New Warriors #11-13
Issue(s): New Warriors #11, New Warriors #12, New Warriors #13
The basic idea here is that the new Sphinx has re-written the world so that she is in charge. That has affected history in such a way that Captain America is now Captain Assyria and other characters, like Tony Stark and Jarvis, are of middle-eastern descent. The Avengers are the official super-team enforcing the Sphinx's rule...
...and many other super-characters have joined the Mutant Liberation Force, including many non-mutants like the Abomination and the Juggernaut.
The idea is that this new Sphinx was a woman that fell in love with the original during the days of ancient Egypt, but her love went unfulfilled. She then reincarnated several times over the years. Eventually, in her modern incarnation, she went to Egypt and gathered up the energy dispersed from the Sphinx's Ka gem after Galactus destroyed it, and then retroactively changed history so that she was married to the original Sphinx until he passed away and gave the Ka gem to her.
Sayge, the mystical entity that bothered the original Sphinx in Nova's solo series, approaches Nova and explains that everyone is living in a false reality and guides him into forcing things back to normal.
Which he does by threatening the Sphinx's cat.
I guess it's worth tracking the fact that Nova surprises himself by emitting an energy blast during this story.
Note also that Nova is wearing his blue and yellow costume. But when we're back in the present at the end of this story, Nova is back in his ugly brown/red costume. The blue and yellow is much better looking. As Michael notes in the comments, he'll officially be switching to his blue and yellow costume next issue.
Mark Bagley's art is nice and Fabian Nicieza's writing here is better than the (many) other books that he's writing at this time. But in the end this is a random alternate reality story that mainly serves to establish the new Sphinx as a villain for the New Warriors.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: While an alternate universe (and blue) Namorita appears in this story, she is not among the real New Warriors that are part of the final battle and who appear back in the real world at the end. Same thing with Speedball. This arc is pushed back in publication time because Nova wears the blue and yellow costume during Infinity Gauntlet.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
I absolutely loved this storyline when it originally came out. It was specifically because it was an alternate reality story. In fact, it cemented my adoration for the New Warriors so much that I tracked down the early issues and bought them at a comic store. Nowadays, of course, there are much more economical ways to get these comics.
Posted by: clyde | October 22, 2015 1:58 PM
This story was a bunch of fun! Seeing how the alternate history played out and made most of the heroes of middle eastern or African decent was really cool. Only European characters, like Captain Britain or robots/androids, like the Vision remained "normal" as we know them (outside of the mutants). You should have scanned the page that showed all the changed characters!
The Avengers for this story will reappear later in "Avengers Forever".
Posted by: Bill | October 22, 2015 6:36 PM
Why is Speedball listed as a character appearing? He also only appears in the alternate reality.
Posted by: Michael | October 22, 2015 7:47 PM
How would Thor change?
Posted by: Thanos6 | October 22, 2015 8:03 PM
@Michael, you're right, Speedball too.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 22, 2015 8:37 PM
Thanos6, Thor wouldn't have changed. That's Horus on the Avengers.
Posted by: Bill | October 22, 2015 10:05 PM
Fnord, regarding Nova's costume, I think this should be placed before Infinity Gauntlet. Here's why- Nova is only wearing his blue-and-yellow costume this issue because of the Sphinx's reality-altering. Night Thrasher gives him the blue-and-yellow costume next issue as a way to apologize for throwing him off the roof. So all appearance of Nova in the blue-and-yellow costume have to take place after next issue.
Posted by: Michael | October 22, 2015 10:28 PM
Ah, I see. Not having read the issues, I thought it was just Thor dressed up in Egyptian garb.
Posted by: Thanos6 | October 22, 2015 10:48 PM
I love the Nicieza/Bagley New Warriors, but I agree that this story didn't quite live up to the promise that other altered reality stories do.
It wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. I think if it didn't have the Bagley art it would be completely forgettable.
Posted by: Red Comet | October 22, 2015 11:51 PM
I've moved this back because of Nova's costume. Thanks.
Regarding the Ka Stone, i didn't comment on that because it seems to fit to me. The stone was destroyed in the fight with Galactus. In the two appearances after that, which Sphinx II doesn't have to know about, the Stone is eventually restored but not at full power. And then it's destroyed again. So either there was enough energy for Sphinx II to collect from the initial destruction, or by the time she goes to absorb the energy the Stone is destroyed again and all the energy is available.
I think you mean Marvel Boy in the final line about headaches but i just wanted to confirm since Nova is exhibiting unusual powers in this arc.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 23, 2015 7:51 AM
Yeah I meant Marvel Boy.
Posted by: Michael | October 23, 2015 8:03 AM
When I created an Afrocentric Avengers, these were surely in back of my mind. I did quite enjoy them at the time,mostly because of Bags and Namorita and Nova!
Posted by: Cecil Disharoon | October 24, 2015 5:26 AM
I have never been a fan of these alternate reality stories whether it is other dimensions, alternate timelines, or retroactively changed our reality. I thought this one of the least interesting stories in New Warriors, although it was good to focus on Nova and acknowledge he has a much larger past than these other characters.
However, I don't think this is the right storyline for this book. Bringing back the Sphinx in some kind of form didn't have to involve any of this weird timeline stuff.
One thing I thought was strange was that in the revised timeline, Africa and the Middle East were the dominant powers of the world and basically replaced the Europe in its role in world history. Yet, the equivalent of WWI and WWII was still Europe. It would have been much better if the equivalent great wars of the 20th century happened in Africa and the Middle East.
Posted by: Chris | November 15, 2015 5:49 PM
"But in the end this is a random alternate reality story"
Though, because Nicieza will go on to write Age of Apocalypse, isn't this our first hint of what the mutant characters will be like in that? Not saying it deserves higher than a 1 for HSR, but it does appear to be just a little more than a random alternate reality story.
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 23, 2015 7:37 AM
Interesting parallel with the 4 New Warriors who are involved in the final fight with Sphinx also being the original team Night Thrasher intended the New Warriors to be (before Namorita and Speedball showed up to fight Terrax).
Posted by: AF | March 17, 2016 1:30 PM
AF - I don't think that's a coincidence. I believe that in any reality those four are meant to be the core of the New Warriors.
Posted by: clyde | March 17, 2016 2:00 PM
I'm pretty sure last panel of previous issue shows Meryet Karim travelling back in time and (as a result) changing the past (that's why at the begining of this issue we are already watching alternate universe)
So placing anything between New Warriors 10 & 11 is like placing random Avengers or Spider-man issues in the middle of Age of Apocalypse...
Posted by: fragsel | September 5, 2017 9:36 AM
The end of New Warriors #10 shows Meryet Karim absorbing Ka energies, a process that began in the middle of issue #9. In the last panel of #10, she says she sees Egypt as it could be and says that she's coming home. It doesn't actually show her time traveling or changing anything. So i'm assuming that the build-up continues to be a slow burn, and that it's not until directly prior to the beginning of #11 that the world is changed.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 6, 2017 7:12 PM
Thats a weird assumption.
Posted by: Fragsel | September 7, 2017 12:28 AM
Comments are now closed.
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