New Warriors (4th series) #14

Issue Date: 
September 2008
Story Title: 
Invaded: Part 1

Kevin Grevioux (writer), Koi Turnbull (penciler), Sal Regla (inker), Beth Soteld (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Nic Klein (cover artist), Joe Sabino (production), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The Skrull invasion of Earth interrupts an otherwise calm New Warriors breakfast at Al’s Diner. They return to their base to retrieve their tech, but Night Thrasher, deducing the Skrulls may have planted imposter heroes on Earth in the recent past, orders his team to stand down. He tells them they will act only after assessing the Skrull threat; however, he abandons them at the base and leaves to investigate whether or not his brother Dwayne was replaced by a Skrull before his death. The rest of the New Warriors grab their gear and chase after their leader, taking down a Super Skrull on the way. Meanwhile, Night Thrasher arrives at the old New Warriors safehouse in the Appalachians, only to be ambushed by Justice and several other members of the Initiative. Justice and his team apprehend Night Thrasher after accusing him of being a Skrull. However, the New Warriors arrive, free their leader, and prepare for battle with Justice’s team.

Full Summary: 

“Say, they got grits and gravy out dis piece?” Grace asks the New Warriors as they read over their menus. Vincent tells her that in New York, they don’t know grits from gravel. At all the talk about regional breakfasts, Aja chimes in that the omelet originated in India. However, no one at his table seems to care much for this factoid.

Meanwhile, at the adjacent table, Angel thanks Sofia for inviting the team to come get breakfast at Al’s Diner, her place of civilian employment. Slouching in her seat, Sofia responds that the invitation was her pleasure; sometimes, the team just needs to chill out. Jubilee has trouble heeding this advice. She sits quietly and broods until Jono finally asks her if something is the matter. “I just keep thinking about Thrash and what he did,” she responds. Jono tells her he knows what she means, and once again, the two discuss Night Thrasher’s dishonesty and manipulation.

Miranda, tired of this recurring conversation, turns around and asks with exasperation if they are talking about Thrash again. Christian, meanwhile, defends their leader’s dishonest tendencies as merely being quirks. “Quirks are one thing, Chris,” Jubilee says. “Lies are another thing entirely.” Convicted by this comment, Kaz hides the expression of guilt on his face by burying his head in his menu.

Sofia’s waitress friend Ruthie finally comes over to take their order. She asks what they want, so Vin asks for her phone number. Miranda tells her teammate to calm down, and lets Ruthie know they need just a few more minutes. The conversation about Night Thrasher continues at the other table, this time actually reaching a consensus of sorts: Angel, Barnell, Jono, Jubilee, and Sofia agree that Night Thrasher must be monitored, but not at the expense of the team.

Without warning, a sickly green light pours through the window and the ground rumbles. Everybody in the restaurant looks outside and witnesses the onset of an alien invasion. Breakfast, it seems, is over. The New Warriors run outside and see an armada of Skrull ships flying overhead, as well as Skrulls teleporting down onto the streets of New York City. While their first reaction is to fight, Barnell points out that without their tech, they will be no good in a battle. Jubilee assures them she has no intention of fighting without their equipment; she orders the team to retreat and rendezvous at their base.

Night Thrasher, meanwhile, sits at his computer with a cup of coffee and follows the incoming news reports of the Skrull invasion. Through a quick process of deduction and inference, Thrash realizes the Skrulls must have planted sleeper agents on Earth several years in advance, perhaps even amongst Earth’s heroes. Maybe, he muses, Skrulls were responsible for the Stamford incident. Maybe that Night Thrasher was a Skrull. Maybe his brother, the original Night Thrasher, is still alive somewhere.

Suddenly a portal opens up and the New Warriors, still dressed in their civilian attire, spill into the base. With a quick glance at the TV screens, they determine this invasion is happening on a worldwide scale. Grace wonders if Night Thrasher already knows about it. “I’ve heard,” Thrasher says, entering the room unexpectedly. “And we do nothing. Not until we’ve assessed the threat.” Jono asks if they shouldn’t be out there saving lives, but Night Thrasher restates they will not act until they know more about their enemy. “There are some things that need checking out first,” Thrasher says as he exits the room. Angel tries to stop him so he can explain what he means, but he doesn’t listen.

“What was that about?” Sofia asks. With their team leader gone, Jono asks if they really intend to sit and wait while the planet gets invaded. Jubilee votes they get out there and fight. Barnell, however, reminds her that as a team they could not even defeat Machinesmith; what chance have they against an entire Skrull army?

Their conversation is interrupted by a deep rumble from within the base. Jubilee immediately recognizes the noise as their jet taking flight. The New Warriors scramble to the hangar, arriving just in time to see Night Thrasher flying away in their primary mode of transportation. Angered, Jubilee realizes that Night Thrasher played them once again; he wanted them to stay put while he pulled another of his disappearing stunts. Miranda asks if anyone else noticed how suspicious he acted when they entered the base, prompting Jono to ask whether or not he is a Skrull. “No,” Jubilee says. “I wouldn’t bet my life that he’s not a Skrull, but there is something else going on.” She turns and faces her team. “Barry and Angel are right. We can’t repel an invasion. But we can find out what Thrash has been hiding from us and what he’s been up to,” she says. Maybe this time they can put a stop to it once and for all. She radios Aja and asks if he can track Night Thrasher’s position, to which Aja responds affirmatively. Jubilee smirks. “He’s not getting away this time.”

Minutes later, the team takes to the skies, each member using a different means of flight. The city around them suddenly resembles a war zone, but Wondra orders the team to look straight ahead and follow her to Night Thrasher’s destination in upstate New York. Before they get very far, Decibel is struck from behind by a Skrull’s energy bolt, knocking him unconscious. Without Decibel’s tech to keep them aloft, Renascence and Phaser also plummet out of the sky. After ordering her teammates to rescue their falling comrades, Wondra goes after the attacking Skrull. This Skrull, however, turns out to be more than she can handle. In addition to bearing a set of bird wings and a ruby visor eerily similar to the one worn by Cyclops, the Skrull is enormous. Wondra charges right at him, but he clocks her across the jaw and knocks her out of the sky.

Barreling toward his teammate at breakneck speed, Blackwing manages to grab Decibel before he hits the ground. Likewise, Tempest rescues the helpless Phaser and flies him unnoticed behind the Skrull, who is preparing to hit Wondra with another attack. A high-powered blast by Phaser knocks the Skrull out of the sky, and it hits the ground with the turbulent impact of a small meteor. The Skrull, however, recovers. It pulls itself out of the newly formed crater and tells the New Warriors they are wasting their time; they will all soon fall in defeat before the Skrull Empire. “We’ll see about that,” Ripcord says while lobbing a few canisters Pym Particles. The distracted Skrull can barely breathe, let alone see what approaches behind him. He looks up just in time to catch a glimpse of Wondra, who, from his shrunken perspective, appears to be a towering monstrosity. She raises her foot up and squashes the Skrull like an insect.

As Wondra investigates the sticky goo on the bottom of her foot, her teammates gather around. “Let’s get out of here,” she says. “Thrash is still out there.” Sure enough, in upstate New York, Night Thrasher approaches a secluded farmhouse he hasn’t visited in years. Searching for any evidence that his brother Dwayne is still alive, Donyell is disappointed to see the house has not been disturbed. He shrugs this off and decides to collect some of his brother’s DNA anyway so he can compare it to that of his corpse. “If only I knew where your remains were being kept,” he says to his deceased brother as he exits the farmhouse.

“Fancy meeting you here,” a voice says from behind. Night Thrasher turns around, and is shocked to see Justice and Initiative members Rage, Debrii, Slapstick, and the two remaining Scarlet Spiders. “It’s been a long time, hasn’t it, Night Thrasher?” Justice asks. Thrash begins to ask how he found him, but Justice interrupts, briefly explaining how ever since the appearance of the “new” New Warriors, the Initiative kept close watch on their old Appalachian safehouse. They have been searching for Night Thrasher for quite some time. Thrash, however, states he has no time for a confrontation. Justice takes offense to this. He reminds Night Thrasher how they used to be practically inseparable, but Thrash just tells him to get out of his way.

Rage tries to mediate before things turn violent. He approaches Night Thrasher and implores him to stop acting this way. “We were more than just friends, man. We were almost brothers,” Rage says. “Why are you turning your back on me?” Night Thrasher says nothing. Justice looks him coldly in the eye and asks, once and for all, if he truly is Dwayne Taylor.

Night Thrasher responds by whipping out his night sticks. “I thought not,” Justice says. This Night Thrasher started up a new team of New Warriors and neglected to call his old friends; this can’t be the Dwayne Taylor Justice knew. The timing of this new team also coincides rather well with this sudden alien invasion as well; perhaps this Night Thrasher is actually a Skrull? At this insinuation, Night Thrasher tells Justice to shut up. It is too late, however, as Debrii is already convinced Donyell is a Skrull. Rage tries to calm everyone down, but Justice rebuffs him. “We’re doing our part in this war and shutting this alien down,” Justice says. Once again, Night Thrasher states he is not a Skrull, and demands they get out of his way. Justice refuses to budge.

The buildup of tension erupts when Slapstick shouts that Night Thrasher is making a move. Slapstick produces a boxing-glove gun and, acting against his team’s orders, fires it at Thrash. Night Thrasher dodges the attack. He leaps into the air and comes down above Justice, kicking him in the cheek with his boot heel. After tripping one of the Scarlet Spiders, Night Thrasher is struck down by Justice and apprehended by Rage. “You don’t understand, Elvin,” Night Thrasher pleads as Rage crushes him with a bear hug. Ignoring his cries for understanding, Justice clutches Thrasher with a telekinetic grip and tortures him for information. “One way or another, you’re going to tell us where the rest of your alien cronies are,” Justice tells him.

He does not see the incoming attack. A projectile hits the cluster of fighters and explodes, scattering them in different directions. “I’d be careful what you wish for,” a voice says from behind. The “new” New Warriors, having emerged from a teleportation sphere moments earlier, stand behind their injured leader, prepared to defend him from the Initiative no matter what the cost.

Characters Involved: 

Blackwing, Decibel, Night Thrasher, Phaser, Renascence, Ripcord, Skybolt, Tempest, Wondra (all New Warriors)

Aja, Grace, Kaz (New Warriors tech handlers)

Ruthie, Tina (waitresses at Al’s Diner)

Debrii, Justice, Rage, Red Team One, Red Team Three, Slapstick (all members of Justice’s New Warriors)

Winged Skrull

Story Notes: 

This issue is part of the Secret Invasion crossover.

The cover, of course, pays tribute to the classic cover of X-Men (1st series) #100.

Though partially obscured in each panel, Christian Cord’s T-shirt says “I am the American Dream,” while Jubilee’s earrings simply say “Jubilee.”

Since their previous appearance in this series, the lineup of the Counter-New Warriors Initiative team has changed slightly. The two Scarlet Spiders, Michael and Patrick, joined up with Justice in Avengers: The Initiative #12, while Ultra Girl decided to return to the Initiative instead remaining in Justice’s squad.

Red Team One and Red Team Three, also known as the Scarlet Spiders, are clones of a man named Michael Van Patrick and infused with the abilities of Spider-Man. A third clone, Red Team Two, was decapitated by KIA in Avengers: The Initiative #11.

Justice, formerly known as Marvel Boy, was arrested and imprisoned in New Warriors (1st series) #25 after accidentally killing his own father.

Rather than revealing the truth about his corrupt business practices, Andrew Chord shot himself in the head in New Warriors (1st series) #18.

Tai was an elderly Cambodian mystic who was indirectly responsible for forming the original New Warriors. While she did serve as a mentor to the team, she was also corrupt and manipulative. Her dirty deeds included using Andrew Chord as an assassin to kill Dwayne and Donyell Taylor’s parents [New Warriors (1st series) #24], abusing the Taylor Foundation for her own purposes, murdering her own daughter [New Warriors (1st series) #20], and attempting to sacrifice the lives of the original New Warriors so she could absorb their energy and rule the world [New Warriors (1st series) #25].

Rage’s grandmother was murdered by an enemy of the New Warriors in New Warriors (1st series) #37.

As of now, this is the entire New Warriors team and their complete identities:

Blackwing - Barnell Bohusk, formerly Beak.

Decibel - Jonothan Starsmore, formerly Chamber.

Night Thrasher - Donyell Taylor, formerly Bandit.

Renascence - Sofia Mantega, formerly Wind Dancer.

Ripcord - Miranda Leevald, formerly Stacy X.

Skybolt - Vincent Stewart, formerly Redneck.

Phaser - Christian Cord, formerly Radian.

Tempest - Angel Salvatore, formerly Angel.

Wondra - Jubilation Lee, formerly Jubilee.

Issue Information: 
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