30 years of changing the world: Celebrating the anniversary of the New Warriors

Hear from writers, artists, editors and fans about the impact ‘New Warriors’ has had on them.

Special thanks to Doug Smith, who contributed additional reporting to this post.

Thirty years ago, comic shops were selling the first issue of a brand new comic book series starring a brand new Marvel Comics superhero team. The New Warriors starred a lineup of mostly forgotten and obscure characters by a creative team who had never launched an ongoing series before. Conventional wisdom at the time said the new series would fail. And yet, improbably, New Warriors not only survived, it thrived. At its peak, it was among the top 25 best-selling comics in North America and the United Kingdom.What was it about this underdog series that defied the odds?

Was it the characters? The book starred supporting characters like Namorita from Sub-Mariner and Marvel Boy from The Thing, and stars of previously cancelled comics like Nova and Speedball. Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief at the time, Tom DeFalco, assembled the team. He also included the abandoned co-star of the animated Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends TV show, Firestar, and a new character co-created with Thor artist Ron Frenz, Night Thrasher.

Was it the creators? Writer Fabian Nicieza inherited these characters and immediately embraced them as his own. The first two years of the book was tightly plotted out and featured sharp dialogue, humor, betrayal, adventure and surprise revelations. Artist Mark Bagley, initially inked by Al Williamson and later by Larry Mahlstedt, injected character-driven storytelling with fun action in every issue. After two years, Bagley was moved to Amazing Spider-Man and replaced with Darick Robertson, who brought his own dynamic and expressive storytelling visuals. Even 30 years later, the series is fondly remembered by fans and comic book professionals, even inspiring some of them to become professionals.

We reached out to a number of comic book writers, artists, retailers and others to hear in their own words what made the New Warriors so special to them. We also reached out to Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley, as well as the first editor on the series, Danny Fingeroth, and writer Evan Skolnick, who succeeded Nicieza as writer, to get their own thoughts on their time working on this secret classic.

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Comic creators share their #spidersona

Joe Quinones, Tony Moore, Dave Johnson and more share their interpretations of the popular meme that spun out of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.’

Since Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hit theaters last month, fans of the film have been sharing their #spidersona on social media. These creations often imagine the artist as a Spider-character.

Many pros have gotten in on the fun as well; here’s a collection of a few we’ve noticed. You can check out more — many, many more! — on Twitter and Instagram.

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Weekly ‘Avengers: No Road Home’ kicks off next year

Writer Jim Zub shares details on the spiritual sequel to last year’s ‘Avengers: No Surrender,’ as he teams up with Al Ewing and Mark Waid for another weekly story.

Last year Avengers: No Surrender ran through all of Marvel’s various Avengers titles on a weekly basis, as the creators of those books tag-teamed on a giant story involving lots of Avengers, the Grandmaster, the Black Order, several new villains and a plot to steal the Earth.

One of the writers involved in the story was Jim Zub, who attended New York Comic Con last weekend to announce the “spiritual successor” to that story, the 10-week Avengers: No Road Home. He took to his blog this week to provide more details on the project.

Unlike “No Surrender,” “No Road Home” will not run through the Avengers titles — there’s actually only the one now, written by Jason Aaron. Instead it’ll be its own stand-alone series. Zub will once again work with Mark Waid and Al Ewing on writing it, while Paco Medina and Sean Izaakse will provide the art.

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‘The Champions’ head for Weirdworld in issue #25

The team gets a D&D-esque makeover courtesy of Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse and Max Dunbar.

Remixing superheroes with different genres is a staple of the artform; who can forget Kurt Busiek and George Perez’s classic “Morgan Conquest,” which saw the Avengers recast as knights of the realm? It looks like the Champions will get their day in the sun as well, so I hope that armor breaths. Ms. Marvel and company will head to Weirdworld in issue #25 to save a couple of their teammates, courtesy of Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse and Max Dunbar.

“With two of their teammates having vanished into Weirdworld, the rest of the Champions have no choice but to follow them into that ever-changing landscape,” said SVP and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort in a press release. “However, the changes this will put them through are both profound and unexpected—and will lead to something new on the horizon.”

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Delsante & Izaaske return to Kickstarter to give you more ‘Stray’

The duo discuss how the Kickstarter campaign is going, what to expect from the series, some news on back-ups and more.

After funding a miniseries featuring their independent superhero character in 2013, Stray co-creators Vito Delsante and Sean Izaakse returned to Kickstarter this month to raise money for an ongoing series. They reached their goal fairly quickly, which is when the real work began.

The story focuses on Rodney Weller, the former teen sidekick to the superhero known as Doberman. When his mentor is killed, Rodney returns to action after five years to solve the murder as Stray. In addition to the miniseries, Stray also appeared in Action Lab‘s Actionverse crossover series with Molly Danger and Midnight Tiger. Joining the creative team for the first arc is artist Phil Cho. As the first arc takes place in both the past and present, Cho will draw the flashback sequences while Izaakse will draw the present-day story.

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‘Stray’ kickstarts a new bi-monthly series

Writer Vito Delsante and artist Sean Izaakse raise money to publish a new series starring their independent superhero creation.

The team behind the independent superhero comic “Stray” returned this month with a new Kickstarter for a new ongoing series, and a new, additional artist for their first arc. With their Kickstarter funded in a couple of days, now they’re adding several additional stretch goals to the campaign.

Writer Vito Delsante and artist Sean Izaakse funded a “Stray” miniseries through Kickstarter back in 2013, which eventually ended up at Action Lab Entertainment. The story focuses on Rodney Weller, the former teen sidekick to the superhero known as Doberman. When his mentor is killed, Rodney returns to action after five years to solve the murder as Stray. In addition to the miniseries, Stray also appeared in the “Actionverse” crossover series with Molly Danger and Midnight Tiger. It’s kind of to “Nightwing” what “Invincible” is to “Superboy” — and I mean that in a good way.

Joining the creative team for the first arc is artist Phil Cho. As the first arc takes place in both the past and present, Cho will draw the flashback sequences while Izaakse will draw the present-day story.

According to their Kickstarter page: “We are starting a new era for ‘Stray’ as it makes the jump from mini-series to a bi-monthly ongoing at Action Lab Entertainment. When last we saw Rodney, he was one of the heroes saving the world in ‘Actionverse.’ As a result of those events, he has decided to do more for the common man, to leave the ‘superheroing’ to the heroes with super powers. But, things don’t go as he planned as he is pulled into a grand cosmic conspiracy that involves the first girl he ever kissed and a hostile alien force known only as The Intolerance.”

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Read more about the book and their stretch goals on Kickstarter. In addition to the campaign, Delsante and Izaakse have also created a shirt featuring the character to benefit the StubbyDog organization.

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