Monday, March 24, 2008

New Warriors #10

While the rest of the New Warriors have been going about business as usual, growing together as both a team and as a family, one member has been conspicuous in his absences. Although her teammates haven't caught on just yet, Jubilee has taken note of Night Thrasher's regular, convenient disappearing acts, and she wants to get to the bottom of things. But Night Thrasher himself is aware of her investigation, and has started taking steps to make sure she keeps quiet about her discoveries.

Kevin Grevioux has written the team into an interesting corner, despite a few hiccups with his dialog. He's built tensions to a boiling point, with field leader Jubilee openly questioning the actions of the team's captain, and the rest of the squad uncertain about whose side they're on. The group shares a certain unspoken bond, but aren't above bickering amongst themselves like a family. They share a recent origin, having each lost their mutant abilities during House of M, and as such are all still learning to rely on weaponry to achieve what they'd always been able to do by themselves. The primary conflict of the issue, Jubilee vs. Night Thrasher in a battle of wills, is well-written and cast in a light that gives them both a strong argument and makes the team's ultimate decision between the two understandable. The narrative does jump around a bit, disrupting the flow, but for the most part it's decent.

The artwork, provided by Paco Medina, alternately shines and recedes, like the sunlight on a cloudy day. When it's working out, it's some high quality work – he's got a light touch and a great knack for dynamic layouts. He clearly loves detailing a breathtaking backdrop, and he's given several occasions to do just that in this issue. But when he isn't giving it his all, as is the case on several pages, it's middling at best. When they're in the middle of a battle, the team strikes dramatic, expressive poses and puts on a show… but immediately afterward, the Warriors stand in forced, awkward positions and never seem to be at ease or comfortable. It's easy to pinpoint the precise moment the artist loses interest in the subject, which is too bad because he has talent to spare when he's motivated.

Medina never seems to have a handle on these characters. They lack identity, and outside of the intricacies of their outfits, all share the same body types. It's been a while since I've seen Jubilee in an ongoing series, but I don't seem to recall her ever having giant knockers and bulging biceps. It's something she shares with the rest of the women on the team, who could basically swap heads and uniforms without a change in the status quo. They're all the same height; the same weight; the same shape… surely there has to be more to them than that.

For the most part, that summarizes this issue – the feeling that there has to be more to it than this. Both the writing and the artwork are good, but not great. Grevioux and Medina do enough to maintain your attention, but not enough to capture your interest. Unless you already have a vested interest in these characters, there probably isn't enough here to merit reading it regularly. Flip through it and see for yourself.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is poor and 10 is amazing...
Overall Score: 4.5

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