Marvel's Outlawed, in stores today, sets up a new status quo for the Marvel Universe which is suspiciously similar to the status quo of Civil War, except this time it's only heroes under the age of 21 who are "outlawed" if they don't follow the rules of the new Underage Superhuman Welfare Act. We heard all about that in an article on Bleeding Cool earlier today, in which Bleeding Cool Rumourmonger-in-Chief Rich Johnston somehow manages to sink to new low by expressing support both for the act and for Iron Man's side in Civil War 1. For shame, Rich.
In any case, one of the spinoffs from Outlawed will be a new New Warriors series, which we saw a preview of over the weekend, in which the old New Warriors mentor a team of New New Warriors, all members of Generation Z. Generation Z are the generation succeeding Millennials, born in the late 90s and early 2000s, and teenagers today. You may be familiar with them from the long-popular phenomenon of older generations lumping them in with Millennials as they use the latter term as a catch-all insult toward younger people, or from the more recent but delicious phenomenon of Gen Zers lumping Millennials, some of whom are now pushing middle age, in with all other old people. If you're feeling down about the whole coronavirus thing and need to be cheered up, go and find a Millennial on Twitter complaining about being told "OK Boomer" by teenagers. We're not saying it's the cure for coronavirus, but we're not saying it isn't either.
The point is that young people can tell you're not one of them, even if you haven't figured it out yet yourself. But Marvel, hoping as always to appeal to young people by having old men write books starring teenage characters, has enlisted 36-year-old Boomer writer Daniel Kibblesmith to create a new team of New Warriors with 37-year-old artist Luciano Vecchio, and the results are, well… just take a look for yourself.
From a Marvel press release, here's the lineup of new characters:
Psychic Twins. "All twins are psychic, but we're psychic-er." Snowflake, a cryokinetic, can materialize snowflake-shaped shuriken projectiles for throwing. Safespace can materialize pink forcefields, but he can't inhabit them himself, the reflex only works if he's protecting others. They're hyper aware of modern culture and optics, and they see their Super Heroics as "a post-ironic meditation on using violence to combat bullying." They're probably streaming this.
"Snowflake and Safespace are the twins," the writer says, "and their names are very similar to Screentime; it's this idea that these are terms that get thrown around on the internet that they don't see as derogatory. [They] take those words and kind of wear them as badges of honor.
"Safespace is a big, burly, sort of stereotypical jock. He can create forcefields, but he can only trigger them if he's protecting somebody else. Snowflake is non-binary and goes by they/them, and has the power to generate individual crystalized snowflake-shaped shurikens. The connotations of the word 'snowflake' in our culture right now are something fragile, and this is a character who is turning it into something sharp.
"Snowflake is the person who has the more offensive power, and Safespace is the person who has the more defensive power. The idea is that they would mirror each other and complement each other."
A teen "living vampire" exposed to Michael Morbius's blood as a child in a rogue, but life-saving medical procedure. He still ages like a regular kid, but has all the abilities of Morbius. He's also obsessed with all the music and attitude of a "classic" long-past decades like the '90s, and the '00s. "The world is a vampire…and so am I."
"B-Negative is the goth kid. When he was a baby he got a rogue lifesaving blood transfusion, we assume, from Michael Morbius. And now he has a very similar look, and very similar vampire powers," shares Kibblesmith. "B-Negative ages like a regular person (or does he?) and he definitely drinks blood (or does he?), but designer/artist Luciano Vecchio took brilliant inspiration from the '90s Spider-Man cartoon and gave B-Negative the 'leech suckers' that the animated version of Morbius had on his palms."
A Meme-Obsessed super teen whose brain became connected to the internet after becoming exposed to his grandfather's "experimental internet gas." Now he can see augmented reality and real-time maps, and can instantly Google any fact. Does this make him effectively a genius? He sure acts like it does.
"I wanted to have teen characters who felt as "now" as the New Warriors did in 1990," explains Kibblesmith. "The New Warriors have been zeitgeist characters from the beginning, you get edgy skateboarding Night Thrasher in the '90s and the Reality TV team in the 2000s, and now in 2020, we have New Warriors who have never grown up without the Internet, and one character who appears to essentially live inside it.
"The word 'screen time' is only ever used in a sort of restrictive sense, and because we're doing a story about teenage rebels, a lot of the names are about teens fighting against labels that are put on them. So with Screentime, we liked the idea that he has infinite screen time."
A regular kid scooped up into the world of teenage Super Heroing. Her "magic backpack" is actually a pocket dimension with seemingly infinite space, from which she can pull out useful or random objects—it's not always under her control. She claims to get her power from god, but "not the god you're thinking of."
"She's a group home and foster kid who is volunteering at a senior center when this mysterious threat shows up and Night Thrasher runs to the rescue," the scribe adds. "And because she helps him, she ends up in the crosshairs of this new 'Outlawed' law…
"Trailblazer wants to help people, but she doesn't think of herself as a Super Hero (yet!)," Kibblesmith concludes. "The Marvel Universe is a reflection of our own, and when a new law gets put into place, it affects people in unforeseen ways."
New Warriors #1 hits stores on April 15th, fellow kids! Be sure to post about it on the TikTok.
NEW WARRIORS #1 (OF 5)
(W) Daniel Kibblesmith (A) Luciano Vecchio (CA) R. B. Silva
DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK!
Or Night Thrasher will knock you out! Or better yet, he'll get one of the new recruits to do it! With Kamala's Law in full effect – forbidding unsupervised super heroics by anyone under the age of 21 – it's time for the New Warriors to step up. Thrasher reunites with Firestar, Rage, Speedball, Namorita and Silhouette to mentor a whole new generation of heroes…whether they like it or not. Introducing the NEW New Warriors – and the epoch of their thrilling new adventures!
In Shops: Apr 15, 2020