Night Thrasher had originally gathered Nova, Marvel Boy (Vance Astrovik) and Firestar as a team, after being encouraged to do so by his legal guardians Chord and Tai. After they had gathered they heard about Terrax rampaging through a local park. They then went to fight him, and found Namorita and Speedball had joined the battle. Beating Terrax together, the five heroes unknowingly were on the way to creating something great. After this, they decided to stay together as a team. They called themselves the New Warriors, after a news report that Speedball had heard about the team.
The New Warriors first appeared on the last page of The Mighty Thor issue 411 and fully in The Mighty Thor issue 412, where the team fought Juggernaut alongside Thor. The team were conceived by the Thor creative team at the time, writer Tom DeFalco and artist Ron Frenz. They would later go on to star in their own series, written by Fabian Nicieza with art by Mark Bagley.
Night Thrasher, using his vast wealth, formed the supergroup The New Warriors, recruiting other superheroes; Nova, Namorita, Firestar, Marvel Boy, Speedball.
The roster changed frequently, many members coming and going, including; Timeslip, Turbo, Dagger and Alex Power. Namorita eventually became the leader of the team after Night Thrasher leaves.
Running low on money, Night Thrasher accepts an offer to include the team in a reality tv show. This team is comprised of old members, Nova, Namorita, Speedball along with newcomers, Microbe and Debrii. The concept of the show sees the team battling various villains, ultimately leading into the events of Civil War and killing all the members except Nova (due to the events of Annihilation) and Speedball.
After the seeming death of his brother Night Thrasher before the events of Civil War, Donyell Taylor took over his mantle and formed a new team under the name New Warriors. This team was mostly made up on former mutants whose powers were lost after the Decimation, including: Wondra (Jubilee), Decibel (Chamber), Blackwing (Beak), Tempest (Angel Salvadore), Phaser (Radian), Skybolt (Redneck), Ripcord (Stacy X) and Renascence (Wind Dancer). The team also included Longstrike (formerly known as Tattoo and sister to Phaser), until she was killed by the Zodiac's Cancer.
The Initiative team Counter-Force eventually renamed themselves as the New Warriors, after already being comprised of former members of the previous teams. They fought Ragnarok in Camp Hammond when they used the team's name for the first time, and, quoting Rage, the name "New Warriors" is something they are proud of, something they wanted to take back. Led by Justice originally as part of the Initiative, other members included: Night Thrasher, Debrii, Rage, Michael (killed in their first battle), Patrick, Slapstick and Ultragirl.
Justice and Speedball would retain the name and use it occasionally when they needed to. On one occasion, they fell in with a collection of heroes targeted by the High Evolutionary. They set up shop in a teleporting Wundagore Mountain. When they both started working for CRADLE after Kamala's Law was enacted, it was planned for them to start a new team of New Warriors consisting of their old teammates sponsoring new underage heroes. However, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the associated event, Outlawed, was delayed and this book ultimately scrapped.
Major Story Arcs
Forming a Team
During the team's first adventure against Terrax, they had been aided by a scientist from a company called Genetech. Genetech became interested in the New Warriors, and were inspired by them to create super powered humans. After sending the Mad Thinker to investigate the New Warriors, Genetech proceeded with their plans. The people that they gave powers to were named Psionex, and became some of the New Warriors' deadliest foes.
As time grew on, the team became better and better and started filling their ranks with a number of new recruits such as Rage and Turbo. There even blossomed relation between the team members, such as Firestar and Marvel Boy, whom started calling himself Justice after he had served a prison sentence because of his responsibility in the death of his own father.
Rebuilding the team
With a disbanded team, Speedball attempts to start a new one, and eventually, after fighting alongside Nova and Namorita, he convinces them to re-form the New Warriors along with Bolt, Aegis, and Turbo. After some time away, Night Thrasher decides to rejoin the team, being accepted with open arms.
Due to the personal relationship Aegis had with the victim of a drive by shooting, the New Warriors got involved with a gang war. They did their best to mediate peacefully, but tensions boiled over and the gangs revealed weaponry advanced beyond their capability. After pacifying the gang war, the Warriors were able to get the name of their arms-dealer.
The arms-dealer was Harley Traynor, who the team tracked down and had arrested. As part of his arrest, Traynor shared his supplier but was killed in prison for the confession. His son blamed the New Warriors, and while looking for a weapon among his father's armory, he was exposed to chemicals that turned him into the superhuman, Biohazard. Luckily, the Warriors have help from Generation X to defeat him.
Reality Show Warriors
When Night Thrasher started running low on funds, he decided to offer the group up for a reality show. Most of the group did not agree with this idea and left. This left Night Thrasher with Speedball, Nova, Namorita, and the recently recruited, Microbe. In addition, the network put Debrii on the team.
They would go on a few softball missions until Speedball got a lead on fugitives from a breakout at the Raft. These villains were beyond what the team could handle, especially with Nova no longer on the team. During their fight, Nitro caused a massive explosion, killing almost all of the group members except Speedball. More importantly to the public, an abundant amount of innocent bystanders perished during the explosion in Stamford, CT. The result was the introduction of the Super-Human Registration Act which divided the Marvel Universe in half and resulted in the currently infamous Civil War.
Now their names will go down in infamy, but it won't be for the reasons they had hoped. Speedball, the only surviving member, was chastised and tortured and eventually became the anti-hero, Penance, a member of the "reformed" super-villain group Thunderbolts.
Post Civil War
Superpowered criminals began turning up captured all over New York with notes attached that said simply "NW". Then a street near a scene of one of these apprehensions was gratified with the phrase "The New Warriors Were Here". The scandal caught on fire, and many realized that the New Warriors were on their way coming back, however not with the many heroes that had participated in the team before. As the incident caught the media's attention, it was realized that someone had decided to re-form the New Warriors. There was, however, a fair amount of debate among the super-hero community (especially those close to Tony Stark) as to who would re-form a team whose only surviving member was branded as a mass murderer (because of their fight with Nitro). After all, except for Speedball, the former members of the team were dead, their bodies accounted for.
The new team was made up almost entirely of mutants de-powered by the decimation (all of whom were involved at some point with the X-men). Their current base of operations is Murderworld, the abandoned once-hideout of Arcade.
The team nearly disbanded until Renascence joined the illustrious roster. She urged the group to stick together, citing their sense of abandonment following M-day. However, the team finally met an end after a traumatic experience visiting the future. Night Thrasher witnessed his dream becoming reality as his dead brother, Dwayne Taylor (the original Night Thrasher), was brought back to life. Dwayne had embraced a totalitarian vision for the world, and, wearing the Iron Man armor, became supreme overlord, sentencing all heroes to either imprisonment or execution. The New Warriors met a new Night Thrasher (Tony Stark) and, with their leader's help, defeated Dwayne.
When they returned to the present time line, the teams' trust in their reason to continue as superheroes was completely shattered. Night Thrasher was unable to keep his role as leader, Wondra decided to leave the team and follow her own path, and the rest of the team thanked Donyell for the opportunity and left the New Warriors too.
A new group of New Warriors spontaneously come together when they are singled out by the High Evolutionary and the Evolutionary for poisoning humanity's ability to evolve. The members were:
- Justice - targeted for being a mutant
- Speedball - targeted for being mutated by science
- Nova (Sam Alexander) - targeted for his exposure to an alien power source
- Water Snake - targeted for being an Atlantean
- Kaine - targeted for being a clone
- Hummingbird - targeted for being a demigod
- Haechi - targeted for being an inhuman
- Sun Girl - who wasn't really targeted for her gadgets but didn't like that the rest of them were being targeted.
Together, they are able to run them off once and take Wundagore Mountain as their new headquarters. Using its tracking and teleporting technology, they are able to give chase to the Evolutionaries. They had been preparing for the return of the Celestials but instead they were greeted by the Eternals. They had already started losing faith in the High Evolutionary's tactics so they were easy to convince to let them go.
In this universe, there is an alternate reality version of the New Warriors founded by Spider-Girl, and now run by the Phil Urich.
Spider-Girl had gathered them to help take down Angel Face and Funny Face, and to essentially fight street crime that A-class heroes like the Avengers would never touch. The roster was made out of the Buzz, Raptor, Darkdevil, Phil Urich as the Golden Goblin and Ladyhawk. The team is sponsored by Normie Osborn.
House of M
In this reality, Luke Cage made treaties with human rival gangs to defeat the mutant rule. One gang called the Wolfpack, which is made out of mostly New Warriors members from the mainstream universe, such as Rage, Speedball, Turbo, Darkhawk, Alex Power as Zero-G and Julie Power as Lightspeed.
In Other Media
Fantastic Four Animated Series
The New Warriors made brief cameos in two episodes of the Fantastic Four series. The episodes were "To Battle the Living Planet" and "Doomsday." They can be seen responding to various collateral damage in New York. The characters specifically seen are Speedball, Darkhawk, and Justice. Rage is also seen, but he is with the Avengers.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
The video game Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 adapts the Civil War storyline. The New Warriors are referenced heavily but not featured together. Namorita's confrontation with Nitro leading to the Stamford explosion appears as a cinematic. Speedball appears as a playable character in his Penance form, and Firestar is featured as a boss during the Pro-Registration story mode.
Marvel Television developed a pilot for half-hour live action comedy to be aired on Freeform. The team would consisted of a roster that was a combination of New Warriors and the Great Lakes Avengers: Night Thrasher, Speedball, Debrii, Microbe, Mr. Immortal, and Squirrel Girl. It was originally given a 10-episode order, but Freeform eventually passed on it. It was to be shopped to other networks until a corporate restructuring put Marvel Television under Marvel Studios, killing any chance of the show.