Who are the New Warriors?

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It’s not surprising to hear Marvel announcing another TV series. The company owns thousands of characters, and its studio division is setting them up on screen almost daily, now. What is surprising, though–especially for comics readers–is the specific pairing of characters in this new project.  As the Hollywood Reporter has relayed, there’s a New Warriors show in the pipeline at Freeform. And the team is going to be fronted… by Squirrel Girl?

Fans figured something was bound to come out of Anna Kendrick’s lobbying for this part, however facetiously. Heck, when her “campaign” caused a stir in the blogosphere, we even offered some quick facts about Ms. Doreen Green to explain what her deal was to those who, quite understandably, had never heard of her before. “Never before” continues to be the theme in this discussion, though. While Squirrel Girl has been a member of both the actual Avengers and its oddball Great Lakes branch, she’s never actually been on a Warriors line-up. And her inclusion already says plenty about the tone of this take.

With their debut, they were billed as “the super team for the 90s.” And they had the skateboards to back that claim up. The core line-up was assembled by Night Thrasher, and it included the microwave-powered Firestar, the bouncing joker Speedball, Namorita (the Sub-Mariner’s cloned cousin), Nova (an Earthly member of the Nova Corps featured in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie), and Justice (a hero destined to join the Guardians’ original incarnation).

In a number of ways, they’ve been like the Marvel Universe’s answer to the Teen Titans. Only one or two members have explicitly been slotted as an older heroes’ sidekick, but you still have the set-up of youngsters figuring out crime-fighting on their own terms. The Warriors have also served as something of a farm league, with members Justice, Firestar, and Rage eventually joining the grown-ups as Avengers. The naming scheme also somewhat parallels that of the New Mutants, who are typically the junior X-Men.

The subsequent introduction of the Young Avengers has made the Warriors’ place somewhat redundant in the comics, though, and the development of show based on the Runaways– another team of young Marvel heroes–might also make them redundant in the TV space. So, there are lot of reasons to angle this show as a sitcom instead of a straight take.

There have been a number of different volumes, and directions, for the Warriors over the years. The most of interest to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, would have to be the third. That team starred in a reality show, and such an ill-advised endeavor ended in disaster. During a televised battle with the super-villain Nitro, the heroes’ inexperience leads to a huge explosion in a suburban neighborhood which leaves dozens dead. The incident sparks public outcry that swiftly leads to the implementation of a Superhero Registration Act, which in turn swiftly leads to a schism in the ranks of all American crimefighters.

Does that sound familiar? It’s the plot of Civil War. Just swap out Nitro for Crossbones and Speedball for Scarlet Witch. Although, while the Witch’s sense of guilt after all the deaths leads her to merely submitting to house arrest, Speedball fills with such self-loathing, he renames himself “Penace” and wears a suit that’s basically a slimmer iron maiden, practicing permanent self-flagellation in contrition.

That all, of course, is not the stuff of light-hearted comedies. Especially when Squirrel Girl has a crush on Speedball. Some of the Warriors’ members will surely show up in this TV show, but the super fangirl’s inclusion likely means that no arcs in the comic will aide fans much in predicting where Marvel’s first superhero sitcom will go.

Any Warriors fans in the audience? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Image Credits: Marvel

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