought on by a prophecy.
Sungirl had a run in with the Superior Spider-Man in his Team-Up series that left her jaded with him, so when she hears his name on the radio she's disgusted.
Kaine mentions his time in Houston and trying the hero thing.
Issue 5 goes all the way back to the Stamford incident and Robbie's time as Penance, and that he may still have issues.
Issue 6 continues this, as Justice calls Captain America and Iron Man out on not trusting the New Warriors because of what happened in Stamford, bringing up the Civil War caused by the two of them and also that he and his new team just saved the world. It also shows Speedball has bigger issues than originally thought, as before Justice quits the Avengers, Speedball is charging up kinetic energy in his hand behind his back, seemingly ready to blast Cap and Iron Man.
Depopulation Bomb: The Lord High Evolutionary built one to kill anything not human. Sun Girl blew it up.
Final Solution: The Evolutionaries goal seems to kill anything that isn't 100% human before the Celestials return. This includes Mutants, Inhumans, Aliens, Magical Beings, and Hybrids of all kinds.
Five-Token Band: The team boasts a representative from all of Marvel's races/species/empowered folk. There's Justice (mutant), Speedball (superhuman), Sun Girl (human), Scarlet Spider (clone), Aracely (demigod), Nova (Cosmic hero), Haechi (Inhuman), and Water Snake (Atlantean).
Ethnicity/Race wise: Justice is half Jewish. Speedball and Scarlet Spider are both white. Sun Girl and Nova are both of mixed race, with Sun Girl being half black and half white and Nova being half Hispanic and half white. Hummingbird is Hispanic. Haechi is Asian.
Friend or Foe: The fight between the Salem Seven and the New Warriors began because Speedball jumped the gun and assumed one was a villain because of how he looked.
Despite repeatedly calling Scarlet Spider "Spider-Man" despite repeated protests that he's not Spider-Man, Nova isn't happy when Justice starts calling him Sam.
Nova has fallen unconscious and Justice is yelling at him to wake up, only for Scarlet Spider to dryly note that yelling at Nova isn't going to wake him up. Not too long after, though, he's doing that same thing.
Jumped at the Call: Aracely is giddy the moment Justice and Speedball show up since it meant she'd get to fight alongside heroes. When she gets offered the chance to be a member of the new team she's absolutely thrilled.
Leeroy Jenkins: Nova not running away when they others told him to because he had the one thing the bad guy wanted to try and save the others, only to get captured again. The other members of the New Warriors arrive to bail them out.
Let's Get Dangerous: When Speedball drops the goofy act and just resorts to blasting his enemies.
Making a Splash: Water Snake seems to be able to manipulate water to a great degree, including making weapons.
Oh Crap: Pretty much the reaction of both good and bad guys when, during their first fight as a full team, Haechi just up and morphs into a freaking dragon.
Refused The Call: After Justice declares that the heroes present will fight against the High Evolutionaries as the New Warriors, everyone except Speedball & Aracely refuses.