New Warriors #64

Background

The Scarlet Spider is now on the team. Firestar's power might be doing something to her body. A strange woman is stalking the Warriors claiming to have seen the future. Namorita's still missing. And to top it all off, a team called Eugenix have chosen the clinic Firestar was at to commence with some of their brand of genetic cleansing. It's a rough day to be a New Warrior...

Story 'Bang and Blame'

  New Warriors #64
Summary: Scarlet Spider, Night Thrasher, Psionex
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Evan Skolnick
Pencils: Patrick Zircher
Inker: Andrew Pepoy

Firestar was down and Eugenix was about to make their escape when Night Thrasher and Psionex made their presence known. While his team engages the bad guys, Thrash sees to Firestar; both wondering why the other is there. She explains to him she was a patient at the time of attack, and he explains to her Psionex needed guidance to become heroes and that he owns the facility.

The Warriors arrive and join the fight...except instead of attacking Eugenix, due to a past encounter, they hit Psionex! Speedball attempts to get the drop on a large opponent, only to discover at the last second it's former teammate Rage. Rage catches Speedy and uses him to take out one of the real foes. Trubo and Scarlet join them to learn their blunder.

Meanwhile, Firestar and Thrasher are held at bay by Genecide's holding Firestar's doctor, Dr. Chen, hostage. She explains to the heroes their mission to save the human race, to which Thrasher responds with a few rounds from his gun. Accidentally, one of the bullets ricochets off of Genecide's armor into Dr. Chen. Genecide heals and goes on the traditional super villain rant about her motivations to stop people from mucking with genetics and evolution and to stop the passage of defects into future generations because she can read people's genetic codes. Thrasher and Firestar have enough and are about to strike, but Genecide cripples Firestar with the revelation that if she keeps using her powers as she has she'll become sterile. Genecide uses the distraction to escape with her team.

Thrash tries to comfort Firestar, but another misunderstanding occurs as Justice blasts him away. Firestar clears it up and Justice asks why they're both there. Thrash gives his side and tells him Firestar will have to explain hers. Later. Justice then proceeds to give Thrash the third degree about the company he keeps, saying he could cross the line without knowing it. Thrash informs him in their game, you have to do whatever it takes.

Elsewhere, in downtown San Francisco, Jacqueline Zanca, city editor for the Observer, is joined in her office by one of her reporters, Walter. He protests his being taken off the new Nova story and being sent to New York to follow-up on an old story about the Yosemite Explosion. As Walter explains his reasons for not wanting to go, Jackie whips her tongue out and pierces his forehead, her face now looking like some kind of demon. Walter's body lays on the desk rapidly decomposing as Jackie's form changes to resemble him. "Walter" then grabs up his things and heads off to catch his flight.

Back in New York, the team unwinds by trying to figure out a new codename for Alex to fit his new powers. Justice interrupts them to bring them back to a more important problem; what to do with Helix. Hindsight picks that moment to have Rina zip in and introduce the team to her powers, her new costume, and her new codename: Timeslip. All of that was a show to get them to pay attention to her visions. Justice agrees and Rina tells them about how her visions work and how they lead up to Speedball's death.

With the information out, the team tries to convince Speedy to take some time off, but he refuses to believe in the visions. Hindsight offers it could be his taking a break that leads to his death. Ideas are thrown around about possible solutions; including the notion Rina could be seeing alternate futures, when Rina suddenly collapses. She explains that either her past had caught up with her or she caught up with it, but either way Rina explains that she's certain she doesn't experience the alternate future. No matter how she looks at it, there may be no way to save Speedball's life.

General Comments

The story gets interesting as it goes. You know when you start throwing in time manipulation plot devices things are about to get very confusing very fast. It takes a good writer to balance all the paradoxes and possibilities they create within the story to wrap it up in a coherent fashion, so we'll see if that happens here. The whole villain speech during the face-off seemed a bit clichéd, but hey, it's the 90s. That can pretty much be overlooked for dramatic effect.

Also, Scarlet's spider-sense seemed a bit off in this issue. During the fight, it should have told him who the bad guys were like it has in earlier Spidey comics, meaning he should never have attacked Psionex members regardless of the Warriors' lead. Then later, when Rina made her superhero introduction, it went off even though she posed no clear danger to him nor the team. Power levels and functions are the one thing that suffers between titles and writers.

Overall Rating

Four webs. The growing Speedball mystery has you hooked while minor nitpicks are the only negatives plaguing the book.