New Warriors #37
Issue(s): New Warriors #37
The main thrust of the plot isn't explicitly about Night Thrasher. It begins with a targeting of the New Warrior's civilian loved ones - including the death of Rage's Granny Staples - thanks to a file stolen from Namorita. But the people responsible - Kimeiko Ashu, head of a South Vietnamese gang called the Poison Memories - do have a grudge against Night Thrasher specifically.
The story starts off with a depiction of the New Warriors' various relatives being attacked. Granny Staples' house is blasted with a bazooka; Rage survives, but not Granny.
Nova's brother and Speedball's father are kidnapped, and Firestar's father is shot, but Firestar is able to rush him to a hospital (revealing her secret identity to her friend Jupiter in the process).
I'm not sure if there's any significance to this, but originally Robbie's father was scheduled to be killed while Rage and Firestar's relatives were not (they were just to be hostages). But when the branch of the gang went too far and killed them, Ashu ordered Speedball's father to be taken hostage instead.
Ashu then makes calls to inform the New Warriors about the deaths and captures and to reveal that it was thanks to Namorita letting her file get stolen. Ashu also apologizes for what happened to Granny Staples and Firestar's father, for all that's worth (and he has the responsible gang members killed).
The gathered New Warriors do not include either of the Turbos. And they also don't include Night Thrasher. It's been a little muddied, especially thanks to guest appearances where he is of course included, but Night Thrasher hasn't been a regular member of the team since issue #25.
Ashu tells the New Warriors to turn themselves in to the Poison Memories. The Warriors debate it, and decide to agree over the objections of a wracked-with-guilt Namorita.
Rage also objects, and unlike Namorita he doesn't go along with the group when he's out-voted.
Contrasting all this tragedy is the debut of Speedball's friend Carlton LaFroyge as Hindsight Lad.
Maybe i've just got a guilty conscience, but i find the idea of a guy whose "power" is to tell you what you did wrong after the fact to be a good knock at critics.
Carlton is still threatening to expose Speedball's secret identity if he won't let him join the team.
The above scene with Hindsight Lad took place right as the New Warriors were getting notified about the Poison Memories' actions. At the end of the issue, we see him having tracked down Night Thrasher to tell him what's been going on.
Hindsight Lad aside, it continues to surprise me how often this book goes to deep tragedy. This is a book with teen characters, including Speedball and one of Spidey's Amazing Friends. It seems to call for something more lighthearted, and Nicieza does have a good knack for humor. I know this was the 90s and it was time for angst, but i'd expect more like romance drama angst, not 'someone blew up my grandma with a bazooka' angst. I was reviewing a Nicieza-written X-Men issue recently and i realized how dry and characterless it felt, especially (i thought at the time) compared to the personality-driven work that he does on New Warriors and (to a lesser extent) Nomad. It's been said that Nicieza suffered under heavy editorial control on the X-books, so New Warriors may be closer to his individual writing style at the time. But with a plot like this, where everyone's emotions are necessarily driven up to an overwrought 11, that aspect of his writing doesn't come through.
One other thing i've said about Nicieza before is that he tends to overcomplicate plots. And that tendency could be especially annoying in plots involving nondescript non-superpowered villains; it's hard enough for me to keep track of various guys in suits and sunglasses without there being thirty competing factions. But that's not the case with this story, which is pretty straightforward. Part of that may be thanks to what i would otherwise consider a weakness of Darick Robertson. Robertson draws cartoonish but strongly emotional portraits. I mostly like the art but of course it means big splash panels, if not entire splash pages. That makes for a very fast read, but it also means that there isn't room for Nicieza to add multiple threads of plot.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly in Night Thrasher #1. Victor Hasayaba and Johnny Lo are names of other members of the Poison Memories.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showBart Jones, Charles Rider, Edna Staples, Firestar, Gloria Rider, Hindsight Lad, Johnny Lo, Jupiter (Firestar's friend), Justin Baldwin, Kimeiko Ashu, Maddie Baldwin, Namorita, Night Thrasher, Nova (Rich Rider), Rage, Robbie Rider, Silhouette, Speedball, Victor Hasayaba
So is Namorita a victim of Kimeiko Ashu or a reckless woman who got her friend's grandmother killed or both? I've heard fans argue that Namorita was essentially raped this arc since (a) she was drunk and Kimeiko wasn't and (b) Kimeiko withheld from her that he was a villain after the New Warriors. Those points have merit but OTOH no one forced Namorita to get drunk. It's impossible not to get into the real world issues here. Nicieza was reminding his readers that getting drunk and taking a strange man home can be dangerous. And that IS a lesson many young women do need to hear. OTOH, that message often results in victim blaming. One thing to note is that everyone would have been safe if Namorita had gone to a hotel instead of taking Ashu to a place where the Warriors' names and addresses were written down. And Namorita's carelessness goes beyond one drunken night. If she had memorized the Warriors' phone numbers and addresses, this would have never happened. And if she had checked to make sure that her address book was still there after Ashu left, then the Warriors would have had plenty of time to protect their families.
Posted by: Michael | January 27, 2017 8:30 PM
"And if she had checked to make sure that her address book was still there"
What "normal" person has a one-night stand and checks for valuables that might have been taken the next morning? In "real-life", you might be more concerned about possible diseases you would get than whether anything was stolen.
Posted by: clyde | January 28, 2017 6:32 PM
"Normal people" don't have the names and addresses of superheroes in their houses. As for point b, I've heard it argued that withholding from someone that you mean to harm them is rape by deception.
Posted by: Michael | January 28, 2017 7:32 PM
You do make valid points. I can't argue with that logic.
Posted by: clyde | January 28, 2017 11:15 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|