In “New Warriors” #2, Chris Yost and Marcus To continue their slow-burn assembly of the new team. While this issue hits just a few weeks after the debut issue (thank you crazy Marvel double-shipping schedule), enough real time has lapsed between issues to make some of the scenes seem overly suspended to the point of being drawn out. In truth, “New Warriors” #1 and #2 would have simply benefited from being over-sized “New Warriors” #1.
The recap page tells readers everything they need to know to keep moving forward: “The High Evolutionary is back and he’s attacking people with powers.” From there, Yost spins through a couple different scenes, including Sun Girl’s struggle with the Evolutionaries and Speedball and Justice’s adventures in New Salem, Colorado. Those scenes are introduced as battles are engaged, just the same as Scarlet Spider and Hummingbird’s battle with Faira Sar Namora. All of the battles are designed feel like the reader is stepping into them in progress, which is exactly what is happening, but instead, they feel like shows already in progress that the TV remote has flipped to. Yost doesn’t dwell on character development at this point (at least not beyond the relationship between Justice and Speedball) choosing to focus on the plot and the threat powering that plot.
Marcus To’s art is solid all the way through “New Warriors” #2, but never really finds the opportunity to step beyond solid. To sprinkles details throughout the story, frequently setting them aside to give the characters room to stretch and space to fill, pushing them to prominence in the story beyond the setting for the adventures. The characters are all recognizable throughout the issue and To seems more comfortable with them here than in “New Warriors” #1. Maybe next issue will be where To flexes his creativity a bit more and really shines. To is aided in this issue by some shiny, glimmering color work from David Curiel. Curiel, combined with letterer Joe Caramagna, adds a fine sheen to the book to pretty “New Warriors” #2 up a bit. Curiel crafts some nifty glowing effects for prismatic prisons and the Evolutionaries powers. Caramagna, meanwhile, provides solid lettering and dynamic sound effects. The Evolutionaries have markedly different balloon styles than many of the other characters, but their master does not. It seems like maybe the High Evolutionary, like Doctor Doom or Iron Man, should have some technological influence creeping into his word balloons. Someone got paid a pretty penny from one of the most recognizable sports apparel producers to have their logo prominently displayed throughout “New Warriors” #2. It’s not unlike product placement in movies, but it comes across much more heavy handed when applied to a comic book character.
“New Warriors” #2 doesn’t do much to dazzle the reader. There’s plenty of action and a touch of intrigue, but at this point, readers are either going to be in or out. Yost doesn’t mold any of the characters enough in this issue to make them likeable or identifiable unless readers already have a predisposition for the characters. That said, the creative team crafts a solid plot that is drawing these characters together in classic team-building fashion. These first two issues do the job of putting the ingredients on the table, now it’s time to see what happens when Yost, To, Curiel and Caramagna begin mixing them up and really start cooking.