The New Warriors have been reassembled, and their first mission together finds them going after super villains who escaped from a super-powered prison called The Vault. After a quick battle against Tiger Shark and Armadillo, it's revealed that the team reformed to record their battles for a reality TV show. Some of them aren't happy with it, but they're doing it for their leader and friend Night Thrasher. But what is he hiding from his teammates? -summary
The New Warriors were a superhero team that had formed back in 1989 in the pages of The Mighty Thor, issue number 411 to be exact. They were a young superhero team that were pretty much at the bottom of the barrel. They weren't as popular as the X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, or maybe even X-Force. However, this didn't stop them from earning quite a rabid following, plus making some noteworthy appearances in other well established characters books. For the most part, I did somewhat like them, and I was interested in this third volume that followed half of the founding members of the team; Nova, Namorita, Night Thrasher, and Speedball. Written by Zeb Wells whom is mainly known for Spider-Man/Dr. Octopus Year One; New Warriors: Reality Checkissues 1 - 6, focuses mainly on delivering comedy through the characters antics along with its satire on reality TV.
The writing in which I will get to later is the strongest feature of the book, while the artwork by Skottie Young is definitely the books weakest feature; for the most part I'll say it comes down to whatever your taste is. Personally, I just wasn't feeling it, and even after this re-read it still doesn't work for me. It tends to be more Japanese anime influenced as it's done in a very cartoony style. Characters like Nova and Tiger Shark are done with oversized limbs, while some characters like Speedball and Namorita are skinnier than usual, and Night Thrasher just looks terrible. I clearly understand that this was meant to compliment the satire as well as alert readers that they were in for something quite different, but it comes off as if Wells was trying too hard to shoot for a comedic effect. While some of the designs manage to work for most of the stories that are meant to be zany and over the top, it's just reaching way too much. The action panels could have been a lot better, and I could've done without the dirt cloud fighting found in Bugs Bunny barfights. At least the panels and dialog are done in a normal manner making them very easy to follow.
Now the stories are well written for the most part and fun to read; as the New Warriors try to calm a zoo where the animals are all of a sudden intelligent, plus they take on villains such as very intelligent robots created by the Mad Thinker, along with the Corruptor taking over a small community. In some way, despite having some type of fun here, I really would've enjoyed this story more had the comedy been left at the front door. It has a very interesting concept; the New Warriors gathered together again to combat villainy in small parts of the country that would otherwise go unnoticed. For example, the Fantastic Four would place these towns on the low priority list despite being called, since cities like New York need them even more. Wells really had the material to trigger some type of moral debate here. I mean, what kind of a superhero determines what community needs saving the most? It seems very un-superhero like to dismiss a small back-woods town only because it's barely on the radar. Unfortunately, Wells does nothing with this and it goes down in history as a wasted concept. He also doesn't expand on the possibility of disaster due to behind-the-scenes politics of the network backing them. This story was meant to be too light-hearted which is just a shame.
Wells also introduces two new members to the group being Microbe and Debrii. The former is by far the least interesting as his ability is to talk to germs floating in the air. Wells goes out of his way to make this physically out of shaped character important to the line up. I will admit that he is creative with him, but I just don't like the character since he still seems useless. Marvel must have thought the same thing since they would quickly kill him off later. Debrii's spunky, ghetto black chick from NYC attitude makes her tolerable, as she brings another dynamic to the team who are pretty much full of stereotypical heroes. Wells does a decent enough job developing the characters.
Now this volume of New Warriors would be quickly canceled after these six issues, mainly to follow up the fall out of Civil War. That's another thing, although the New Warriors play a huge role in setting off Civil War, this book isn't at all necessary for the story. You will learn everything you need to know in the actual Civil Warevent. This book will only be valuable to long time New Warriors fans. I also heard several comparisons; some people believe if you enjoyed the comedy found in Dan Slotts Great Lakes Avengers: Missassembled, then you'll enjoy this book too because the comedy is similar. I couldn't disagree more, Reality Check doesn't come close as far as I'm concerned. If you're a serious comic book collector and find yourself stuck on which one to get, you'll do yourself a favor picking up Great Lakes instead.
Pros: -An easy enough read if anything
Cons: -Missed opportunity to be something more, artwork
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