“In the end, it was just the New Warriors. . . and we weren’t enough.”
Final Issue! The Kaine Krusaders versus the Eternals for the fate of all of Earth’s super-humans! How could such a set-up possibly disappoint you? Well, READ ON True Believers!
ARTIST: Marcus To
COLOR ARTIST: Ruth Redmond
LETTERING: VC’s Joe Caramagna
COVER by Takeshi Miyazawa & Ruth Redmond
EDITOR: Devin Lewis
SUPERVISING EDITOR: Sana Amanat
SENIOR EDITOR: Nick Lowe
STORY: Justice narrates the final issue of this book, explaining what happened with the Warriors to an unknown party. He flies from Nepal back to the Arctic Circle to save his imperiled teammates, inexplicably unaffected by the High Evolutionary’s “extinction wave” that specifically targets meta-humans and mutants. Back in Wyndham’s base, Eternals Phastos and Makkari are as confused as the readers about their leader Zuras’ intentions in this book’s plot, but Zuras assures them that “the children” are dangerous and that their threat to the good of humanity warrants the extinction of every mutant and meta-human. Zuras has Wyndham turn up the machine and we begin to see all of Earth’s super-humans (including our Amazing Friend) writhe in agony at the extinction wave. When Scarlet Spider begins to despair as Hummingbird screams in pain, Speedball reassures him that Justice will return as “the world still needs saving.” Sure enough, Vance crashes into the ship, destroying the machine and releasing his teammates. The Warriors rally and somehow manage to kick the Eternals’ collective butts, despite having their vital resources depleted by the High Evolutionary’s machine, with Justice, out of the middle of nowhere, letting on that somehow he knows that the Celestials are indeed not coming back to Earth (despite 11 issues of build-up) and accusing Zuras of senselessly “taking a shine to genocide.” Zuras is enraged and nearly kills Vance, but his fellow Eternals stop fighting the Warriors and demand an explanation for his actions. And do they (and we) get one? No way man! Zuras comes up with a half-baked account and blames the High Evoluntionary for twisting his commands, blasting Wyndham in the face before he can explain himself, to which Justice remarks “Convenient.” Well Justice, it’s not “convenient” for those of us who have invested $48 in this series as Zuras’ genocidal motivations are never made clear and we never get to see any Celestials. What was the point of all this?! But whatever. Let’s just blast this book in the face and be done with it I guess. *huffhuff* Anyways, Justice tells the Eternals off as they teleport away, and the Warriors all revel in their victory (with the specter of Chthon eerily hovering over Jake Waffles – yet another plot-point left unresolved). As it turns out, the one Justice was telling all of this to was Old Man Steve Rogers, who asks Vance what the Warriors are going to do next. Justice tells Rogers, “We’re going to expand.” The final panel shows the current Warriors cast together with Night Thrasher, Rage, and Namorita (fan-favorite characters whose inclusion probably should have come along sooner, don’tcha think?) above an over-sized THE BEGINNING! . . .oi
THOUGHTS: As you can probably tell, this issue was by-and-large a frustrating disappointment to me. It was not all bad though, as Marcus To’s art was consistently clean and great looking throughout. I would definitely not mind seeing more of his work in the future. But, alas, good art was not nearly enough to save the little-comic-that-couldn’t.
First off: the narration. I’ve always straight up loathed the first-person future narrative approach that is taken here when it is used during the climax of a story. This always takes me out of the tale at hand as it represents the assurance that there will be a future for these characters, which is inconsistent with the perilous tone that the creative team is usually trying to create in these big moments. Case in point, as the issue opens, and Yost/Burnham has Justice narrate about how the Warriors “weren’t enough” to stop the threat at hand, all while we see To’s depiction of the shattered and tattered costumes of our heroes, it doesn’t really put me on the edge of my seat because I know that at some point in time in the immediate future he’s just fine as he’s explaining these events. So, right off the bat, whatever peril or thrill this issue could have contained was undermined, if not taken away completely.
And then there was the whole “expansion” thing from the end of the issue (which felt too similar to Bendis’ Avengers finale, which was also anticlimactic) that was not-really-elaborated upon by Devin Lewis’ remark in the post-script when he said that we would be seeing the Warriors again sooner than we think. Is there a new New Warriors book on the horizon? If it still has Kaine, providing he survives Spider-Verse of course, then I for one would be at least curious, but this title was such a swing and a miss that I may be one of the few.
Other than that, and the criticisms I voiced during the summary, I don’t really have much else to say about this issue. And that’s not due to apathy, there just isn’t really anything new to state about this comic that hasn’t been voiced already, because the finale doesn’t bring anything new or different to the table. I realize now that I had been holding out for a good finish, and that maybe we would get some justification for why the New Warriors belong in the current Marvel U. Sadly, this hope was in vain. All in all, the current creative teams’ approach to this group never really coalesced as I am still left with the same unanswered questions I had during the first issue: “Why are they a team?” “What distinguishes them in a universe where there are already too many Avengers titles?” Oh well. I guess my last review for this title will be as disappointingly anticlimactic as the book itself. I’m gonna go read the Superior Foes finale now to wash this off.
KAINIAC KORNER: Uh. . . I guess that “My ‘we should break his face’ sense is tingling” line was kind of funny. Not really much to go on here, which is kind of a let-down because I’ve usually been able to squeeze some character insight out of even the most meager of appearances; yet another disappointment with this final issue. Still no indication that we’ll ever see Yost’s resolution to the Aztec storyline from Scarlet Spider either.
GRADE: D (not good – while To’s consistently good art saves the comic from a failing grade, it remains a lack-luster ending to a disappointment of a book that never really seemed to know it’s place or purpose in Marvel’s publishing line)