The latest issue of New Warriors embodies both some of the problems and successes that this series has been having since nearly its beginnings. Writer Kevin Grevioux has expanded on the political aspect of both the Registration Act from last year’s Civil War event as well as the ramifications of a new New Warriors on the streets as an underground yet very public teenage super-hero team. On the problem side, the art, despite a change from Paco Medina to Jon Malin, continues to have some difficulties with proportion and Grevioux still expects the readers to have a complete understanding of the minor characters which this series revolves around. There are problems present, but with Young Avengers still not up and running, New X-Men involved in the Messiah Complex, and Runaways having an erratic and spread out schedule, teenage super-hero comics from Marvel are in short supply. I guess one has to take what one can get.
Not to say this issue is a disaster or anything, it puts forward some decent ideas, characters, and a half-decent plot; it simply is not of the same quality as the series mentioned above. What this series has above the others is the politics, and Grevioux develops this aspect again with a news conference displaying Tony Stark’s newest idea for The Initiative: The Junior Guardsmen. These Junior Guardsmen are children being allowed “to participate in the heroic process,” like Tony Stark’s own personal Hitler Youth. The Brownshirt reference really drives the point home, giving the New Warriors a great antagonist: the establishment. I personally don’t read any of the Avenger titles, but I do enjoy this conflict between personal beliefs and the law that is probably present in those titles as well. As for the problems, the discussion between the New Warriors leader, Night Thrasher, and his former lover does give some background, but Grevioux again expects his readership to be very well-versed in who these characters are and what they have done before this title, something hurting this series. It feels like being left outside while all the action is happening inside and all you have is a rained on, distorted vision through a small window. Grevioux needed to introduce these characters with more context rather than relying on his readers knowledge. As for the portions with the rest of the New Warriors, the story is actually quite boring. The team is interacting at a very basic level and feels like a space filler more that part of the story.
Jon Malin’s art is with some problems as well. The proportion problem is very evident in this issue, with nipples pointing skyward from enormous breasts throughout the entire issue. The story suffers from this and lowers the overall quality of the comic book. I know sex sells, but some of these over-sexualized panels in this issue are ridiculous and bordering on offensive. Besides this, the issue is fairly dialogue heavy, and Malin is allowed to play around with facial expressions with mixed results. Some are fairly effective, others come across as very cartoonish. The dramatic zoom-in on a face is overused, appearing on almost every second page. I was beginning to wonder what was trying to be accomplished by this other than a deadline. Overall, the art was disappointing but had some positive qualities in an issue that was more character focused than action driven.
6/10 The story contains some interesting parts that could be developed into something more interesting than the current story. The art is cartoonish and over sexualized.