Before the New Warriors comedy airs on Freeform, learn more about their comic book counterparts!
Contributors: Jay, Breeze, Bryan, Scooter, Carolyn
Editors: Kat, Jay
The New Warriors is a team of young heroes that was assembled by Writer/Editor Tom DeFalco, and debuted in The Mighty Thor #411-#412. The team consisted of established heroes, Firestar, Marvel Boy (later Justice), Nova (Richard Rider), Speedball, and Namorita. DeFalco added a new character to the team in Night Thrasher, who would also serve as their leader. While the New Warriors are often seen as the younger counterparts to the Avengers despite them not being sidekicks to or modeled after any Avenger. The characters then starred in their own series in July 1990, written by Fabian Nicieza, and artist Mark Bagley.
The team roster faced some changes over the years including the inclusion of Scarlet Spider, Rage, Aegis, Turbo and more leading up to a team that seems to be the primary foundation of the current TV show. The six-issue mini-series started in June 2005 and was written by Zeb Wells with art by Skottie Young. The mini-series found the team of Speedball, Nova, Namorita, and Night Thrasher being joined by Microbe, and Debrii as stars of a reality TV shows. The mini itself was a fun, lighthearted comic, but this team is mostly known for kickstarting the first Civil War, after they took on a team of villains in Stamford Connecticut that included Nitro and ended with 612 people dead including members of the New Warriors.
Recently the New Warriors were reformed by Justice and Speedball, and included Nova (Sam Alexander), Scarlet Spider (Kaine), Hummingbird, Sun Girl, an Inhuman named Haechi, and an Atlantean named Water Snake. The team and series was short-lived, but did take on the High Evolutionary before disbanding. ~ Jay
Squirrel Girl, aka Doreen Green is billed as “A girl with the powers of a squirrel and the powers of a girl” and her first appearance as Squirrel Girl – battling Doctor Doom alongside Iron Man is pure heaven. She has squirrel strength proportional to her size which means she’s capable of hopping, climbing, chewing through wood and of course – talking to squirrels but what really excites me about getting to see her character on screen is the sense of joy she has in the comic books. Originally billed as a mutant (I’m just as surprised as you are) we don’t know about Doreen’s backstory, we do know that Iron Man’s faith in her gives her the confidence to start to consider what being a superhero with her gifts is essential. She’s bullied and called “Rodent” and she has to hide her tail in her jeans but she keeps going and choses to be a hero when being physically different means that she could easily be a villain. While the power to talk to squirrels is…special it’s no different then “stilt” man or even to a certain extent the purple man. She really could have gone either way but her creators filled her with optimism. She’s an absolute joy to read and deserves to be the friend of every superhero.
In the series? I’m looking forward to Doreen. I can’t wait to see how they’ll handle her backstory, I can’t wait to see Monkey Joe (her pet squirrel) and her brand new pet Tippy Toe with a gorgeous pink ribbon. I hope that her optimism (she once took down Thanos as well as Galactus) makes her a joy to read – but her biggest secret is that while she’s capable of throwing down she’s also big on talking to people. She’s a full figured super heroine who can talk to anyone and knows quite a bit about reading people because she looks so different. In Doreen I found a super heroine who I can really relate to. You can catch her in a series written by Ryan North and Erica Henderson. I highly recommend it. -Carolyn
Craig Hollis is a character that has often been labeled as a mutant (homo-superior) and even as a homo-supreme, leaving his mutant status in question. He possess the power of immortality. This power was discovered after he had attempted suicide a few time. Since then he went on to help found a team of heroes dubbing themselves the Great Lake Avengers due to all the members being born in the area, and usually serves as the team’s leader. Mister Immortals powers often leads him willing to sacrifice himself for the team. The downside of his powers often leads him to fits of rage that would be quelled by his teammate and lover Dinah Soar. His power has also lead him to battles of depression having to watch his loved ones die around him.
Mister Immortal is one of two members the Great Lake Avengers that will be on the show and have no prior membership in the New Warriors comics. The other character will be Doreen Green, Squirrel Girl. We do not know if their connection to the Great Lake Avengers or any of the other Great Lake teams (X-Men, and Champions) will come into play in the series. But as a leader of those teams it could present an interesting dynamic with longtime New Warriors leader Night Thrasher. ~ Jay
Not only is Dwayne Taylor a founding member of the New Warriors he is also both the team’s original founder and leader. Leading the young heroes into battle under the alias “Night Thrasher”, Dwayne rides into battle with a skateboard and a set of escrima sticks. Despite having no martial arts abilities, he is well versed in a number of martial arts and adept with technology, giving him the capability to upgrade his armor and equipment. Created by Tom DeFalco, he original debuted in Thor #411 in 1989. He’s fought against a number of worthy foes, including but not limited to Bengal, Punisher, and even the Juggernaut. He most recently fought in the Contest of Champions on the Collector’s team, and appeared in Civil War II: Choosing Sides #1. ~ Scooter
Robbie Baldwin, the hero known as Speedball, was a founding member of New Warriors in the comics. He was raised by a District Attorney and a well-known actress. Due to their different worldviews, they argued frequently, often in front of him. While in High School, Robbie was an intern at the Hammond Research Laboratory in Connecticut. They were trying to tap into an extra-dimensional energy as a power source. One day, Robbie snuck in and accidentally got bombarded by the extra-dimensional energy. It gave him the power of kinetic energy manipulation. This allows him do many things including travel at superhuman speeds, bounce off walls and be nigh invulnerable. Soon after, Robbie joined the New Warrior and has a long history with them. This includes a lengthy, on-and-off romance with fellow team member Squirrel Girl. –Bryan
Zachary “Zack” Smith Jr. is the son of a microbiologist who worked for Dwayne Taylor (Night Thrasher) at his company The Taylor Foundation. Smith first made news for discovering a bacteria that prevented milk from spoiling. Within months he had created a bacteria that only fed off of cancer cells, that lead to the stock for the company to rise and Taylor to look into the success when the milk began to spoil after Smith left and his cure for cancer wasn’t just a failure, but in some cases lethal.
It was discovered that his son was a mutant with the power to communicate to germs, bacteria and other microorganisms. Zack had “talked” to the bacteria to do what his father had wanted. When Zack’s father learned of this he disowned his son, not believing the claims, Smith then fled to a small lab where he tried the cancer-eating bacteria on himself. Without Zack being there to tell the bacteria what to do, they did what they naturally did killing Smith. Taylor found the body and knowing how it felt to be orphaned decided to take in the seventeen year old Zack, training him to use his powers and eventually joining the New Warriors as Microbe. Microbe joined the team for the reality show, and was one of the New Mutants that died in the battle with Nitro in Stamford. ~ Jay
Debrii (Deborah Fields), created by Skottie Young and Zeb Wells, made her first appearance in New Warriors #4 (2005). Unlike the other New Warriors who had been picked by Night Thrasher to join the team, Debrii was introduced by the New Warriors’ TV producer in order to introduce friction to the team and increase ratings. This ploy worked as the antagonistic Debrii did not get along with her new teammates. Eventually she and the team go on to defeat the Mad Thinker and the Corruptor, but later disband when their show is cancelled.
As hinted by her name, Debrii is known for her telekinetic abilities to move small objects around her, creating a “debris storm,” to shield herself and increase her strength to break through objects. She can also levitate off of the ground.
During Civil War Debrii’s secret identity was revealed following the Stamford disaster, and she became the target of the anti-New Warriors movement. She later joined Captain America’s Secret Avengers following the death of Black Goliath.
After Civil War she was a part of Tony Stark’s Initiative Program, but left after being accused of attacking instructor Gauntlet and joins the reformed New Warriors team in Avengers: The Initiative #10 (2008). This is short lived as she later quits the team to go into hiding.
Debrii also appears in the Fear Itself crossover event. -Breeze