I like the idea behind “New Warriors” #8 — and the series in general — as Christopher Yost and Marcus To gather up a mix of old and new characters, many of whom are holding secrets. But as this latest incarnation of the little teen team book that could trucks along, it’s hard to keep from feeling like this is a little too scattered for its own good.
With eight main cast members, part of the problem is that it feels like Yost never focuses on anyone long enough to make you care too much. So instead, we’ve got the eternal tease, without any forward movement. It might feel like a strange thing to complain about after eight issues, but at the same time it feels like the cast of the book is continually expanding rather than contracting; not a good sign when almost every character has some mystery hovering above their head and no one’s is being resolved.
Ironically, it’s one of the only characters who didn’t have a secret or a mystery — new character Haechi, who was recently transformed into an Inhuman — that ended up in the spotlight these past two issues. He’s a perfectly reasonable character, but at the same time he’s probably the most straightforward one of the bunch — and unfortunately, the least interesting. His origin story feels so cliched — getting attacked after his physical transformation, then rescued by an old man who isn’t afraid of his appearance — that it’s hard to relate or latch onto anything that’s done here. It’s competently told, but that’s about it. Meanwhile, Yost is throwing in old faces like Silhouette into the mix, and while this fan of the original “New Warriors” was a little excited to see her appear, it’s hard to ignore that characters like Hummingbird and Water Snake have stories that probably should be explored first before adding to the supporting cast. (Or for that matter, without having to boot at least one main character out of the storyline entirely because there are too many other faces to keep track of.)
To’s art has always looked very clean and nice to follow, which is good. Characters leap through the air at one another with grace and energy, and there’s never any confusion on what’s happening on the page. What’s nice is that on “New Warriors,” we’re seeing him shift his style just a little bit. The overall clean nature of the characters still remains, but now we’re getting a little more detail on them. For example, the way that he draws Speedball’s hair with its individual locks and folds reminds me almost of Gene Ha. It’s a fun evolution of To’s art, and I’m looking forward to seeing him proceed in this manner.
“New Warriors” #8 has some nice bits throughout, and I do think there’s a lot of promise packed into the title. Yost clearly has big plans for these characters, but sooner or later they need to start playing out. For now, I’d love to see him stop introducing new faces and just focus on the ones that we have. Still, it’s good enough that I’ll stick around a little longer. Yost and To’s work here is good, but with some focus it could be great.