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, and 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, and 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 (who had already left the team for the events of Annihilation) and Speedball (who was shielded by his powers).
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.
Around the same time as the former mutant team, the Initiative team, Counter-Force, eventually renamed themselves as the New Warriors, 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 the tie-in New Warriors book was canceled.
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.
They also had a run-in with Night Thrasher’s old team. It consisted of sibling duo, Midnight’s Fire and Silhouette. They were baiting local gangs and cracking down on the ones that fell for it. One night, when a beat cop got involved, Silhouette was shot and paralyzed. Midnight’s Fire blamed Thrasher and, in his anger, took over a neighborhood as a local kingpin.
The team starts to gel while in the Amazon searching for Speedball’s mom, who fell in with a group of eco-terrorists. However, Thrash is rattled when he finds out the Taylor Foundation, the charity that had been backing him, was a front for illegal activity. This activity could be traced back to the External, Gideon, and The Hand. In the wake of this information, Thrash quit and Chord was in critical condition after a suicide attempt.
Nothing But the Truth
Recovering from his wounds at home, Vance had to contend with his mutant hating father. After an especially aggressive confrontation, Vance accidentally killed his father with his telekinesis and is now standing trial.
Meanwhile, the team is reunited with Silhouette, who needs their help investigating the secrets of the Taylor Foundation. Sil reveals Chord is her father, and from his hospital bed, he sends the team to Cambodia where Thrash already is. He had joined up with the Folding Circle, Midnight’s Fire’s new team, and was being targeted by Tai. Before they go, they bolster their ranks with Darkhawk and Rage, who helps them steal an Avengers quinjet.
The team tracks Thrash to the Temple of the Dragon’s Breadth, where Tai revealed that the members of the Folding Circle were the result of a deal she made with American soldiers during the Vietnam War. She offered wives to the soldiers in exchange for warrior sons to be used as sacrifices to the Well of All Things. She tricked Thrash into creating the Warriors as a backup plan, by killing his parents and starting his war on crime. The Warriors and The Folding Circle team up to take her down, ending with Thrash sacrificing her to the Well to fulfill his vengeance.
Back in the US, Vance was found guilty of negligent homicide and taken into custody. The Warriors tried to free him from his prison transport, but he refused their help. Instead, Vance wanted to take responsibility for his crimes.
Kimieko Ashu, a rival of Night Thrasher and leader of the Poison Memories gang, targeted Namorita at a nightclub and engaged in a one-night stand with her. While sneaking out in the morning, he stole her address book including the real identities and contact information of the New Warriors. His big plan to get revenge on Thrash was to torture his old team, and his plan to do that was to target their loved ones.
The Poison Memories blew up Rage’s grandmother’s house and shot Firestar’s dad. They also kidnapped Nova’s brother and Speedball’s dad. With the kidnapped as leverage, The Poison Memories demanded the Warriors to give themselves up. All but Rage did. Meanwhile, Speedball’s friend, Carl, who recently tried joining the Warriors as Hindsight Lad, contacted estranged member, Night Thrasher, for help. Thrash tracked them to a greenhouse in New Jersey and freed them.
He led them to the Newark Port Authority, where the Poison Memories were holding their family members. They were being guarded by Ashu in mecharmor. While their flyers get the hostages to safety, the others work on destroying the mecharmor. Once Ashu abandons the armor, he is suddenly attacked by Rage, who finally caught up with his teammates and snapped Ashu’s neck.
In the aftermath, Firestar’s dad survived his gunshot. Rage was acquitted in self-defense and released into the guardianship of Chord. Nita resigned from the team for her role in the attacks on their families, but Thrash returned to the team.
The New New Warriors
Since the attack on their families, everything has been going well for the Warriors. Justice was released from prison, and Nita returned to the team after an Atlantean power upgrade. They had just helped X-Force take out the Upstarts and were looking forward to some quality time, when The Sphinx, an enemy from one of their earliest adventures, plucked the Warriors from the timestream, knowing they would stop at nothing to stand in the way of his vengeance on Karim for stealing his powers.
Thrash wound up in the antebellum south besieged by slave-catchers, while Rage was in North Africa facing slave traders. Silhouette found herself in Cambodia at a time where the Temple of the Dragon’s Breadth was full of worshippers, including a young Tai. Nita is stuck in early Atlantean history, where submariner villages were still warring for control, while Justice witnesses his father as a boy be victim to the same cycle of abuse that caused him to lash out on Justice. Nova was in a future where he failed to stop a dark storm from destroying Earth, and Firestar was persecuted during the Salem Witch Trials for her mutant abilities. However, Speedball found himself not even on Earth but rather the home dimension where his powers originated from.
Back in the present, Hindsight Lad recruits a new roster of the New Warriors: Turbo, Darkhawk, Dagger, Alex Power as Powerpax, and Thrash’s half-brother and Sil’s current boyfriend, Bandit. They work with Karim to siphon back the power from Spinx in exchange for the return of their friends. They teleport to Egypt and confront Sphinx. He is seemingly no match for them, but when his chronal energy accidentally hits his portal device, Nova is freed.
With Sphinx engaged in battle with Nova and Bandit, Karim and the rest of the Warriors were able to locate Speedball and use his powers of kinetic motion to locate and free the rest of his teammates. With a full roster, they take on Sphinx. With defeat inevitable, Sphinx is given another choice by Karim for the two to go back in time and live a life with purpose.
Bandit and Silhouette ultimately decide to leave the team, while the rest of Hindsight's impromptu roster gladly accept part-time status.
When Spidercide steals a contagion isotope from Genetech, the Warriors are hired to look into it. This causes them to cross paths with Ben Reilly, the Scarlet Spider, who is extended a membership to the group for his help. However, his refusal to reveal his identity caused tension between him and the group.
That tension got worse when Lady Octopus infected Joe Wade with nanobots and piloted his body through a crime spree as Scarlet Spider, reflecting badly on the team. The Warriors caught up to him on the Brooklyn Bridge, where he attacked Firestar. As the Warriors applied pressure, he continued to evolve and mutate. First, he had a full chrome skin and then continued to “hulk” out.
They eventually get help from Spider-Man, the real Ben Reilly, who never informed his team that he changed identities. After defeating Joe Wade, most of the team believed he was “their” Scarlet Spider, with only Firestar figuring out that their team member had moved on to being Spider-Man.
Disbanding the Team
After the Fantastic Four and most of the Avengers went missing after the battle with Onslaught, the Warriors had to step up their game patrolling for crime, including joining the search for the Thunderbolts after it was revealed they were the Masters of Evil and helping Ultragirl, who eventually would accept membership, with a series of fires in LA.
When the heroes returned, the team slowly went their separate ways. Night Thrasher moved to Seattle to pursue a college education. Justice and Firestar were offered Avengers membership after helping fight Morgan le Fey. Nita never returned from replacing a missing Namor as ruler of Atlantis.
Feeling the team had come to an organic end, final members, Nova and Speedball, amicably went their separate ways.
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 and Debrii 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.
In the aftermath of Stamford, a website went live called DestroyAllWarriors.com. It called for the unmasking of the remaining New Warriors, none of whom had anything to do with Stamford. Hindsight, Debrii, and Timeslip were already revealed. That’s when Rage and Justice went to She-Hulk for some legal help. They would sue the dummy corporation in charge to try to shut down the site, but Iron Man would slip the information he hacked to She-Hulk. This led them to Hindsight, who was just trying to discourage the remaining New Warriors from staying active. That way everyone could forget about them, and their legacy won’t be what Speedball and their dead members did in Stamford.
When the Superhuman Registration Act was finalized, Stamford was turned into a boot camp for would-be Avengers. Justice got a job there as one of its trainers while former Warriors: Rage, Ultragirl, Debrii, and Slapstick were admitted as trainees. When Gauntlet, a trainer who was constantly belittling the New Warriors, was attacked, they were all considered suspects, including Justice. Gauntlet would eventually recover and attest that it was Iron Man villain, Ghost, however, it was in fact Slapstick.
When KIA attacked Camp Hammond, the former New Warrior trainees hunkered down together. Using the old communicator he knew Slapstick would still have on him, Justice was able to reach out to them. He regrouped them in Tennessee at MVP’s father’s home, which they correctly assumed would be attacked by KIA. They fought him off with a few other Initiative cadets, eventually using a brain scanner to wipe MVP’s brain patterns from KIA’s clone body. Slapstick would steal the brain scanner when no one was looking.
Sick of the secrets, Justice would resigned from Camp Hammond, taking his registered and trained New Warriors (including the Scarlet Spiders) with him to create “Counter-Force,” a group determined to hold the Initiative accountable.
At the same time that veteran Warriors were cadets at Camp Hammond, 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.
The next time Justice brought his Counter-Force version of New Warriors to Camp Hammond is when Ragnarok, the cyborg clone of Thor, was resuscitated and let loose. At this point, Bandit’s former mutant squad had formed and disbanded, and he had joined Justice, still using the Night Thrasher alias and armor. They hold their own decently, but the tide doesn’t turn in their favor until Gauntlet leads all staff members and available graduated cadets into the fight.
Before they left, Justice was determined to retrieve MVP’s body, having secretly died in a training exercise and replaced with clones. He made a public spectacle of it so the media would pick the story up, causing the closure of Camp Hammond.
This was just the beginning of their strategy to oust Osborn, who had taken over the Initiative and SHIELD after the events of the Secret Invasion. They recruited former Hammond staff members Tigra and Gauntlet for this new quest. Tigra believed they had enough veteran members to call themselves the Avengers Resistance. (read more about this squad on the Avengers Resistance page).
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.
Over the course of season 3 and 4 of Ultimate Spider-Man, a SHIELD trainee squad designated "The New Warriors" shows up to learn and operate in the field with Spider-Man and his original squad. However, their membership is much different. The only character who was a member in both comics and the show was Dagger. Speedball is also seen among a list of potential recruits.
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.