Marvel’s New Warriors are about to reignite an old war in their ongoing series – a war with one of Marvel’s big bads, the High Evolutionary.
In the first two issues of the recently relaunched New Warriors, readers have witnessed these teen heroes on the defensive as the High Evolutionary and his new army of Evolutionaries seek out and kill anything that isn’t human: mutant, inhuman, alien or otherwise. The last time the High Evolutionary waged a campaign on this scale was 1988’s “The Evolutionary War” crossover and it took the combined forces of Spider-Man, the X-Men, Punisher, Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four and the Avengers to stop him. This time, it’s all up to the New Warriors.
Newsarama spoke with series writer Christopher Yost about the events so far and what’s coming up in New Warriors. The writer, who splits time between Hollywood projects like the Thor movies and comic assignments like the recently announced Amazing X-Men with Craig Kyle, spoke at length with us and revealed his New Warriors fan cred in recruitment of heroes but also with an eye to the future.
Newsarama: Chris, the first two issues are on stands and in readers’ hands. How do you think the New Warriors relaunch has turned out so far?
Christopher Yost: Well, looking at the art, I’m thrilled. It’s always tricky to introduce a bunch of characters and concepts, trying to assume that a new reader knows nothing… but we do our best.
Nrama: The first issue really turned the whole “recruitment” themed issues of comics past on its head, introducing a lot of heroes but not quite getting them together just yet – and Sana’s afterword says it all “they’re not the New Warriors yet.” How would you describe these heroes now?
Yost: On the path to destiny. They’re already fighting the war, they just don’t know it yet. They don’t know the stakes — the real stakes, not just ‘bad guys going to kill mutants, inhumans, etc. After next issue, Nova will know what’s actually happening, and it’s terrifying!
Nrama: For this initial arc you reeled in a big bad from Marvel lore – the High Evolutionary. And the solicits to New Warriors #4 say it’s leading up to a second Evolutionary War. We see High Evolutionary and his new followers the Evolutionaries looking for “deviants” to humanity to eliminate – but what are their larger goals?
Yost: The High Evolutionary isn’t an evil man, but he’s doing a really evil thing. Why? Well, he explains it to Nova at the end of New Warriors #2, throughout New Warriors #3. He’s trying to save the world.
Nrama: The title says New Warriors, but you also featured another superhero team – Salem’s Seven, protectors of New Salem. That’s an interesting surprise, and some great characters people may not have remembered. How’d you come across them, and what role will they play going forward here?
Yost: I knew them from way back, but always had a fondness. With this book, I really wanted to take a tour of the Marvel Universe, and magic is a big part of it. They have one small but important role left to play in the first arc.
Nrama: As alluded to in New Warriors #1, they’re still living down the accident they causes that set off Civil War. How big a shadow does that cast on them, now and going forward?
Yost: Justice is concerned about it, for sure, but of course Speedball is the one it weighs most heavily on. And while it seems like he’s reverted (some would say regressed) to his super fun ball days, there’s more going on there as we’ll quickly discover.
Nrama: I’m also excited to see the sight of the Morlocks under the subways of NYC, and whom I believe to be Marrow – currently starring in X-Force. Will Morlocks be seen again in this series?
Yost: In time. Again, like Salem’s Seven, the Morlocks are a fun staple of the Marvel Universe. Marrow may have been just passing through on her way to X-Force, but as a concept I’m sure we’ll see the Morlocks again.
Nrama: Like I mentioned earlier, this has all the makings of one of those epic Avengers/JLA style recruitment drives to assemble a team. What are Justice and Speedball looking for – and what were you looking for as a writer when deciding who would be up for membership in this revived New Warriors?
Yost: In Avengers, Captain America and Iron Man had a massive chart of potential members, they really put a lot of thought into it. In New Warriors, sometimes the team just picks itself. Several characters realize that them all coming together in that moment cannot be a coincidence. Are there larger forces at work in the recreation of the New Warriors? SPOILER: YES.
As a writer, you want a fun mix of powers and personalities that are going to play well off of each other — as well as a lot of nods to the classic team.
Nrama: This new New Warriors series picks up some threads taken from books you’ve written previously, Scarlet Spider and Superior Spider-Man Team-Up. Was this part of a bigger plan, or just something you took advantage of when the proposition to do New Warriors came about?
Yost: Scarlet Spider was the one character that editorial wanted to see move into New Warriors along with Justice, Speedball and Nova coming out of the seeds laid in the Nova book. Beyond that, yeah, I stacked the deck with my people. Except Water Snake, I didn’t technically create her.
Nrama: That final page of New Warriors #1 really lit up the message boards – High Evolutionary has a Nova. What does High Evolutionary want with Nova – be it Sam Alexander or the equipment and helmet he has as the last surviving Nova?
Yost: It’s more about that helmet than Sam himself. It’s a powerful tool, and it’s going to help the High Evolutionary’s plan go a lot faster and a lot smoother.