New Warriors #19-20
Issue(s): New Warriors #19, New Warriors #20
This Gideon appearance makes it clearer than any of his X-Force appearances to date that his mutant power is the ability to duplicate other super-people's powers. He uses telekinesis to pull out one of Marvel Boy's teeth, and then burns Firestar's hair and face with her microwave powers. We see via flashback that he managed to defeat the rest of the New Warriors largely by using Speedball's powers more effectively than Speedball can at the moment (although, granted, combined with others powers, like Silhouette's).
When Gideon used Marvel Boy's powers in that fight, it's implied that he's not using his powers to full potential either.
Of course, it's easier to use your powers to their full potential when you're rich enough to hire (or build?) other people to do the more mundane things in life, like scrub your buttocks.
Gideon is not directly responsible for the shady dealings of the Taylor Foundation, so really the New Warriors might have been better off simply approaching him with questions instead of launching a failed attack (and that point is made). But, once the Warriors are captured, Gideon is used as a kind of counterpoint to the idealism of (some of) the New Warriors. Gideon isn't evil, per se; he's just ruthless. The question that he poses to the Warriors is whether or not they're willing to be equally ruthless in pursuit of their information. Marvel Boy answers, saying that if they act so in pursuit of a greater good, than they will. He also "admits" that Gideon isn't "better" than they are. So Gideon agrees to give them information.
We next see the Warriors (sans Marvel Boy and Namorita) breaking into another person's home. This time it turns out to be the home of Mariko Yashida, in Tokyo. After the Warriors fight some ninjas, Mariko comes out. Gideon told them that Mariko had the information on the Taylor Foundation that they want, and Mariko says that she'll only give it if the New Warriors help her out with a problem with a rival clan. We know that Mariko is more or less a good character, but the fact that the New Warriors agree to this tit for tat is presented as them following the grey moral path suggested by Gideon, and they feel uncomfortable about it. But the fact that the agreement with Mariko means that they have to beat up these guys makes me feel good about it.
I mean, i'd rather not see them at all, but seeing them getting beaten up is good too.
The fight is cut short when their boss arrives. And it turns out that he's the one that's had dealings with the Taylor Foundation, so he offers to deal directly with the Warriors and give them the information they're looking for if they agree to stay out of his affairs in Japan, which include drug smuggling.
Night Thrasher agrees right away. Firestar, Silhouette, and Speedball disagree. Nova surprises everyone by supporting Night Thrasher. But that still means that Night Thrasher is outvoted. So Night Thrasher quits the team.
Also in these issues we continue to see "Left Hand" recruiting people.
And Chord's not-seen-before wife, Miyami, visits him in the hospital (last issue, he shot himself in the head after Night Thrasher confronted him about the Taylor Foundation). She smells (!) Tai and flees the room.
Tai later approaches Miyami in a restaurant. It seems Miyami faked her death and the death of her and Chord's children. Tai asks Miyami where they are, and Miyami says that she left them in Chinatown. Tai figures out where the children are, and then kills Miyami (with a dragon-like claw). It also turns out that Miyami was Tai's daughter.
But the biggest development in issue #20 concerns Marvel Boy. After the attack on Gideon, Marvel Boy and Namorita went home while the rest of the team went to Japan. And Marvel Boy's father is not happy to see Marvel Boy injured, since it proves that he's still adventuring with the New Warriors and using his powers. The father gets abusive in a major way. Bagley may be getting a little carried away with that first panel. I'd reserve people flying through the air after taking a punch for super-fights, not real life domestic ones.
Marvel Boy responds by blasting his father with his telekinesis.
The father is critically injured, and Marvel Boy is arrested.
I want to give writer Fabian Nicieza a lot of credit. First of all, with no qualifications, i think the Marvel Boy plot, which has been brewing and which builds off prior appearances by Marvel Boy in other books, is really good. As for the rest of it, i feel i should like it but for some reason it's just not working for me. Nicieza is bringing in elements from other books (Gideon, Mariko, the "Cyber Samurai"), which i like, for reasons that more or less make sense. And instead of just giving the team straight super-hero battles, he's putting difficult moral choices in front of them. On top of that he's building subplot mysteries with Tai and with Left Hand. If you put that summary on a piece of paper and gave it to me in my imaginary role as an editor, i'd enthusiastically approve it. And it's executed well enough, too. Nicieza does well with characterization and dialogue in addition to making the plot work. But when i read the issues, everything just feels a little flat. The plot seems overly complicated, and characters like "Left Hand" and "Smiling Tiger" seem uninteresting. Part of the problem, counter-intuitively, is Mark Bagley's art. To be clear, i think Bagley's art is great (a large part of why the plots are well executed). But he depicts these colorful and bright, smiling teen characters, and it makes me wish that the team were engaged in straightforward heroics instead of these grey areas. The fact that all of these characters (except Night Thrasher) existed prior to this series and played more traditional roles may also be influencing me.
I guess the tl;dr version is that i'd like to see more fights with Terrax and less with Gideon and the Cyber Samurai. But overall i still think it's a very worthwhile book.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This story begins with the New Warriors having already been captured by Gideon, before showing a flashback of the events leading up to the capture. I'm leaving a little space after that issue to account for that and travel time, but this shouldn't appear too long after last issue, and none of the New Warriors should appear elsewhere in between. "Two days" pass between issues #19-20, but i'm keeping the issues together since the New Warriors are out of the country the whole time. Namorita isn't seen in issue #20. It's said that she had to leave for "midterms", which is also another reason (besides his injuries) that Marvel Boy doesn't go with the group to Japan.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (9): show
I thought the scene where Gideon uses Marvel Boy's powers to take out his tooth was even better since you didn't really see what happened fully. Kind of like in West Coast Avengers when Scarlet Witch was tormenting Simon when she was evil and scratched her hands on his stomach. You didn't see what happened after that, only their reactions.
Posted by: clyde | January 12, 2016 3:34 PM
About the panel with Mr. Astrovik punching Vance, I didn't take that as Vance being sent flying--just that he fell over. A punch knocking someone off their feet isn't unrealistic, especially if it catches them off guard--plus Vance is already weak from injury and has his arm in a sling, which will throw off his ability to balance himself.
Posted by: Dermie | January 12, 2016 5:28 PM
Gideon's hilarious hairdo of bald with big, flowing ponytail will be adopted by a lot bad 90s Liefeld wannabe artists for the MU. It looked ridiculous even then, and was fashionable nowhere at the time outside of comics.
Posted by: Bob | January 12, 2016 5:32 PM
Re: Miyami smelling Tai- note that Catseye smelled a "minty badscent" when Tai attacked the Hellions in issue 9. I think the idea is supposed to be that there's a minty smell when Tai uses her powers, similar to the smell when Nightcrawler teleports.
Posted by: Michael | January 12, 2016 8:05 PM
I thought the book was well crafted, but I began being disinterested in it around this time. I stayed only for a few more issues. I just didn't care for how this book was developing and the kinds of threats they encountered. The real story behind Night Thrasher just did not interest me. I was excited about the title only a few issues ago. However, I admit at this time I did not like how the Marvel Universe was developing, and it wouldn't be much longer until I was only buying Hulk.
Posted by: Chris | January 12, 2016 10:45 PM
It was SO satisfying to read "you won't hit me again". Or to read it again now.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | January 13, 2016 1:55 AM
Something of some moderate note: beginning with #19, Silhouette is added to the cast of characters included on the opening page introduction blurb. Not counting Marvel Boy who was left off for the first few issues, this makes her the first new member to be included (also, the first new member of the team full-stop).
Posted by: AF | March 19, 2016 2:41 PM
That Adam guy doesn't REALLY scrub Gideon's buttocks, does he? I hope it was just a snappy retort because otherwise Gideon has crossed the line from indulgent-billionaire-pissing-away-his-money-on-an-overblown-payroll-of-underlings-charged-with-all-kinds-of-menial-tasks to self-pampered man-child. Good for a Simpsons' villain; underwhelming for an Earth-threatening X-baddy.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | April 1, 2018 6:32 PM
I think that was employee sarcasm, of the "if you want, I can stick a broom-handle up my bum and sweep the floor while I'm at it" variety. Dr Doom never has to put up with that sort of thing.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | April 1, 2018 6:49 PM
Yeah, I figured as much. But with these eccentric billionaires, of the unkillable kind no less, you can never tell. I mean, THIS guy shaved his head bare EXCEPT for A) a six-foot long ponytail that must've taken him a year to grow; and B) a mullet of trailer-trash proportions. Gideon has some pretty strange priorities for a guy who plans to take over the world or whatever.
But employee sarcasm is the more plausible option. It doesn't matter how ruthless you are: if you dress like a dork, expect some insolence from your minions. Sure Dr. Doom's cruelty inspires fear amongst his staff, but his Legend-of-Zelda sense of fashion inspires just as much awe. Just because he's in a hi-tech armor doesn't mean he'll pass the chance to sport a snazzy, medieval skirt/cape 'n' cowl combo.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | April 1, 2018 9:27 PM
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