Yost Puts the New Back in "New Warriors"

Marvel Comics topped off a busy weekend of announcements with the "Superior Spider-Man & Friends" panel Sunday afternoon at New York Comic Con, bringing word of multiple new projects including a revival of New Warriors, scheduled to debut in February 2014 from the creative team of Chris Yost and artist Marcus To.

The first "New Warriors" series debuted in 1990 from writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Mark Bagley, and remains a fan favorite with readers who came of age in the '90s. The new series includes two members of that original incarnation -- Justice and Speedball, recently seen musing the possibility of a New Warriors comeback in "Nova." That new Nova, Sam Alexander -- the Richard Rider version of the character was another New Warriors mainstay -- is also a part of the book, along with Scarlet Spider, whose Yost-written solo series is ending in December.

Along with the above, the book will also include new characters Haechi and Water Snake, plus Sun Girl from "Superior Spider-Man Team-Up," and "Scarlet Spider" character Hummingbird, all united against a sweeping threat poised by the High Evolutionary. CBR News spoke with Yost to learn more about the series, and his reunion with his "Red Robin" collaborator To.

CBR News: Chris, given the amount of nostalgic love there is still out there for "New Warriors," people are going to be excited about this news. How much of a fan were you of the original series? Following some of the past '90s-associated projects you've been involved with -- X-Force, Scarlet Spider -- it feels comfortably in your wheelhouse.

Chris Yost: I was a huge fan of the original Fabian/Bagley run, it had that magic to it. Six characters from six different worlds, all coming together to fight the good fight... what's not to love?

And yeah... I'm not sure how the '90s became my thing, but the last few years have been '90s-infused for sure. Hopefully with a modern sensibility to it. I loved all those books back in the day, and it's been amazing to work on them now. But nostalgia only gets you half way.

What can you say about the new team's mission, and how it may be similar -- or possibly entirely dissimilar -- to the original "New Warriors" concept?

The New Warriors were never really limited in what they could do, so much like the Avengers, they took on a little bit of everything. They were the next generation of Marvel super-heroes in many ways, and that's going to continue on here.

But what we're going to look at specifically is the disparate origins of these eight characters that have come together, this is kind of the multi-species/cultural/dimensional/world super-team of the Marvel Universe. Assuming your culture is being a human, clone, mutant, inhuman, atlantean, super-human, demigod or alien enhanced person.

Let's talk, as much as we can, about who'll be making up this team of new New Warriors. Justice and Speedball are both involved -- how important was it to you to have two of the originals in the mix?

Honestly, my first pitch didn't have Justice or Speedball... but it wasn't working as New Warriors without some of the core team. Much like you can have an Avengers team without Cap, Iron Man and Thor, it certainly helps give it that legitimacy. And given what was being set up in the "Nova" book, it made things thatmuch easier.

To zero in a bit on Justice, he's a character who's been in a lot of different places as of late, mainly seen as a instructor/trainer in both "Avengers: The Initiative" and "Avengers Academy." What's his current motivation going into this series?

Justice has been around, seen a lot... he's been an Avenger, he's seen the New Warriors implode... he's a guy with a need to be in the game, to fight the good fight... but he's come to the realization that the world may not need New Warriors. He's wrong on that.

Speedball has had a rough time of it in recent years, from his involvement in "Civil War" to his days with the Thunderbolts as Penance, but his latest appearances suggest that he may have moved on. How do you characterize his mindset at the start of the series? Is the "Civil War" baggage still a factor?

Speedball has indeed had a rough time, and while on the surface it does look like he's moved on, there's a lot going on with Robbie, which we'll explore in this iteration of New Warriors. It's extremely important to Speedball to be doing this.

The third member we know about is Sam Alexander, the current Nova. He's obviously younger and newer at the superhero game than Justice and Speedball -- how do you describe his relationship with the other two? Are they ersatz big brothers/mentors?

Sam's such a great and fun character, in a lot of ways he's exactly the kind of character I love... the guy who hasn't seen it all and done it all. You can still get a sense of wonder through his eyes. But he's a little wary of joining up with the New Warriors. He's about to learn the value of a team, though.

And -- fully expecting there might not be much or anything you can say at this early point -- are there any hints can you share about who else might be on the team? Mostly new characters, or familiar ones?

There's going to be a mix of old characters, recent characters and brand new characters. Haechi and Water Snake are new. Sun Girl has/will be seen in "Superior Spider-Man Team-Up," and Hummingbird is currently in "Scarlet Spider." [CBR Note: As revealed by the first cover and confirmed at New York Comic Con, Scarlet Spider is also a part of the team.]

You're reuniting with your "Red Robin" collaborator Marcus To on this -- how excited are you to be working with him again, and from your perspective, what makes him the right fit for this series?

I am a huge, insane fan of Marcus To. "Red Robin" was one of those jobs where every single page that Marcus sent in exceeded my expectations, he just has a look and style that I love. Plus, Marcus has a talent for drawing younger characters, of giving people a lean look and not over bulking them that helps sell the youth. I can't wait for people to see what he does here, and given that this is his first big foray into the Marvel Universe, I'm giving him a little bit of everything.

Following the success of the first series, there have been multiple different New Warriors revivals from Marvel. What were you looking to do differently with your approach?

Well, I can't top what Fabian and Mark did back in the day, it'd be dumb to try. But I can lift the spirit of what they did, and bring my own voice to the scale and fun that's about to go down. These are the New Warriors, and they're about to go to war.

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