Characters Appearing: Bandit, Dagger, Darkhawk, Firestar, Gee, Hindsight Lad, Justice, Namorita, Nick Fury, Night Thrasher, Nova (Rich Rider), Rage, Sayge, Silhouette, Speedball, Speedball II, Sphinx, Sphinx II, Turbo
New Warriors #49-50
Issue(s): New Warriors #49, New Warriors #50
Just when you thought there were no more new types of gimmick covers, issue #50 gives us the sandpaper cover (in a hedging of bets, it's also glow-in-the-dark).
These are the final two issues of Time and Time Again. The solo books only had two parts each, allowing the 50th issue of this series to feature the double-sized conclusion.
Issue #49 still has the Justice and Speedball solo segments to conclude, so i'll cover them first. Justice tries to convince his father to follow his heart, but to no avail.
And Speedball eats a kinetic bubble and learns the "truth".
Speedball will forget that truth when he returns to the real world, and luckily we'll never learn what it was meant to reveal.
As for the main story, with Cloak gone, the B-Team of New Warriors are teleported to Egypt by... Alex Power!?
He's using a method similar to Guardian's teleportation. Seems a bit too much of a deviation from Power Pack's abilities. I would have liked it better if it was depicted the way that Kofi teleported, with the idea that Kofi always had a variation of the Gee power, but i still think i wouldn't like it very much.
I also don't know who the lady in the lower left panel is. I thought maybe it was an early appearance of Rina Patel, aka Timeslip, but the MCP doesn't list her. She may just be a bystander in the Sphinx's new Egypt. It's possible the colorist mistook her for Sphinx II.
The New New Warriors then confront a deformed Sphinx.
They don't have much luck against him, but note the continued build-up of Powerpax.
Probably beating this to death, but as a fan of the original Power Pack, i don't need Alex to be built up into some ultra-powerful character in order to enjoy him here. It doesn't do anything to bring back the fun dynamic of Power Pack. I realize with dismay that Power Pack fans are probably not the targeted audience here. I think the idea is to try to "redeem" Alex and turn him into a non-joke (i think FabNic is working along the same lines with regards to the Speedball origin revision). But since i don't consider the original Power Pack to be a joke, it's lost on me. Not sure if it really worked for anyone; better things will be done with the Power Pack characters in later years that are more true to their beginnings.
Anyway, in the course of the fighting, "chronal energies" are "spliced" from the Sphinx, allowing the real New Warriors to start coming back. The Sphinx's arch-foe Nova is first.
While they are fighting, Sphinx II helps the B-Team bring back the others.
The Sphinx is really too powerful as a villain for a fight against him to be interesting, and most of the characters aren't very effective. Something is made about Speedball's power being related to kinetic energy and perpetual motion and therefore being related to chronal energy, but that's more used in getting the other New Warriors back. Most of the heroes either futilely fight the Sphinx or are relegated to crowd rescue in Cairo. Firestar, on the other hand, is able to go against Sphinx one-on-one for a bit. She unleashes her full power (hence the need to clear people out of Cairo).
Supposedly, the time that the core New Warriors spent in the timestream was meant to be a reason, a way to learn how to defeat the Sphinx.
But sorting out how what happened in those garbage stories is relevant is beyond the abilities of anyone, including me, so luckily the professional annoyance Sayge shows up to handle everything.
Sayge shows Sphinx that Sphinx II truly loves him.
Nick Fury shows up just in time to see the two Sphinxes merge into one.
The inevitable ending:
Per an editorial in issue #73, the plan was actually to split the New Warriors into two books at this time, and that's why so many new members had been added (this was hinted at in issue #47). Luckily (in my opinion), "sales had taken serious hits" at this point, so the second book never happened.
Issue #50 is Darick Robertson's last as penciler. His art was pretty good, especially with downtime stuff. It was kind of wasted on this story, though (and his art was supplemented with other pencilers for this crossover). Fabian Nicieza also won't remain on the title much longer (issue #53 is his last). And, as already noted, he's off the Night Thrasher and Nova books after this crossover.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This covers the final portion of Time and Time Again, parts seven and eight.
Crossover: Time and Time Again
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Obvious cheesy homage to Giant-Size X-Men 1 in that last panel.
Posted by: clyde | October 26, 2017 3:58 PM
I like how the logo for the crossover on the cover, if you look closely, looks like it says "Time and Time Again... and again... and again..." Soooooo many jokes that could be made about that. (Like, does that describe how you felt reading this, fnord?)
Posted by: Morgan Wick | October 26, 2017 7:59 PM
Odd little spidey face in the last panel. Maybe it is just a hint that the Warriors are/will shortly be a part of the Spider-Man editorial office?
Posted by: Luis Dantas | October 26, 2017 8:20 PM
Fnord, actually, I always thought that since Whitey could teleport, the reason that Power Pack couldn't was because the Lightspeed power needed to used in concert with the other powers divided among the children. The method Alex used doesn't used the rainbow effect surrounding a group joined by holding hands though. Nonetheless, I assume that had the powers remained divided, Power Pack could have teleported by holding hands aka the same method they discovered to pool the divided healing power. I'm not sure why you would object to the concept. Of course, this issue's rendering of the teleporting power is objectionable for the reason you mention. And I always thought it odd that Kofi and Whitey didn't share the same teleporting effect, but then Kofi didn't exhibit any of the powers that individually should comprise the Kymellian teleporting power, unless his power was specifically limited to traveling via Elsewhere(explaining why his powers and the kids costumes had the same visual effect when transitioning).
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | October 27, 2017 5:55 AM
What Sayge showed the Sphinx was not that Sphinx II really loved him but that compared to the Warriors he doesn't have the wisdom he should if he had actually bothered to LIVE his life instead of trying to endure his immortality. I thought that issue 50 had some redeeming qualities- I liked the scene where the Sphinx thinks that that he never thought Novas new power would be enough to challenge the Ka stone - and it ISNT- but the Sphinx is still impressed that someone managed to survive him after how long he's lived.
Posted by: Michael | October 27, 2017 11:19 AM
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