While there had been reports last year that Marvel had been trying to develop its classic teen superhero team, the New Warriors, into their own television project alongside Squirrel Girl, it was still a surprise when the news broke that Freeform had ordered the series direct to air starring Squirrel Girl and the New Warriors.
What’s also interesting is that besides Squirrel Girl, the other members of the team remain a mystery for now. The only given so far is that it appears as though there will be six members on the team, presumably counting Squirrel Girl. So who will be the other five young heroes? We look at the past members of the New Warriors in the comics and determine which ones have the best bets of making the team for its live-action debut.
The man who formed the team in the first place, Dwayne Taylor was a rich young man whose parents were killed. His desire for vengeance led to him becoming the costumed vigilante known as Night Thrasher, using his company’s technology to create a powerful armored costume, as well as a special skateboard. Night Thrasher, amusingly enough, almost had his own TV series. Night Thrasher was recently brought back to life in the comics in the pages of “Contest of Champions” (after he died at the kick-off of “Civil War”).
The odds are strong that Night Thrasher will appear on the series, as he is both a strong character and a character that would not cost a whole lot of money to make him work, visually, since he is just a normal human being (besides the riches and the high IQ). It will be interesting, though, to see if they keep the skateboard angle with his character.
One of the first heroes recruited for the team was Richard Rider, who had been the hero known as Nova, but had seemingly lost his powers. Night Thrasher kick-started Rich’s hidden powers by dropping him from a building. Richard was not pleased when he learned that Thrasher was just taking a calculated risk that dropping him from the building would kickstart his powers. Originally taking the name Kid Nova (as another Nova has popped up since Richard’s retirement), he eventually got his name and his classic costume back.
Nova was one of the longest-standing New Warrior member, but since we’ve already seen the Nova Corps appear in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” it seems unlikely that we would get Nova in this series.
Speeball was a fun character that was introduced in a late 1980s series plotted and drawn by Spider-Man’s co-creator, Steve Ditko. It was very much a throwback character, as Speedball would not be out of place in the Silver Age. He joined up with the New Warriors as a happy-go-lucky member of the team. He remained with the group through many twists and turns. Tragically, he was with the team when many of them were seemingly killed in a fight with supervillains when one of the villains exploded, killing some of the Warriors and many civilians. This led to the superhero Civil War, and Speedball temporarily wore a suit covered with spikes and called himself Penance out of guilt over his role in the explosion. He eventually got over it and was back to his normal, happy self (although obviously with some trauma still in his mind).
Speedball has likely been part of the most New Warriors iterations than any other hero, so he’s likely going to be on the TV series. Especially since Speedball and Squirrel Girl actually dated in the past. He seems like a lock.
Originally going by the name Marvel Boy, Vance Astrovick used his mutant telekinetic powers to fight for truth, justice and the American Way (he is really patriotic). He grew up with an abusive father and he actually ended up getting convicted of manslaughter when he accidentally killed his father after another instance of abuse. When he was released from prison, he took on the name Justice. An earnestly heroic sort, Justice was a member of the Avengers, but left and helped form a few different New Warriors teams, including the most recent version of the team.
Justice seems like a good bet to see on the TV series, as he is pretty much a blank slate for the writers to work with, as he does not carry much connections to other comic book properties (outside his stint as an Avenger).
The mutant clone of her own mother, Namorita was a part of the supporting cast of John Byrne’s “Namor the Sub-Mariner” in her early days with the New Warriors. She was the deputy leader of the team when they formed, and when Night Thrasher quit the team briefly, she became the new leader. She was in a long-running romantic relationship with Nova. For a while there, she mutated further and her skin turned blue (this led to a classic photo cover of “New Warriors”). She was sadly one of the Warriors killed in the explosion that led to Civil War.
Namorita likely carries on too much of a connection to Namor for her to make sense as a member of the team. Marvel has been working on plans for Namor for years now, and it is doubtful that they would introduce the concept of Namor through a female version of the character, so Namorita is probably not going to be on the show.
Introduced as part of the “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends” cartoon series as a substitute for the Human Torch, Firestar is one of the best-known members of the team due to that cartoon series. She was introduced into the comics in the mid-1980s when she went to go study at Emma Frost’s school for mutants. She temporarily fought against the X-Men before leaving and joining the New Warriors. She and Justice were in a very long romantic relationship – they even joined the Avengers together! After breaking up, she served with the X-Men for a time.
Firestar is an interesting case – it might come down to rights issues. It is at least possible that she might be considered part of the Spider-Man deal Marvel has with Sony. We wouldn’t be surprised if she was ruled out of bounds for the TV series.
Another mutant member of the New Warriors was Silhouette, who lost the use of her legs when she was hit by a bullet in a police shooting back when she and Night Thrasher were both starting out as vigilantes (they were dating at the time – they eventually got back together for a while before she ultimately left him for his brother). She taught herself to use her crutches (and her ability to meld into shadows) to fight crime even without the use of her legs.
Silhouette is a unique character and she would be a great find for the “Squirrel Girl and the New Warriors” TV series.
Rage was a young teenager who was exposed to chemicals that mutated him into a super-powered being who looked like an adult. He ended up joining the Avengers on a temporary basis. They were shocked to discover that he was only barely a teenager when he joined. He was fired from the team when he helped out his fellow teen heroes by stealing a Quinjet for them to use on a mission. He and Night Thrasher had a close friendship.
Rage is a character who has some real possibilities, especially since super-strength is relatively easy to demonstrate on the series.
Michiko “Mickey” Musashi was part of a novel superhero concept – she actually shared the super-suit that she and her best friend had discovered that had been designed by the alien Dire Wraiths to fight against Rom the Speceknight. It was co-opted by the superhero, Torpedo. Sadly, things ended poorly for him and he was killed. His suit ended up in the hands of two high school students. Mickey wanted to use the suit to travel the world, while her best friend wanted to be a superhero. In the end, though, it was Mickey who excelled at being a superhero (her best friend was also later killed).
Turbo is an intriguing possibility for the show. Her armor might be tricky, though, to depict on a TV screen without a very high effects budget.
Hindsight Lad was a joke character, a parody of your typical nitpicking comic book “Fanboy,” who ended up blackmailing Speedball (whose identity he had discovered) until he was allowed to join the team. Initially, he was just a joke, with the other team members accepting his presence with irritation. However, writer Fabian Nicieza then zigged when everyone figure he was going to zag, with Hindsight Lad becoming so adept at tactics that he became a key member of the team after a while.
Hindsight Lad is a joke character, but since this is going to be a comedic TV series, then there is a chance that he might be right for this series, depending on how over-the-top that they want the humor to be.
During the mid-1990s, Marvel decided to break their comic book titles into established sub-groups, with each sub-group having its own Editor-in-Chief. With “New Warriors” not really counting in any category, they then became part of the “Spider-Man” series of books. This was achieved by making Ben Reilly, Peter Parker’s clone, join the team as the Scarlet Spider. He eventually left the group when he graduated to the just being plain ol’ Spider-Man (and then he was killed by the Green Goblin).
Scarlet Spider’s rights are tied up with “Spider-Man,” so no Scarlet Spider on this series.
Rina Pate, otherwise known as Timeslip, was the first Warrior to be invented by the creative team that followed Nicieza’s exit, Evan Skolnik and Patrick Zircher. Patel’s power was the ability to transport her consciousness into her own body during the past or the future. She soon gained the ability to manipulate time and started to be come seemingly a super-fast run (in reality, she was constantly traveling through time, so it appeared as though she was running really fast).
She is another character that’s pretty much a blank slate, but her powers seem to be a difficult to depict on television, so we think that the odds are that she won’t be included in the TV series.
The New Warriors had a number of reserve members, who they could call on in matters of life and death. One of them was Night Thrasher’s brother, Bandit, who ended up leaving the team along with Silhouette, as they pursued a relationship together. Power Pax was the name Alex Summers used when he stole his siblings powers (from Power Pack) for himself (as he felt that since he was the oldest, it was his responsibility to use their powers, even if it was too dangerous for the others). The armored Darkhawk was a popular 1990s creation – his powerful armor is controlled by a special amulet. Finally, Dagger (from Cloak and Dagger) often helped out the Warriors, even though her partner, Cloak, did not.
It is highly unlikely that they would put Night Thrasher’s brother on the team. The Power Pack actually filmed a TV pilot in the early 1990s, so Marvel probably wants to see what they can do with them on their own. Dagger has her own Freeorm show with Dagger. Maybe she could guest star at some point? Darkhawk is probably too much for the budget of a TV series.
THE 1999 TEAM
After 75 issues, “New Warriors” was canceled in 1996. Just three years later, Jay Faerber and Steve Scott re-booted the book for a short-lived series (it did not even last a year). The majority of this new team had been members of the team before, but they also introduced Aegis and Bolt, neither of whom seem like they’re destined to be part of the team beyond this series.
Aegis had a magical chest plate while Bolt had electrical mutant powers. Due to the series ending so quickly, it seems doubtful that either of these characters would be chosen for the TV series.
THE REALITY SHOW TEAM
The biggest break in the style of the series came in 2005 when writer Zeb Wells and artist Skottie Toung revamped the New Warriors into stars of their reality show. Night Thrasher, Speedball and Namorita were the representatives of the old Warriors. Their new warriors included Microbe, who could communicate with any tiny organism (including germs) and Debrii, who could move things around with her mind…
The book was played for laughs, as they were reality show stars, after all. Debrii had actually been placed on the team by network executives looking for her to cause some drama in the group. Microbe was adopted by Night Thrasher, who tried to train him as a superhero. After the miniseries introducing the reality show concept ended, Debrii left the team, so she was luckily not there for the supervillain fight that led to the explosion in “Civil War” #1 that killed Microbe, Night Thrasher and Namorita.
Since they were played for laughs, either Microbe or Debrii would be possible members for the new comedic series, with Debrii likely having a better chance due to her cuteness factor.
THE POST-CIVIL WAR TEAM
After the New Warriors name was tarnished following the events of “Civil War,” a new team popped up led by a mysterious new Night Thrasher, who turned out to be Bandit, Dwayne Taylor’s brother, who was trying to build a time machine to save his dead brother. This team consisted of de-powered mutants using stolen technology to form suits of armor that would give each de-powered mutant unique abilities. Some of the de-powered mutants on the team included Jubilee, Chamber, Angel and Beak.
This was never really accepted as a “New Warriors” series by fans of the franchise, so it is unlikely that anyone from this team would be on the TV series.
Also following “Civil War,” some former members of the New Warriors registered as superhumans with the government. This included some New Warriors members who had joined off-panel, but were now part of a group of New Warriors who formed within the Avengers: Initiative, led by Justice. One of those heroes who joined off-panel was the half-alien/half-mutant hero, Ultragirl, who had debuted in a short-lived mid-1990s ongoing series. She and Justice had a romantic relationship for a time.
Ultragirl would be a real possibility for the TV series, especially due to her romantic connection to Justice, particularly if the show chooses not to use Firestar.
Slapstick was a teenager who gained the ability to transform himself into essentially a living cartoon. He also joined the New Warriors off-panel and became a registered superhuman after “Civil War.” He was part of the rogue New Warriors group that was formed within the Avengers: Initiative. However, he had been spending so much time in his cartoon form that he had grown mentally unstable. That issue continues to this day, where he deals with those mental issues in his own ongoing series.
Slapstick’s powers seem like they would be cost-prohibitive for a regular TV series, unless perhaps he would be literally animated, sort of like “Son of Zorn”?
THE 2014 TEAM
Justice and Speedball formed a new New Warriors team in 2014, with an assortment of heroes from all over the Marvel Universe. Besides the new Nova, Sam Alexander (who is probably ruled out for the same reason that the original Nova would be ruled out) and the second Scarlet Spider (ruled out for the same reasons the original Scarlet Spider would be ruled out), the remaining characters are likely too obscure to be used on the TV series, except for perhaps…
The daughter of an old supervillain named Lightmaster, she used her father’s technology to fight crime with lasers. Her upbeat and spunky personality makes her a compelling choice to mix in with Squirrel Girl, who has a similar outlook on life (although perhaps it is better to contrast Squirrel Girl with the other members?)
Therefore, we think the most likely team members are:
- Squirrel Girl
- Night Thrasher
and then one from Turbo/Timselip/Debrii/Ultragirl/Sun Girl (if we had to pick just one, then Ultragirl).
Who do you think will make the team? Let us know in the comments section!