New Warriors (2nd series) #4

Issue Date: 
January 2000
Story Title: 

Jay Faerber (writer), Karl Kerschl (guest penciler), Walden Wong (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft‘s Liz A(letterers), Kevin Somers (colorist), Brian Smith (assistant editor), Bobbie Chase (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Nova, Turbo, Bolt and Aegis emerge from the destruction of the New Warriors’ Crashpad. Aegis runs after the gang member he knows, James, who he saw using a weapon to blow the Crashpad up. James threatens to rat out Aegis’s secret identity unless he lets him leave. Conflicted, Aegis does let James run away, but Speedball, who was sent bouncing skyward in the explosion, sees this from above. He tells his teammates, and Nova is even more suspicious of Aegis than ever. Namorita arrives at the Crashpad’s remains as the fire fighters do, and they put out the blaze. The New Warriors fill Namorita in on the gang warfare they have found themselves caught up in, while Turbo is reunited with arson investigator Dalton Beck, who reveals he may have a place the New Warriors can use as a new headquarters. Aegis informs the team he managed to get the name of the arms dealer that supplied the gang, and the team departs to investigate, while Dalton Beck - alias Firestrike - phones his employer, Joe Silvermane, and informs him that the Warriors are going after the arms supplier. Silvermane Sr warns his son not to stuff this up, and threatens to take his son down if necessary. The New Warriors confront the arms supplier, when they are attacked by Silvermane’s team, Heavy Mettle, including Firestrike. The more experienced New Warriors prove capable in battling Heavy Mettle. The battle gets a little complicate however, and when Speedball and Bolt are placed in danger, Nova is forced to let the members of Heavy Mettle escape to save his friends, however Turbo succeeds in capturing the arms dealer, who threatens to roll over on his employer. Later, Namorita has an enjoyable date with the Human Torch, which ends in them kissing. At his home in Brooklyn, Aegis speaks with his mother for a while, while wondering what happened to him and James. The next day, the New Warriors are shown to their new headquarters by Dalton Beck - an abandoned fire station which the city has agreed to lease to the heroes. Later that night, the New Warriors spy on a gang party, and see James armed with a gun. They leap into action, but James grabs one of the opposing gang members and holds him hostage. Turbo attacks him and tries to wrest the gun off him, but James shoots the other gang member, leading to his escape, and an all-out battle, which ends briefly. Later, back at the Firehouse, Turbo regrets her actions, while Nova is fed up with Aegis, who then reveals that he and James were friends, and that James saved him during a gang attack some time ago. Aegis then reveals his true identity to the New Warriors - Trey Collins - hoping to make amends, but the New Warriors aren’t convinced, and Nova tells him that it could be too little too late. Things get worse when Joey Silvermane learns that the arms dealer has been arrested, and decides that he will have to have a little accident in prison before he can squeal on them.

Full Summary: 

Just under the Brooklyn Bridge, in the rubble of what used to be the New Warriors’ Crashpad headquarters. Rich Rider a.k.a. Nova, Chris “Bolt” Bradley and Mickey Musashi a.k.a. Turbo survey the damage of their flaming HQ. ‘Bolt - you okay?’ Nova calls out to his new teammate, who hobbles over, propped up by crutches. Chris replies that he is okay, pointing out that Nova flew them out just in time. Nova calls out to Turbo, who, coughing, assures him that she is fine, that she just swallowed some smoke. She adds that Speedball will be okay, as he always bounces back. ‘But what about Aegis?’ she worries.

Outside, several young gang members are holding up their powerful weapons that they used to blow up the Warriors’ Crashpad. ‘Yeah! You see that? We nailed that sucker! Blew it sky-high!’ one of them exclaims, while the thug called James boasts that these things are “kicking” and that no one will stand in their way. ‘Nobody?’ a third thug asks, as the New Warriors’ other new member, Aegis, strides towards the young thugs. ‘It’s that Aegis! He survived! Blast him!’ James shouts, but as the thugs fire their weapons, they find it is of no use, as his force field protects him from the energies of the weapons. ‘We’re outta here!’ one of the thugs exclaims, and they rush towards their getaway van, but James has fallen behind. ‘Wait…wait!’ he pleads, before Aegis grabs him and holds him up into the air.

Inside amidst the rubble, Rich helps Turbo to her feet. ‘Shouldn’t you be helping Aegis?’ Turbo suggests, alerting Rich to their teammate. But Nova tells her that it is Aegis’s fault that the Crashpad got blown up. ‘He can fend for himself, for all I care’ he declares.
‘Where do you think you’re going?’ Aegis asks James, who tells him to chill, and exclaims ‘It’s me, James! Your old buddy, remember! Your mask don’t fool me. I know who you are. Just lemme go. You can do that!’ the young thug exclaims. But Aegis tells James he can’t let him go, ‘You’ll go straight to the other gang, and try and get some revenge for them killing some of your set’ Aegis points out. James smiles and claims that he wouldn’t do that, that he wouldn’t hurt a fly. Aegis just frowns, so James reveals that they get their weapons from a dude named Harley Traynor, who works out of a warehouse in Williamsburg. ‘He’s who you really want’ James claims.

James then threatens Aegis, telling him that if he doesn’t let him go, he will have to rat out his secret identity to their whole hood. ‘You…you wouldn’t’ Aegis asks, worried. ‘Try me’ James goads him, so Aegis hesitates, before pointing out that the Warriors are watching. ‘I can’t just let you go. We have to make this look good’ he whispers, before telling James to hit him. Nova, Turbo and Bolt look on as James punches Aegis in the face, knocking him backwards. James then runs off, so Nova flies after him, when suddenly, ‘Look ooowww-’ Speedball a.k.a. Robbie Baldwin calls out as he lands on Nova, causing both of the young heroes to fall to the ground.

Speedball rubs the back of his neck and explains that the force of the explosion knocked him up high, and that he only just came back down. ‘You idiot! I almost had that guy!’ Nova shouts. ‘I’m an idiot? Aegis let himself get sucker-punched! I saw it on my way down!’ Speedball exclaims. ‘Well I don’t trust Aegis! I trusted you, course you had to go and blow it by bouncing right into me like the little spaz that you are!’ Nova exclaims, while Aegis asks ‘What do you mean I “let” myself get punched? I’m still new at this, remember? You guys are the experts!’ Aegis declares. ‘Boys -’ someone calls out, but gets no response, while Speedball tells Nova that ‘Just because you’re ticked at him, don’t take it out on me!’

‘BOYS!’ someone screams, and Nova, Speedball and Aegis all turn to see Namorita dropping down to the remains of the Crashpad. ‘Will someone please tell me what’s going on? Starting with…what happened to our Crashpad!’ she calls out. Turbo welcomes Namorita back and asks her how her trip to Atlantis was. ‘Does it look like I wanna have that conversation now?’ Namorita replies, ‘Um no, of course now’ Mickey replies, before explaining that while Namorita was gone, they tried to help Aegis deal with the gang problem in his neighborhood, only the gangs have recently acquired hi-tech weapons that make them deadlier than ever. Turbo continues, informing Namorita that they went to one of the gangs’ cribs, and that Aegis seemed to know one of the kids. ‘A fight broke out, and when a wall started to tumble down, Aegis saved one of the kids instead of Bolt’ Turbo adds.

Turbo explains that the kids escaped, but that they must have followed the Warriors back to the Crashpad, because they showed up, and used their weapons to blow it up. She adds that Aegis saw the kids, and so the team was able to escape just in time. ‘Aegis is responsible for this?’ Namorita asks, when suddenly, a voice calls out ‘Um…excuse me…’, and Turbo turns around to see fire arson investigator Dalton Beck, while fire fighters are doing their job putting the remains of the fire out. ‘What are you doing here?’ Turbo asks, to which Dalton reminds her that he is an arson investigator, before asking her what she is doing here. Turbo explains that this used to be their headquarters, and adds that they are going to have to find some place else to hang. ‘Nice to see you again, by the way’ Turbo adds. ‘You too’ Dalton tells her.

Dalton informs Turbo that given some time, he might be able to find another place for the New Warriors to use as their HQ, before asking Turbo what happened and if they know who did this. ‘Yeah, but Aegis here let the guy get away’ Nova mutters. ‘Hey, I’m not a total screw up!’ Aegis exclaims, adding that he managed to get the name of the arms dealer who is supplying the gangs with their weapons. ‘Then what are we waiting for? Let’s kick his door in!’ Namorita exclaims, while Nova remarks to Speedball that he trusts Aegis even less than he did before. ‘We gotta keep a close eye on that guy. You with me?’ Rich asks his friend. ‘You know it, dude’ Robbie replies. As the New Warriors take flight, Dalton phones Mr Silvermane. ‘It’s Dalton - I mean, Firestrike. I’ve got some information for you…’ he begins.

Meanwhile, at the workout room in Joe Silvermane’s Brooklyn Heights townhouse, ‘Yeah, okay, mobilize the rest of Heavy Mettle. You can handle this, right? Good. Keep me posted. Bye’ Joe Silvermane tells Dalton Beck via the telephone. Joe Silvermane heads over to a punching bag, while someone standing in the shadows asks ‘It’s the New Warriors again, isn’t it? They’re making a mess of your operation, Joey. They’re making you look bad. And when you look bad, I look bad’. He adds that the other families don’t think he can handle a bunch of teenagers. Joey punches the bag, and addressing the man in the shadows as “Pop”, assures him he can handle it. ‘I don’t need you looking over my shoulder’ he admits that he may have underestimated the Warriors at first, but that he has a way to take care of them for good. Silvermane steps out of the shadows, his elderly face supported by a cybernetic body. ‘Don’t blow this off, Joey! You embarrass me one more time and I’ll rub you out myself!’ the crime lord exclaims, slamming a heavy set of weights down. ‘I’ll make you proud of me, Pop. I swear’ Joey mutters.

At a warehouse in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. ‘Harley Traynor? We’d like a word with you’ a voice calls out. Traynor looks up to the roof of his car, to find Nova and Namorita standing on his car. ‘Maybe we can talk inside’ Nova suggests. Traynor backs into his warehouse and claims that he doesn’t know what this is about. ‘What makes you think you can hassle a man for no good reason?’ he asks, while one of the many wooden boxes in the warehouse slowly opens. ‘You call selling high-tech weapons to kids “no good reason”?’ Nova demands. Six armoured beings appear from within the crates, ‘Surprse. You guys really aren’t very good at this stuff, are you?’ a man in dark armor with golden accessories remarks, introducing the team as Heavy Mettle, and boasts that this is the easiest ambush they have ever set up.

‘I’ll be sure to remind you about that when you’re picking your teeth up off the floor’ Nova declares, while Aegis wonders if James sold them out, and Speedball smiles, exclaiming ‘We’ve got ourselves a hoedown! Pick a partner and do-si-doe!’ he jokes, leaping towards a strange being in large armor with a jagged-tooth mouth. ‘Hey! Leggo, man!’ Robbie shouts as the armored being grabs him by his ankle. ‘That’s ma’am’ a voice within the armor announces. Speedball just looks nervous as he hangs upside down before the woman inside the armor, whose appearance can vaguely be seen though a large clear bubble in the middle of the armor. Nova comes to his friend’s rescue, ‘Get away from me you little dork!’ the woman in the armor calls out. “Dork”? Nova quotes, adding that won’t do the little freak’s self-esteem any good. ‘Why don’t you see if you can handle me? I’m a little harder than the Toothpick’ Nova declares as he flies straight into the armoured woman.

Nearby, one of the members of Heavy Mettle aims his bow and arrow, and tells his teammates to hold tight. ‘Remember the briefing on these losers!’ he calls out, while telling Stronghold to be careful, as Nova may be out of her strength capacity. He announces that he will handle Bolt, and fires the arrow towards the young mutant, striking him, while Bolt wonders ‘Briefing? These guys are organised’. Another member of Heavy Mettle, with dark armor and a yellow chest piece flies towards Aegis, congratulates Warbow on some nice shooting. Aegis prepares himself for impact, while his foe introduces himself as Barracuda, before the two fall backwards, through a window.

Namorita sees them leave the building, and an instant later, Aegis and Barracuda plummet into a nearby lake. ‘You’re in my territory now, punk. Oh wait - you can’t talk underwater, can you. Heck, you can’t breathe underwater!’ Barracuda exclaims, while Namorita leaves the warehouse, announcing that she is going after Aegis. Bolt tells her that he has her covered, and fires some energy at Warbow. Hovering in the air above the dock, Turbo dodges some flames, fired at her by Firestrike, who tells her not to make this any harder than it has to be. ‘Oh, I’m gonna make it plenty hard!’ Turbo replies, while wondering if her flame-throwing foe could be connected to the warehouse fire that she put out. ‘Consider yourself snuffed out, hot stuff!’ Turbo exclaims as she fires a wind turbine at Firestrike. ‘That’s Firestrike - not “hot stuff”!’ Firestrike replies.

Down below, Aegis manages to break the surface of the water, and gasps for breath. Namorita drops down beside Barracuda and tells him ‘Not so easy when your opponent can breath underwater, is it?’, to which the villain replies ‘Easy enough’ and extends his fist to punch Namorita, but Namorita blocks his hand, ‘Oh, really? You might wanna look behind you. Looks like your buddy can’t swim with all that armor on’ she points out, as Firestrike lands in the water. Barracuda turns and swims towards Firestrike, ‘I won’t forget this, honey!’ he calls out to Namorita. ‘I should hope not, “cupcake”!’ Namorita calls back.

Back on the dock, flying amongst the crates, Nova is being pursued by a woman with wings, and asks ‘Who put you guys up to this? How’d you know we were coming?’ he calls out. ‘Do you really expect me to answer that, kid?’ the woman responds. ‘Guess not’ Nova mutters as he flies into a stack of crates, ‘Watch out for falling rocks - er, crates!’ he warns the woman, who screams as crates fall on her, before she calls out to Riot, ‘NOW’ she tells her teammate with large weapons attached to his arms. ‘Blackwing’s given the word, people’ Riot remarks, referring to the woman, he releases energies from the weapons around his arms, which cause the floor to cave in, and Speedball and Bolt plummet into the water below. ‘Look out below!’ Speedball exclaims. Nova realizes that Bolt can’t swim with his injuries, and he is unsure how good a swimmer Speedball is. He looks at Riot and Blackwing and sees they are getting away. ‘Sometimes it sucks being me’ Rich frowns.

A short time later, Namorita, Bolt, Aegis and Speedball are al sopping wet. ‘Okay, which one of you smells like a wet dog?’ Nova asks them as he drops down beside them. Namorita tells Rich that this isn’t funny and points out that Heavy Mettle got away, ‘And we have no clue how they knew we were coming. What a waste!’ she exclaims, before Turbo appears, holding Mr Traynor, she announces that he has graciously agreed to roll over on his boss.

Later that evening, in one of Manhattan’s most exclusive restaurants, Namorita is wearing an evening gown as she sits across a table from the handsome Johnny Storm a.k.a. the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch. ‘Aw, man, Nita. So they got away?’ Johnny asks. ‘Yep’ Namorita replies, adding that it was not the New Warriors’ finest hour. Johnny tells her not to be so hard on herself, and points out that even the Fantastic Four screw up sometimes. ‘Well, that’s comforting’ Namorita replies, before asking Johnny if he feels like they are being watched. As the patrons and staff of the restaurant all stare at the young heroes, Johnny replies ‘Who, us? Nah. Whatever gave you that idea?’, before remarking that the entire world knows he is the Human Torch, so he is used to getting attention. ‘But I have to admit - this is ridiculous’ he declares.

Namorita smiles and points out that it is not every day Johnny dates another super hero. ‘Especially not ones as gorgeous as you’ Johnny tells Namorita, before announcing that he has an idea. Seconds later, a waitress arrives at their table to find it abandoned, with cash left beside their empty plates. The waitress looks around confused, while outside the window, two pair of legs can be seen, dangling from the rooftop. ’Oh, that was great. I’d give anything to see the look on the waitress’s face’ Namorita exclaims. The Human Torch is laughing, and reveals that it was his sister who taught him that trick. ’Get out! The Invisible Woman?’ Namorita asks. Johnny explains that when people stare at Susan and Reed, she would just turn them both invisible and waltz right out the door. The two burst into laughter, and Johnny tells Namorita that all kidding aside, he is having a great time. ‘It’s so great to talk to you, because you get it - this whole celebrity thing’ Johnny explains. ‘I know what you mean…this all feels so -’ Namorita begins, before Johnny tells shush, and he leans in and kisses her as they sit on the rooftop.

Meanwhile, in the east New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. Inside one of the many brick apartment blocks, there is a knock at the bedroom door of a young man. ‘Trey? What’re you up to?’ a woman calls out as she enters her son’s room. Sitting on his bed, Trey explains that he is just studying. ‘That’s good. I’ve been a bit concerned lately’ Trey’s mother tells her son, pointing out that he hasn’t been around a lot these last few weeks. ‘You’re not getting mixed up with the wrong crowd, are you?’ she asks. ‘Depends if you call the Warriors the “wrong crowd”, I guess’ Trey thinks to himself, while telling his mother that he has just been studying at the library. ‘Good boy. You gotta keep your grades up if you want a scholarship next year’ his mother tells him. Trey replies that he knows, while his mother announces that she is going to bed, and tells Trey she will see him in the morning. Trey frowns as the door closes, and he looks at a photo of himself and the gang member, James. ‘What happened to us…?’ he wonders.

The next morning, under the Manhattan Bridge, in the Brooklyn neighborhood of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), all six New Warriors stare up at a firehouse. ‘This is Dalton’s idea of a headquarters?’ Aegis asks. ‘This fire-fighting thing has got to stop’ Turbo mutters, while Speedball smiles and exclaims that this better have what he thinks it has. ‘At least we’re on the water’ Namorita points out, while Bolt remarks that he thinks it is cool. ‘Okay, so the Avengers get a mansion on Fifth Avenue, and we get a firehouse in Brooklyn?’ Nova asks. Dalton informs the New Warriors that this firehouse has been “mothballed” due to budget cuts, and the city said they would rent it out to the New Warriors.

Speedball announces that he has to check something out, and rushes into the firehouse. The New Warriors follow him in and Namorita points out that they haven’t had any better offers. Turbo and Bolt follow Dalton around as he suggests that they could fix this place up real nice. ‘The Avengers and the FF will be begging to hang with you’ he exclaims, while Speedball is sliding down the firehouse pole, ‘Check it out! It’s got a fire-pole!’ he exclaims, before telling Dalton that they will take it.

Later that night, in Brooklyn, the New Warriors are scoping out from a rooftop. ‘Okay. There they are. That’s the gang that did the drive-by that killed the kid Aegis knows!’ Namorita exclaims, suggesting that the New Warriors take away their weapons, then the gang can’t get revenge, and the violence will end. As the gang members are partying in a nearby house, Speedball suddenly sees someone skulking behind a tree, and realizes that it is the dude Aegis saved, and that he has a gun. Aegis looks worried, ‘Oh, no, James! What are you doing?’ Aegis thinks to himself, before the New Warriors leap into action, but James sees them coming, and grabs one of the opposing gang members, and aims his weapon at him. ‘Don’t nobody move! Anybody moves, I shoot, dig?’ he exclaims. Nova tells the thug not to get squirrely, and to stay cool.

Speedball tells him that if he starts shooting, it will all be over and this place will look like Alamo. ‘Just talk to us’ he suggests, but James exclaims that there will be no more talking, that it is time for payback. ‘These punks killed one of my brothers!’ he shouts. Bolt knows that he could use his powers to zap the kid, but his powers aren’t reliable, and he worries that he could miss. Aegis begs for James not to do this, and exclaims that there is always another way. ‘too late, man. This is what it is all comes down to!’ he exclaims, but suddenly, Turbo lunges forward, ‘No!’ she screams, landing on James, she struggles to disarm him, but the weapon is fired. ‘Aw, man…’ Bolt utters. Namorita gasps, while Aegis exclaims ‘Oh, my God!’

Turbo, however, is fine, and gets to her feet, as does James. ‘Aw, no, man…’ James mutters, while the opposing gang member he had hostage lies motionless. ‘They killed Julio! Cap ‘em!’ the other gang members call out as they rush towards the New Warriors. ‘This is insane!’ Aegis shouts, extending his force field to block some bullets, while Speedball jumps over another gang member and takes his weapon. ‘Anybody see the shooter?’ someone calls out, but James is already running down the street’.

Later, at the firehouse, the New Warriors are sitting around, and, staring out the window, Turbo wonders what she was thinking doing that. ‘If I hadn’t tried to play the hero, that kid might still be alive!’ she exclaims, but Nova assures his friend that it isn’t her fault. ‘It’s HIS!’ he shouts, pointing at Aegis. ‘If Aegis had been straight with us from the start, a lot of this wouldn’t have happened’ Nova points out. ‘You’re completely right. It is my fault. I screwed up big time. But if you’ll let me, I can explains’ Aegis begins. As images flash through his mind, he reveals that the kid he saved from being crushed is called James, and that the two of them go way back - they grew up together. He explains that they did everything together, and one day, they were going to shoot some pool, when they heard the sound of tires squealing as they approached the pool hall, where several youths were hanging out.

Aegis tells the New Warriors that the shooters didn’t care that he and James were between them and the targets, but James reacted before he could even think and pushed him out of the way. He reveals that a bullet grazed his arm, and that if James didn’t push him out of the way, he would probably be dead. ‘James saved my life, guys. I owed him. I’m loyal to my friends - probably to a fault’ he adds. Aegis then removes his mask, telling the New Warriors that he is not going to keep any more secrets from them - starting with his secret identity. ‘My name is Trey Rollins’ he reveals. Nova, Turbo, Speedball, Bolt and Namorita all frown at Aegis, and Nova tells Aegis that he wishes he had come clean sooner, because right now, it might be too little, too late.

Meanwhile, at Joe Silvermane’s office, ‘Blast it!’ the younger Silvermane shouts, slamming the phone down. An associate asks him if there is a problem, to which Joey reveals that Traynor has been arrested, and they he could give the cops everything they need to bring charges against him. ‘We can’t let that happen. Call our guard at the prison’ Silvermane tells his associate, declaring that Traynor is going to have a little accident before he can cut a deal….

Characters Involved: 

Aegis, Bolt, Namorita, Nova, Speedball, Turbo (all New Warriors)

Mrs Rollins

Human Torch II

Barracuda, Blackwing II, Firestrike / Dalton Beck, Riot, Stronghold, Warbow (all Heavy Mettle)

Joe Manfred / Silvermane II / Blackwing I
Silvermane I

Harley Traynor
Silvermane II’s associate
James and other gang members
Opposing gang members
Fire fighters
Patrons and staff at restaurant

In Flashback Images
Trey Rollins
Gang members

Story Notes: 

Namorita visited Atlantis in New Warriors (2nd series) #3, which is why she was absent for the gang encounter.

Turbo put out the warehouse fire in New Warriors (2nd series) #1.

Written By: