Comic Legends: Did Market Research Impact the New Warriors' Creation?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and nineteenth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the weekly three legends.

NOTE: If the CSBG Twitter page hits 11,000 followers, I'll do a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? So go follow the CSBG Twitter page!


The New Warriors were partially inspired by market research.



The New Warriors debuted in Thor #412 by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz and Joe Sinnott, with DeFalco and Frenz creating the team itself...

They soon got their own ongoing series by Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley that helped to make both of those two creators stars at Marvel (Bagley was later followed by Darick Robertson, who similarly became a major comic book artist).

Reader Anthony C. wrote in to ask, "I just finished reading Marvel Comics: The UNTOLD STORY. One line jumped out at me that I wish there was more details on, "the last of which was reintroduced as a member of New Warriors, a market-research-generated comic about teenage superheroes."

How true is this? I was a big New Warriors fan growing up, so this has peeked my curiosity quite a bit."

As soon as I heard from Anthony, I went straight to the cow's mouth himself, Tom DeFalco. Hmmm...that sounds weird, but you all know what I mean, right?

Anyhow, I asked Tom about it and he explained the following:

I was visiting Marvel's newsstand distributor--something I used to do to stay on top of our mass market comic book sales.

I asked our rep if any particular magazines were selling to teenage boys. He pointed at a group of skateboarding mags like Trash and Thrasher and told me they were selling like crazy.

I picked up a few, studied them and decided to base a new character them. Night Thrasher was the result.

Here a couple of the magazines from that time period...

And here is Night Thrasher (the name of the magazine is even in his name!) in action for the first time...

Fascinating stuff.

Thanks to Anthony for the question and thanks so much to Tom DeFalco for the illuminating answer!

Check out some other death-themed entertainment legends from Legends Revealed:

1. How Did the Writing Staff of the Simpsons Get “Revenge” on Justin Timberlake?

2. Was the First Movie Vampire With Fangs Not Until the 1950s?

3. Did Barry Manilow Seriously Write “Mandy” About His Dog?

4. Were Some of Shel Silverstein’s Poems for Children Originally Published in Playboy?

Check back later for part 2 of this week's legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

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