Characters Appearing: Aireo, Corruptor, Hindsight Lad, Hybrid (Scott Washington), Jerry Morgan, Justice, Kimeiko Ashu, Klaw, Krang, Leviathan (Gargantua), Mad Thinker, Man-Bull, Mandrill, Namorita, Orka, Spitfire, Terraformer, Victor Hasayaba, Warden Jzemlico, Water Wizard, Wizard
New Warriors #36
Issue(s): New Warriors #36
Vance sympathizes with the complaints villains have about conditions at the Vault, which is interesting since the Vault seems a lot more lax than we've seen in other appearances. I've never seen villains congregating in a TV room before, for example.
Normally everyone is in their own cell, which has been designed to counteract their powers, sometimes in unpleasant ways. As Vance says, the very concept of the Vault is "the American Civil Liberties Union's nightmare".
Vance is called to the Warden's office, where he gets to see the message that Major Victory recorded for him in Guardians of the Galaxy #30.
The message is a much needed pep talk for Vance. Major Victory describes having to hit rock bottom before turning his life around, and he directs his (alternate reality) younger self not to let the same thing happen to him.
While Vance is with the Warden, he hears about a prison "uprising" ("not a full-scale break") led by the Wizard. The protest is ostensibly because the Force of Nature villain Terraformer says that he needs access to plant life to live, but the Vault lab workers can't confirm that and don't want to provide him with the means to escape. Vance asks if he can help settle the matter, and he does so by trying to talk things out instead of fighting (as much as is possible).
The Warden shows up with some Vault-colored Mandroids and tries to shut things down more forcefully...
...but Vance rushes off to get a plant for Terraformer, which does indeed settle things, and the Warden relents.
The Wizard therefore declares the uprising over.
Note Vance's comments about "justice". This is basically where he takes that as his new codename, although it's not explicitly stated.
It's a good, atypical story. I'd like it better if it wasn't the Wizard leading the protest. The Force of Nature villains were vaguely sympathetic to begin with, and the likes of Gargantua are just big dumb crooks who deserve to be in prison but treated humanely. But the Wizard is a known cheat and a repeat master villain, and i'd suspect an ulterior motive from any uprising he was involved in. That doesn't seem to be the case this time, though. The uprising also seems to be very specific to Terraformer's needs. It might have felt more like a victory for all the prisoners if it was about, say, a villain that was perpetually drugged to keep him out of his powered state or something like that.
But those are quibbles. I think it's a strong story.
A subplot regarding Namorita continues from last issue. She wakes up with a start after partying hard, and doesn't remember the night clearly.
We find out that the guy that she slept with targeted her specifically so that he could steal an Oracle journal that apparently contains the addresses of the New Warriors and their families.
E. Craig Brasfield, who filled in on art this issue and last, has been generally fine, but he gets into weird caricature territory when dealing with the Namorita plot.
Speaking of secret identity problems, we see the kid from last issue, Carlton, threatening to expose his ID if Speedball won't let him into the New Warriors.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place the day after last issue. Fill-in artist E. Craig Brasfield apparently intended some of the villains here to be appearing after their appearance in his Alpha Flight #121 fill-in. There's nothing in-story that requires that, but i'm going to try to honor it. As i've mentioned elsewhere, villains during this time period are overused, and the ins and outs of their prison appearances don't seem to have any rhyme or reason (Klaw and Aireo/Skybreaker being prime examples).
I'm not worried about the length of time between Guardians of the Galaxy #30 and this issue. I assume the message had to go through bureaucratic channels and security measures before it was deemed ok to play for Vance (although i'll note that the Warden seems to indicate that he's seeing it for the first time).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I don't know if this deserves an extra Historical Significance boost for being when Justice changes his name or not- I mean he's called Justice with a trademark symbol on the cover and the warden and Vance have a conversation about Vance choosing to embody Justice but OTOH Vance never explicitly says "I'll be calling myself Justice from now on".
Posted by: Michael | October 5, 2016 8:10 PM
I may have missed significant parts from the actual books, but it sounds odd to have Major Victory of all people posing as the voice of wisdom for Vance. He is, after all, perhaps the goofiest member of a goofy bunch in GotG. The opposite holds true for Vance here.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 5, 2016 9:23 PM
@Michael, i don't think it merits a point boost, but i did mean to mention that in the review. I've added a scan. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 5, 2016 10:33 PM
The more I think about this story, the more I suspect the choice of Wizard for the role he is in is quite deliberate, exactly because it will not be confortable for the readers nor for Vance.
And yet it makes sense; Wizard is an articulate talker that sees himself as a leader, and most of the others would rather have him taking the risk instead of themselves.
For Vance, it is a nice opportunity to put him already in the mindset of the discerning adult that he has quickly become. Dealing with the real choices, not the confortable ones.
Strange to think that a color scheme introduced way back in 1971's Iron Man #43 would end up becoming the Vault's. Life (or in this case, fiction) has its turns.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 6, 2016 6:41 AM
Wow, that Namorita scene is...um...rather uncomfortable....
Posted by: Jon Dubya | October 7, 2016 2:30 AM
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