Top 100 Summer Comics #33

Rarely are first issues a smooth ride. There’s generally a formula followed, and 22 pages is not many when you need to introduce characters, bring them together, somehow make it gel, and convince the reader to jump on for the next issue.

An interesting fact is how often the print run of issue #2 is dramatically smaller than that of the first issue – based on historic drop off as well as the fear that the series will just fall apart. This is true for everything from X-Men to Avengers to Superman to Justice League/s.

But for brand new super hero teams, damn. It almost never sticks. This one did, if even for a little while.

#33 – New Warriors #1

I have to wonder what kind of concept they had with this team… was it the old “something old (Nova), something new (Night Thrasher), something borrowed (hrmm.. Namorita, from her then regular appearances in Namor? It’s a stretch I know), and something blue (Marvel Boy? Speedball was always a downer too)? Maybe.

Whatever it was, it worked. And mostly because the writing was sharp, and the attempt to be a hip teen book wasn’t shoved in the readers face. That’s often the way to kill any interest in a book. As a young reader, I wanted to shove an ice pick through my skull anytime a comic book tried to be hip. Stop. The other factor was Mark Bagley absolutely killing it, his art was really refreshing at the time. He never pandered to the Liefeld / McFarlane / Lee camp, keeping his own style when it seemed everyone was moving in one direction.  The opening with a dejected Richard Rider standing on a ledge is still a keeper scene.

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