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Reason to be Excited – Al Ewing’s Night Thrasher

by  in Comic News Comment
Reason to be Excited – Al Ewing’s Night Thrasher

This is the debut of a new feature where I spotlight things from comics (presumably recent comics, but who knows, I might go into the past, as well) that I think are worth getting excited about.

We begin with Al Ewing’s take on Night Thrasher in the pages of Contest of Champions.

There are many things to like about Al Ewing’s writing. The guy’s a top notch writer. However, one of the things that I find most charming about his work is that he’s clearly one of those “there’s almost never such a thing as a ‘bad character'” guys. He’s the type of writer who finds the best in all characters. And one of his current series, Contest of Champions, is perfect for that approach. The idea is that heroes and villains are plucked from time and space to, well, fight each other.

Recently, one of the heroes who was plucked out of time was Night Thrasher, taken right before he died in Civil War.

Night Thrasher was a hero very much of the 1990s, when he debuted in the pages of Thor leading up to New Warriors #1…

Night Thrasher was not always the most beloved characters of the early 1990s. Dwayne McDuffie pointedly even mocked a trend he saw at the time of black heroes riding skateboards.

Night Thrasher actually had an ongoing series that was written by first Fabian Nicieza, then Dan Slott for a couple of issues and then Kurt Busiek for the rest of the run (co-writing with Steve Mattsson, who did write one issue sans Busiek)! Damn!

However, the idea of a skateboarding superhero named Night Thrasher did not go over well into the 2000s, and thus he was one of the New Warriors killed off in Civil War #1 (by Mark Millar, Steve McNiven and Dexter Vines)…

He pretty much stayed dead until recently, when Ewing had him plucked from time right before his death to take part in the Contest of Champions and man, Night Thrasher has RULED in this comic, as Ewing has completely embraced the ridiculous 1990s aspects of the character, as seen here in the latest issue (Contest of Champions #8 by Ewing, Rhoald Marcellius and Andrew Crossley) …

SPOILERS AHEAD!!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Such a smart piece of writing. Address the ridiculousness, even have the HERO tacitly address it, but then show how cool he is and argue, “Who cares what you think?”

Ewing also keeps clear that Thrasher is a brilliant tactical mind who isn’t above risking others in the pursuit of his goals…

Thrasher actually ends this issue back into the regular Marvel continuity (as he remains in the present outside the boundaries of the Contest of Champions). I can’t wait to see if Ewing does anything with him in The Ultimates. Or if some other writer will latch on to the coolness!

Okay, that’s it for this week! This feature is a bit more personal, but what the heck, if you see something in a comic that you’re exicted about, feel free to drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

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