Night Thrasher, the leader of the New Warriors, is a man with a plan. Unfortunately for him, John Lennon’s quote about life being what happens when you’re making other plans also applies to the Marvel Universe. CBR News spoke with “New Warriors” writer Kevin Grevioux about his plans for the series, which include a two-issue “Secret Invasion” tie-in arc beginning in July’s issue #14.
Over the years there have been multiple volumes of the “New Warriors” title, and many various incarnations of the team. Of the current lineup, Night Thrasher is the only character with ties to the team’s past, but those old stories still inspire and inform Grevioux’s work. “Especially [original 'New Warriors’ writer] Fabian Nicieza’s first 25 issues, which are the best of the original series and any volume of the series thus far,” Grevioux told CBR News. “As such, my goal is to kind of use those stories as a bench mark when looking at my own series. The thing is, and I know some fans are upset about this; we can't merely do stories about old stories. The Marvel universe is a much different place now, so we have to tell our stories our way.”
In “New Warriors,” Grevioux has reintroduced a number of characters created by Nicieza, like the aforementioned Night Thrasher, also known as Donyell Taylor, who assumed the identity after his brother Dwayne Taylor, the original Night Thrasher, died in the Stamford explosion that ignited Marvel’s Civil War. Additionally, in January’s “New Warriors” #8, Grevioux brought back the old New Warriors’ villain Midnight’s Fire.
The writer has wrapped both characters in an aura of mystery, with Night Thrasher having assembled the New Warriors for a secretive purpose, and Midnight’s Fire is working for a particularly enigmatic employer. Grevioux couldn’t reveal if the answers to those questions surrounding both characters, but promised upcoming “New Warriors” stories would provide a payoff on some of the series’ bigger mysteries. “Some of the plots are connected to Night Thrasher's big secret, others are not,” he explained. “We've been leading off into what the big secret is for quite some time. I think it will surprise some fans. Most of the questions we've had over the past year will be answered.”
Night Thrasher isn’t the only curious member of the New Warriors. Decibel, aka Jonothan “Jono” Starsmore, used to be the mutant known as Chamber. In the wake of M-Day, an event which saw most of the Marvel U’s mutants lose their powers, the powerless Jono was hospitalized. He was subsequently abducted and experimented on by Clan Akkaba, a cult dedicated to the worship of the villainous mutant, Apocalypse. Clan Akkaba’s experiements physically transformed Jono, but their full effects have yet to be revealed.
In February’s “New Warriors” #9, Jono revealed Clan Akkaba’s experiments have left him feeling like there’s a monster inside him trying to get out. “I would say that Jono is dangerous just by virtue of the fact that he thinks he's dangerous,” Grevioux stated. “It's kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy. But we definitely have plans for Jono. He's one of the book's coolest characters.”
Night Thrasher may be keeping many secrets from Decibel and the rest of the Warriors, but he really does care about the entire team. “His original motivations were selfish, but Night Thrasher has learned to respect and love them as comrades over time,” Grevioux explained. “The thing is, he is so single-mindedly obsessed with his ultimate goal, that he has a funny way of showing it. This is oft time the burden that any leader of men and women must face. How do you care about the people in your command without showing the compassion that may make you appear to be weak? It's a balancing act. And being young, Night Thrasher is inexperienced in knowing how to handle it.”
Like Decibel, the nine other New Warriors are also mutants who lost their powers because of M-Day. Night Thrasher found each of them and offered them technology to take the place of their missing abilities and renew their senses of purpose. Because of this, the team gives Thrasher a lot of leeway when it comes to his aloof behavior.
In “New Warriors” #11, on sale this week, Night Thrasher unwittingly puts his team in grave danger by sending them after the formerly lightweight supervillain known as Machinesmith. “Machinesmith has ah--changed over the years,” Grevioux remarked. “Which is intel that the New Warriors were not very familiar with.”
Both the New Warriors’ battle with Machinesmith and the current story arc, “Thrashed,” come to a conclusion in June with issue #13; an story which has a huge impact on the relationship between Night Thrasher and his team. “Now the team realizes that he's willing to sacrifice them in order to achieve his goals,” Grevioux said.
July’s “New Warriors” #14 begins the two part “Secret Invasion” tie-in arc. “Issue #14 takes place at the very advent of the public Skrull landing,” Grevioux stated. “Skrulls are everywhere descending upon the planet and the New Warriors are caught in the middle of it right as it's happening.”
With Skrull invaders in the streets, the New Warriors quickly suit up and go to work. Grevioux hinted the team will be involved in a big battle with the Skrulls, but the New Warriors will be drawn into a confrontation with human opponents as well. Counter Force, a team of Initiative members who are all former New Warriors, would like a word with Night Thrasher about what they view as his besmirching of the Warriors’ good name.
“Basically, the old New Warriors have never liked the fact that the new team is running around using their name and breaking the law,” Grevioux explained. “Plus the fact that Night Thrasher, the leader of this team, has not tried to contact them. Now, they're not sure if this Night Thrasher is Dwayne Taylor or not, but once the Skrull Invasion hits, they think: A-HA! The new New Warriors must be Skrulls! As a result they take this opportunity to go after them.
“As far as Night Thrasher's side, once the public Skrull Invasion kicks off, he immediately wonders if the original New Warriors that were killed were the real deal, or were they Skrulls? And if they were Skrulls, does that mean his brother Dwayne is alive?” Grevioux continued. “Donyell's investigation into this leads him directly into a confrontation with the current old New Warriors who are now the team Counter Force. Writing it has been a cool ride so far.”
Counter Force may represent the old guard of the New Warriors, but Night Thrasher isn’t about to let anyone stand in the way of his investigation into the possibility his brother survived the Stamford explosion. “Dwayne is very important to Donyell. That's his older brother. And a brother who he really didn't treat very well at that,” Grevioux stated. “His whole motivation for building this current team is to make amends as much as he can in order to easy the pains of his conscience.”
Interestingly, the cover of “New Warriors” #14 shows former New Warrior Silhouette among the ranks of Counter Force, but she doesn’t actually appear in the story. “She was actually a hold-over from an earlier draft of the script,” Grevioux explained. “When we went through re-writes, she was cut out, but we had already sent the cover concept to Nic Klein, the cover artist, and it was too late to change it.”
Grevioux is very excited to be working with artist Koi Turnbull on the “Secret Invasion” tie-in arc of “New Warriors.” “I think he brings a strong sense of storytelling and a dynamism that is rarely seen in comics,” the writer said. “His images are so energetic that they seem to jump off the page. He's doing a fantastic job.”
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