Characters Appearing: Andrew Chord, Bandit, Cloak, Dagger, Darkhawk, Energizer, Gee, Hindsight Lad, Justice, Lightspeed, Mass Master, Speedball, Sphinx, Sphinx II, Sprocket, Turbo, Turbo II
New Warriors #48
Issue(s): New Warriors #48
Justice's grandfather was also abusive, and so Justice's dad decided to stop being gay to conform to his wishes.
Fabian Nicieza is obviously trying to do a well intentioned parallel with Marvel's mutant metaphor. My initial reaction to this was to be pretty uncomfortable. But reading other people's opinions in the Comments, i guess i've come around to it.
As for Speedball, he finds himself in the kinetic dimension that gave him his powers. Speedball's segments are better understood if you know that Nicieza's (thankfully aborted) idea at this time was that Speedball was not Robbie Baldwin but a being of pure kinetic energy that replaced Baldwin when he died in the explosion (see Michael's comment on New Warriors #46). Speedball feels like he's "home" and that he is "this entire dimension, and this entire dimension is me".
Unlike the solo books, the main New Warriors issues also move the main plot forward. Hindsight Lad convinces Chord and Sprocket to recruit the teen characters that Night Thrasher was considering for New Warriors membership. Bandit also joins them.
Here's what i originally bought these issues for: Alex Power accepts the invitation, but he goes without the rest of his siblings, and he steals their powers.
He also calls himself the incredibly lame name "Powerpax", but i guess we shouldn't expect much from the guy who originally named himself "Gee".
Alex is closest in age to the other New Warriors, but he's the least interesting member of Power Pack, especially as a solo character. Jack's attitude made him the most interesting. Katie - being the youngest and the subject of several solo stories, including one taking place in the future where she had all of the Power Pack powers - also would have stood out. Even Julie, as a quiet fantasy loving bookworm, could have added more to the New Warriors dynamic. Don't get me wrong; i like Alex. But his character development in Power Pack was mainly about his responsibility as the eldest member of the team and also a kind of dismay about how his younger brother was better at using his own powers than he was. All of that will be lost with Alex as a junior member of another group.
There's also just so many characters at this point that not much time can be devoted to Powerpax.
Meanwhile, Sphinx is confronted by Sphinx II, and learns that she's in love with him.
But Sphinx just uses the opportunity to take back the remainder of the power she took from the Ka stone.
But Sphinx II doesn't die, and in the end she goes to the New Warriors B-Team for help.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part four of Time and Time Again. Part five is in Night Thrasher #12.
Crossover: Time and Time Again
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Note the name of the place where young Arnie Astrovik is meeting his boyfriend--"Northstar". Cute little in-joke there.
I thought the Justice storyline was the highlight of this crossover. It gives Vance some interesting personal issues to deal with, and which may give him some degree of closure on his conflicts with his father. It fleshes out Arnold Astrovik a bit further beyond just "abusive bigot", and it addresses the reality that abuse within families often becomes a cycle. This also sets up stuff for the upcoming JUSTICE miniseries.
And as a young closeted gay reader, this story was very important to me--seeing my favourite member of the New Warriors defend his gay father, and encourage him to be himself...even though it potentially risked altering the timeline and wiping Vance from history. That was an important message for me.
Posted by: Dermie | October 28, 2017 3:01 PM
Vance's plot sure seems to be the high point of this crossover. A nice surprise, that explains a lot and deepens the characters.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 29, 2017 2:43 PM
About your "concerns" regarding Fabe's "well-intentioned parallel", Fnord...
1) That's always been a fundamental problem with the "mutants-as-minority" metaphor. Generally, it's an imperfect parallel.
2) This story collaborate well with info we already seen of Vance's father, in particular the excuse for abusing him (an outwardly display of Vance's power, like see, get it?)
I actually like the subplot too, despite the misgivings. I thought it was an interesting change of pace to make the father seem "sympathetic" without excusing his future abuse as "ok."
In other news, your description of the Power children cracks me up, because they ended up being FAR from that character synopsis now (or at least before I stopped reading modern comics, anyway.) Also isn't Alex "borrowing" the powers of his siblings (could they ALWAYS do that?) acting as the "responsible elder one" (this issue certainly implies that characterization.)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | December 21, 2017 1:01 AM
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