At long last, the full roster for Freeform’s “New Warriors” live-action TV series has been revealed. Joining the fan-favorite Squirrel Girl will be Night Thrasher, Speedball, Mister Immortal, Microbe and Debrii.
Wait - who, now?
Some names are, of course, familiar to longtime readers of Marvel Comics' “New Warriors” series. Others have occupied the greater Marvel Universe, but may not have direct affiliations with the teen superhero team. With that in mind, we felt it prudent to run through the team's roster, and offer a rundown of each Warrior and which era of the team they're associated with -- if they're associated with the team at all, that is.
Squirrel Girl (Doreen Green)
The headliner of Freeform's “New Warriors,” Doreen Green currently has the largest spotlight of the announced roster. Having the power of a squirrel and the ability to speak to the furry creatures, Doreen has fought and defeated such Marvel mainstays as Galactus, Doctor Doom and others, thus earning the descriptor of "Unbeatable." Though she isn’t a member of the New Warriors in the comics, she has had a crush on founding member Speedball, and at one point series writer Fabian Nicieza planned on having her join the group. Though he left Marvel before he could make it happen in the team's series, he did eventually write a one-shot story which saw the pair smooch.
Considering Squirrel Girl's high profile in the show's early promotional push, it'll be interesting to see if Squirrel Girl is established as the leader of the New Warriors on Freeform, or if the show sticks to its comic book roots with our next cast member...
Night Thrasher (Dwayne Taylor)
The founder and leader of the New Warriors, Night Thrasher was created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, debuting in 1989's “Thor” #411. At his core, Dwayne Taylor has an origin similar to DC Comics’ Batman, with both being driven for justice by the death of their parents when they were young children. Determined to seek vengeance, Dwayne trained his body until he was old enough to take control of his family’s business, the Taylor Foundation, at which point he used his vast fortune to bankroll his vigilante efforts while recruiting young superheroes to help him form the New Warriors.
Night Thrasher is outfitted with a suit of armor, a pair of baton sticks, and a skateboard, to really give you a glimpse at the time period the hero was created in. The promotional artwork for the Freeform series shows Night Thrasher donning the costume from the team’s reality TV days. In fact, the image leans heavily into that era, with the team posing for cameras and multiple video monitors lined up behind them.
Speedball (Robbie Baldwin)
Speedball made his first appearance in 1989’s “The Amazing Spider-Man Annual” #22, by Steve Ditko and Tom DeFalco. Robbie gained his powers in a science accident when Hammond Research Laboratory tried to access another dimension’s energy, resulting in the teenager gaining the ability to create kinetic energy balls. Speedball was one of the original New Warriors alongside Night Thrasher, and has a connection to the TV series star, Squirrel Girl, thanks to the crush she had on the teen hero. There was such a connection between the pair, they eventually wound up sharing an intimate kiss.
In the Marvel Universe, Speedball is widely known for being a part of the reality team’s misadventure that resulted in the destruction of a local school in Stamford, Connecticut, which kicked off Marvel’s first “Civil War” event. The New Warriors died in the explosion, but thanks to his superpowers, Speedball lived. Taking responsibility for the death of hundreds, Robbie took a seriously dark turn and took up the new moniker Penance. More than likely, Freeform will choose to avoid such a downer of a story, more likely opting to portray Speedball as the lighthearted character he’s most known as.
Microbe (Zack Smith)
Speaking of the New Warriors’ reality TV days, the era saw Night Thrasher introduce a new hero to the team in the form of the mutant Microbe. He didn’t get to spend much time in the limelight, however, as he died with his teammates in the Stamford, Connecticut incident.
Zack’s mutant power is the ability to communicate with germs in a fashion not unlike Marvel’s Falcon's telepathic link to birds. Since mutants belong under the 20th Century Fox umbrella of characters, one can imagine Microbe’s origin will be altered so he’s an Inhuman, or the result of scientific experimentation.
Mister Immortal (Craig Hollis)
Just like his codename says, Craig Hollis is a mutant with the power of immortality. In the comics, he was never a member of the New Warriors, but has been known to lead an offshoot of the Avengers called the Great Lakes Avengers -- a team that includes Squirrel Girl among its members.
Using his powers to his advantage, Mister Immortal will rush into dangerous situations with no regard for his well-being, comfortable in the knowledge that he simply will not die. One side effect of his resurrections, however, is that he will revive in a fit of rage. Again, being a mutant like Microbe, Mister Immortal’s origin will need some tweaking to fit into the MCU.
Debrii (Deborah Fields)
The last New Warrior also harkens back to the team’s time as reality TV stars; Deborah Fields was added to the group's roster when a producer believed the show needed a wild card added to the mix in order to increase ratings. Not one to hold her tongue, Debrii constantly bickered with her teammates, most notably commenting on Microbe’s general uselessness. Her powers are low-level telekinesis, or the ability to move small objects with her mind.
Debrii was not with the team when they perished right before the superhero Civil War, though she did resurface in the Marvel U when she joined the Avengers: Initiative program. Though she often harassed Microbe, they both have the shortest amount of comic book history among the chosen roster of Freeform’s “New Warriors.”
“New Warriors” will mark Marvel’s first foray into comedy with ten half-hour episodes ordered for the first season. Although a release date has not yet been set, “New Warriors” is set to air sometime in 2018 on Freeform alongside Marvel’s “Cloak and Dagger,” which has also been ordered straight to series.