Due to their designation as the “teen” superhero team, the New Warriors have been underestimated a bit over the years (it doesn’t help that so many of them were killed off in the Stamford explosion that kicked off “Civil War”), even though they’ve defeated a herald of Galactus on more than one occasion. The New Warriors, therefore, can be a tough team.
At the same time, the New Warriors have also gone through many more members than you would think for a team that is mostly defined by its original 1990s lineup. So you might be surprised to learn who the physically strongest members of the New Warriors are (for the sake of “physical strength,” we’re not counting stuff like Justice’s telekinetic powers – we’re talking pure brawn here). Read on to find out!
Brock Jones was just a regular guy when he met a dying scientist who had developed a special suit of armor to fight against his evil uncle, a corrupt senator. The scientist just gave it to the first person he saw and hoped that they would carry on his mission. That person happened to be Jones. However, Jones later discovered that the senator was actually working for the shape-shifting alien invaders known as the Dire Wraiths and that they had created the armor as a way to fight against Rom the Spaceknight. They ended up killing Jones.
His armor ended up in the hands of a teenager named Mike Jefrries, who lent it to his friend Mickey Musashi for a costume party. She was shocked to learn that it gave her powers. She and Mike decided to share the costume and become superheroes, but ultimately the Dire Wraiths tracked the suit down and killed Mike. The New Warriors defeated them after that. Powered by the turbines in the suit, Mickey can lift 20 tons or so, but when she puts all of her turbines behind one single punch, she can punch as hard as Thor!
After the original New Warriors were killed in an explosion at the start of “Civil War,” Night Thrasher’s half-brother, Donyell, decided to restart the New Warriors (with himself as the new Night Thrasher pretending to be the original one resurrected) as a resistance to the Superhuman Registration Act (while secretly also trying to put together the pieces to build a time machine to go back in time and save Donyell’s brother). He used de-powered mutants to make up the membership of the new group.
He cobbled together technology from many different heroes and villains to create suits of armor for each member of the team that would give them unique superpowers. His second-in-command on this new team was Jubilation Lee, formerly the X-Man known as Jubilee. She was one of the most prominent members of the X-Men to get de-powered when Scarlet Witch used her powers to say “no more mutants” during “House of M.” Jubilee was now Wondra and her armor gave her super-strength and invulnerability.
In Korean mythology, the Haechi was a magical unicorn goat that was used by a county magistrate whenever he was dealing with a dispute between two parties. The goat somehow always knew which side was the “correct” one and would ram the wrong side of the dispute. Writer Chris Yost used that myth as the inspiration behind a member of the short-lived team in the 2014 “New Warriors” series.
Mark Kim was a Nu-human (the term given for seemingly ordinary people who were accidentally exposed to the Terrigen Mists after Black Bolt destroyed the Terrigen Crystals during the “Infinity” crossover, sending the mists throughout the world, where they activated latent Inhumans). When the High Evolutionary decided that he needed to wipe out all “genetic aberrations” from the world, Inhumans were included, and Kim was targeted for death. Luckily, he was able to fight back with his Inhuman powers, which allowed him to transfer energy into strength (among other things that he could do with energy).
While the first two heroes on this list were normal humans who wore powerful suits of armor, Darkhawk took that same basic concept and gave it a bit of a twist. In the case of Darkhawk, the regular human (teenager Chris Powell) did not actually technically wear the super-powered armor; rather, a mysterious amulet would make him switch places with an android wearing a special suit of armor that would be controlled by Chris’ mind while Chris’ body was safe in outer space. Over time, Chris gained the ability to switch bodies with the android version of himself without sending either of the bodies to outer space.
While in his android form, the Darkhawk armor gave Chris a variety of powers, including a powerful energy blast from his chest. It also gave him superhuman strength — of course, the android aspect alone would probably give him a certain amount of strength.
11. WATER SNAKE
The people of Atlantis are a bit strange because pretty much every single one of them are technically super-strong, so it is a bit hard to say which of them are super-super-strong, and then it is difficult to measure exactly where a typical Atlantean ranks on the strength scale. However, we think it’s probably fair to include Water Snake at this point in the list.
Water Snake, also known as Faira Sar Namora, was a servant of Namora who got caught up in the aforementioned attack by the High Evolutionary on “genetic aberrations,” as he considered Atlanteans to be part of that class, as well. Once she teamed up with the other heroes to stop the High Evolutionary, they all decided to become a new New Warriors team. She has the ability to control water, which is her “main” power, but she is also quite strong and has the combat training to use her strength to the best of her abilities.
During the 1990s, Speedball and Iceman had a lot in common, in the sense that they were both best known as being the youngest members of their original team (Iceman with the original X-Men and Speedball with the original New Warriors), the jokers of the group and, perhaps most importantly, the guys whose powers were much stronger than they initially seemed. It was almost like you could pick a random issue of “Uncanny X-Men” or “New Warriors” in the 1990s and you would find a mention in there about how they didn’t know the full extent of their own powers.
Speedball, for instance, is best known for the way that he can store up kinetic energy by “bouncing” and the more he bounces, the more kinetic energy he absorbs, so that when he finally hits someone, he is coming at them with a whole lot of pent-up kinetic energy and he works like a wrecking ball. However, he also has the ability to turn that kinetic energy into super-strength, he just doesn’t always use it properly. Then, he had his powers short circuit for a while during “Civil War,” when he was the only New Warrior to survive a massive explosion.
One of the interesting things that Louise Simonson came up with in her iconic superhero comic book series, “Power Pack” (about a group of siblings who each gained superpowers) was that the powers that were given to the Power kids were not inherently linked to any one of them. In other words, since they were given their abilities by a dying alien, he could have given the powers to different kids had he wanted to. So, the Powers learned that they could actually switch powers! Two years in, they all swapped powers and then two years later, they all swapped again. They eventually went back to their original powers by the end of the series.
However, that opened up the idea Fabian Nicieza latched on to that the oldest, Alex Power, could actually borrow the powers from the others. He used them to help the New Warriors temporarily as PowerPax. He then decided that his siblings were too young to have powers, so he stole them and re-named himself Powerhouse (as he felt he betrayed the Power Pack name). The combination of the anti-gravity and mass-control powers made him really strong. He eventually returned their powers.
Ultragirl was an attempt in the mid-1990s to try a sort of modern day approach to what it would be like if Supergirl landed on Earth. Ultragirl was half-Kree/half-mutant and she discovered her powers while in Los Angeles, trying to work as a model. Her powers were a lot like Supergirl’s, only to a much lesser extent (as Pre-Crisis Supergirl was almost as strong as her world-moving cousin, Superman). She initially adopted the name Utragirl to help with her modeling job, as the publicity of her being a superhero was helpful for her career as a model. Who wouldn’t want a superhero modeling their clothes?
She eventually joined the New Warriors off panel (she had teamed up with them in her original, shortlived series, so it made sense). When “Civil War” turned the world against the New Warriors, she stuck with them, entering into a romantic relationship with Justice, the main organizer of the rogue team of former New Warriors. At one point, she was going to become the new Ms. Marvel, but those plans fell through.
7. SCARLET SPIDER (KAINE)
During the infamous Clone Saga, one of the most prominent figures in the series was Kaine, the deformed clone of Peter Parker who ended up working for the Jackal but really had some goodness left in him. When he was sacrificed in the place of Spider-Man during the Grim Hunt (in a magical spell designed to raise Kraven the Hunter from the dead), it seemed like his story was finished. However, that was not the case, as he was brought back in “Spider-Island.”
At the end of it, he looked normal and stole an experimental stealth suit that Peter Parker had invented and went off and accidentally got himself caught up in becoming a superhero in Houston, Texas (against his will, at first, as he just wanted to be left alone). While there, he befriended a young telepathic hero named Hummingbird. They both ended up joining the newly reconstituted New Warriors (as Hummingbird was being hunted down for being a genetic aberration). Kaine is basically as strong as Spider-Man, so that means he is pretty darn strong.
6. SCARLET SPIDER (BEN REILLY)
You really could call this a tie, as the first Scarlet Spider, Ben Reilly, and the second Scarlet Spider, Kaine, were both clones of Peter Parker, so it is hard to determine which one should be higher than the other. We’re slightly leaning towards Ben Reilly, because he was a more “perfect” clone of Peter Parker, to the point where everyone believed that he was the original Peter Parker for a little while there. That might give him a slight edge in strength? We really don’t know for sure, so if you want to call this one a tie, go right ahead.
Ben had left town after the original Clone Saga, when Peter thought that his clone had died saving their friend, Ned Leeds. When Aunt May was dying, though, he returned to see her and since Peter was in such a messed up headspace at the time, Ben felt that he needed to become a hero again, becoming the Scarlet Spider. He even joined the New Warriors. However, when he then became Spider-Man for a short period when Peter temporarily retired, then he quit the team.
In a modern nod to the story of young Billy Batson being transformed into Earth’s Mightiest Mortal, the hero known as Rage was secretly a young teen boy named Elvin Haliday who was mutated by toxic sludge in the neighborhood where he lived with his grandmother. It transformed him into a super-strong being who looked to be in his mid-30s. He fought against the corrupt landlords who led to the sludge being there and encountered the Avengers. He ended up becoming a probationary member of the team (and admitted the truth to Captain America about his real age).
The Avengers and the New Warriors teamed up and Rage then helped them “borrow” a Quinjet for a mission. When it was destroyed, he was kicked off of the Avengers and joined the New Warriors. After one of their enemies attacked the families of the Warriors, Elvin’s beloved grandmother was killed. Night Thrasher took him in. Rage’s strength was his main superpower, so we’re putting him pretty high on this list.
As noted before, Scarlet Spider ended up joining the New Warriors during the tail end of the Clone Saga, at a time when the various Marvel comics all had to pick a “group” to belong to (the Avengers, Spider-Man, X-Men, Cosmic, etc.) and a book like “New Warriors” didn’t really belong anywhere, so they had Scarlet Spider join and made it a Spider-Man title. Thus, they were soon caught up directly in the events of the Clone Saga, which then led to a short-lived member of the team, Helix.
The Jackal used a deadly clone-inspired Carrion virus on a small town in Pennsylvania. Everyone died except for a teenager named Rafael, who instead mutated into the being known as Helix. Helix, as it turned out, had what was known as “reactive” powers. If you attacked him, his body would react and adapt himself to fit the attack. If you didn’t do anything to him, he would eventually return to being a normal teenager. However, that meant that if he fought, say, the Hulk, he would react and adapt his body to make himself super strong. So, he had theoretically really high strength limits. Since they were only temporary, though, we put him a little bit lower on the list.
A notable aspect of the New Warriors when they debuted was that they were specifically not a group of sidekicks, like most other teen groups that had existed in comic book history over the years. However, the closest that they came to having a sidekick in their mix was Namorita, who was a clone of Namora, a cousin of Namor who was a mutant like him. In other words, Namorita was basically a teen female version of Namor. She hung around with her “cousin” for a while and then hung out with the Fantastic Four, dating Johnny Storm a few times.
She was never outright a sidekick, though, as she was far too independent of a person. In any event, as a mutant like her “cousin,” she was stronger than normal Atlanteans (and normal Atlanteans, as we have established, are quite strong). Namor is one of the strongest members of the X-Men, for instance, so a female version of Namor is certainly one of the strongest New Warriors. Sadly, she died during “Civil War” and although she was later brought back in “Nova,” that seems to be a temporary return.
2. NOVA (SAM ALEXANDER)
Sam Alexander was a seemingly normal kid, who had a drunk father who would always talk about his days as a member of the Nova Corps, but everyone just presumed he was full of it. However, one day his father vanished. Sam’s mother and pretty much everyone else just assumed he split on them, but Sam had faith and was shocked to find his father’s Nova Corps helmet! When Sam put on the helmet, he gained the power of a Nova Centurion, which was sort of like a member of the Green Lantern Corps, only the Nova suits also gave their user super-strength.
Sam became a superhero while also dedicating himself to trying to find his missing dad. When Justice and Speedball decided to put the New Warriors back together, they tried to recruit Sam, which was bit awkward since he was so much younger than them (and yet so much more powerful than them). He joined up with the short-lived team in the 2014 “New Warriors” series, but Sam has since joined the Avengers and now the Champions.
1. NOVA (RICHARD RIDER)
When the original New Warriors were formed, Night Thrasher intended to base the team on the original Fantastic Four, with himself as the brains of the group like Mister Fantastic (if you thought calling yourself “Mister Fantastic” was cocky, that’s nothing on forming a team with the presumption that you’re the Mister Fantastic of the team), Firestar as the person with flames like Human Torch, Marvel Boy as the person with force fields like Invisible Woman and Nova as the strong guy like the Thing. So right from the start, Richard Rider was defined by his strength, and that was when he was slightly de-powered and going by the name Kid Nova!
Later on, Richard became the last surviving member of the Nova Corps (the Nova Corps get wiped out more often than the Green Lantern Corps — and that’s saying something) and he took on the power of the entire Corps for a time, becoming one of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel Universe. He sacrificed himself to stop an invasion from the evil Cancerverse, trapping himself behind in that world (initially along with Thanos and Star-Lord, but he let those two escape). He recently mysteriously returned, but disappeared back into the Cancerverse almost as quickly.
Who do you think is the strongest New Warrior? Let us know in the comments section!