They’re possibly headed to the small screen, so here’s what you need to know about this team of young heroes.
The New Warriors may not be as well-known as fellow Marvel teams like the Avengers or Fantastic Four, but they could be getting a major profile boost soon thanks to the proposed TV series based on the comic. Now’s probably a good time to make sure you know your Speedball from your Night Thrasher!
So read on to learn everything you need to know about the history of this teen superhero team.
At their most basic level, the New Warriors are the Teen Titans to the Avengers’ Justice League. The team is comprised of younger heroes who show great promise but aren’t quite ready for prime time yet.
One of the things that sets the New Warriors apart from other teen teams like the Teen Titans and Young Avengers is that they generally aren’t former sidekicks or younger variations of other heroes. In almost every case, they have their own, unique superhero identity and a desire to make a name for themselves. And thanks to their leader, Night Thrasher, the team has been carefully assembled to take on the biggest threats the Marvel Universe has to offer.
The New Warriors have been through several incarnations over the years, but a handful of familiar faces usually stick around.
Night Thrasher – The team’s leader, Night Thrasher is a Batman-like character with martial arts training and access to a wide array of technology and resources.
Speedball – This boisterous hero can generate force fields that redirect energy, allowing him to shrug off seemingly mortal attacks and bounce around like a human pinball.
Firestar – Firestar is a mutant with powers similar to those of Human Torch, as she can generate flame and fly.
Namorita – An Atlantean and Namor’s younger cousin, Namorita possesses super-strength, flight and can even spit acid and turn nearly invisible.
Nova – Richard Ryder is a member of the intergalactic Nova Corps, allowing him to tap into the cosmic energy source known as the Nova Force.
Silhouette – This mutant is an expert martial artist and can manipulate the Darkforce to become a “living shadow.”
Rage – Rage is a young teenager transformed into a super-strong adult due to toxic waste exposure.
Justice – A hero with telepathic and flight abilities who also becomes a a member of the 30th century incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Two more recent fan-favorites include Debrii, a “telekinetic magnet,” and Microbe, an overweight hero who can communicate with germs.
Origin and Background
The New Warriors were created by writer Tom DeFalco and artist Ron Frenz and first made their debut in 1989’s The Mighty Thor #411 before branching out into their own series. That series proved to be the longest running volume of New Warriors by far, lasting 75 issues and adding a number of young heroes to the lineup before finally ending in 1996.
Since then, the team has taken on a more sporadic presence in the Marvel Universe, often being radically reinvented in the process. The most significant revamp came in 2005’s short-lived New Warriors Vol. 3, a series which reimagined the team as a group of would-be celebrities who filmed their exploits and turned them into a reality TV series.
That change fueled what may be the most pivotal moment for the New Warriors. 2006’s Civil War opened with the team pursuing a group of super villains in Stamford, Connecticut, leading to a disaster that claimed the lives of several hundred bystanders and the majority of the New Warriors themselves. That disaster became the catalyst for the creation of the Superhuman Registration Act.
Civil War paved the way for a fourth incarnation of the New Warriors, one comprised mainly of new recruits (on account of most of the others being dead) and led by the New Night Thrasher (secretly the brother of the original). The team’s goal eventually became to travel back in time and prevent the Stamford incident from occurring, but they were unsuccessful and eventually disbanded. This period also marked a drastic status quo shift for Speedball, the lone survivor of the Stamford incident. Deeply depressed and forced to rely on pain to unleash his powers, he rebranded himself Penance and joined Norman Osborn’s Thunderbolts team.
Most recently, Marvel revived the New Warrior for a 12-issue series in 2014. That team featured a mix of familiar faces and other up-and-coming young heroes.
Beyond the Comics
Despite having multiple long-running series to their name, the New Warriors haven’t been featured much in Marvel’s multimedia projects. Their first non-comics appearance came in the form of a cameo in the 1994 Fantastic Four cartoon. The team also features prominently in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, though that incarnation shares little in common with the source material. In that version, the New Warriors are a S.H.I.E.L.D.-sponsored team of young heroes led by Spider-Man.
The characters also appear in the 2009 video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, which is loosely based on the Civil War comic book storyline. As in the comic, the New Warriors’ blunder inspires the creation of the Superhuman Registration Act, and Firestar appears as a boss character during the course of the game.
This team is due for its biggest mainstream exposure yet thanks to the new TV series, which will be part of the larger Marvel Universe — if it makes it to the air. The series was designed to be a sitcom and draws inspiration from the comedic series Great Lakes Avengers as well as both the classic and contemporary New Warriors comics (hence the presence of characters like Squirrel Girl and Mister Immortal). A pilot was produced with Milana Vayntrub cast as Squirrel Girl, Derek Theler as Mister Immortal, Kate Comer as Debrii, Matthew McCoy as Microbe, Jeremy Tardy as Thrasher,and Calum Worthy as Speedball. The series was originally slated to debut on Freeform in 2018, but is currently being shopped around to other networks and could wind up becoming exclusive to the upcoming Disney streaming service.