The fight between Justice’s Counter Force and the New Warriors does not hold Night Thrasher’s attention in the least. He is busy wondering whether it was actually his brother Dwayne who died at Stamford, or if the Skrulls replaced him before that cataclysmic event. If they did, and Dwayne is still alive somewhere, it changes everything… especially Night Thrasher’s future plans.
For now, however, he needs to focus on stopping the fight before it gets dangerous. His old and current teammates are killing each other, but Night Thrasher needs his squad intact. He jumps into the center of the fight, smashes his light sticks together, and demands the fighting stop. “I’ve let this go on too long,” he says once he has everyone’s attention. Justice asks why they should stop just because Night Thrasher said so, but Thrash ignores him. “I don’t have time for any of this,” he says, slowly removing his helmet. Both teams stare, their attention rapt, as Night Thrasher finally takes off his mask. “I’m Donyell Taylor. Formerly the mutant New Warrior known as Bandit,” he begins, “and Dwayne Taylor’s younger brother.”
A mixture of cheer and disbelief erupts from the onlookers. Neither Rage nor Justice can believe it is Donyell, while Phaser excitedly shouts that he knew it all along. Still pressed for time, Donyell cuts to his point: would his brother really have taken part in a reality TV show? Would he have put both civilians and his own team in a potentially dangerous situation in Stamford? Donyell does not think so. Therefore, in light of the ongoing Skrull invasion, how can they even be sure that the deceased Dwayne Taylor truly was Dwayne Taylor? All Donyell wants is to genetically identify the deceased, just to be certain. “Please,” he asks, “let me discover my brother’s fate.” His plea compels Vance to help, despite his past differences with Donyell. He reveals to Donyell that he knows the location of Dwayne’s body.
Both the New Warriors and Counter Force pile into a stealth jet and head toward S.H.I.E.L.D.’s science and forensics helicarrier. Along the way, Justice asks how Donyell plans to infiltrate helicarrier’s the extremely thorough security systems, but assures him he will exclusively use “Taylortech,” technologies never before seen by S.H.I.E.L.D. As they approach the helicarrier, however, they realize stealth no longer matters; the Skrulls have arrived first.
Despite the massive damage the helicarrier has sustained, and despite the fact it crashed into the hillside, it remains intact, but only barely. Donyell flies the jet directly into the fight. He orders Justice to lead the team onto the ship while he stays behind and “evens the odds.” After the fifteen members of the New Warriors and Counter Force disengage from the ship, Donyell embarks on a kamikaze run toward the attacking Skrull cruiser. Just before collision, however, he ejects from his seat soars back to his team using a built-in glider, while the jet explodes against the Skrull ship. “Vance, we follow your lead,” Donyell shouts as he rejoins his team. “Let’s move!”
Inside the helicarrier, the overwhelmed S.H.I.E.L.D. agents struggle to stay alive. A timely arrival by the joint New Warriors team stops it from becoming a slaughter, however. As they pour in through a gaping hole in the carrier wall, one of the Scarlet Spiders notes all the ship’s Starktech is inoperative. Good thing yours was removed, Justice replies, or you would be in trouble as well! Donyell makes rescuing S.H.I.E.L.D. agents the team’s first priority. While Decibel, Phaser, and others begin the evacuation, Donyell and Vance begin their journey to the forensics lab. They would make much better progress were it not for the maze of Skrulls they have to circumvent, Justice comments. Donyell provides a simple solution: Ghost Mode. He grabs onto Justice, activates his intangibility tech, and they slip through the floor, unnoticed.
Rage, meanwhile, hammers a Skrull into the floor with all his strength. The Skrull quickly proves even Rage’s strength is not enough. It rises and scorches him with an optic blast. Tempest assaults another Skrull with her fire elemental tech, while Debrii and Ripcord tend to injuries Wondra has sustained. Things go from bad to worse, however, when an explosion erupts in the center of the room, scattering the team. From the wreckage emerges a Super-Skrull with the powers of the former New Warrior, Nova. In the shape they are in, the New Warriors have no chance against such an enemy. They hit it with their best attacks anyway and hope for the best.
Deeper in the helicarrier, Donyell and Vance arrive at the darkened S.H.I.E.L.D. stasis hold. As they enter, Justice asks a question he has had on his mind. “This might not be the best time to bring this up, but Wondra is Jubilee, isn’t she?”
“You’re right,” Donyell responds. “This isn’t the best time.”
Before long, Justice finds the preservation units housing the New Warriors Night Thrasher, Microbe, and Namorita. They pull back the lids, giving Donyell a clear look at the remains of both Zach Smith and Dwayne Taylor. Strange, he says. He has seen Zach’s body already, but was told Dwayne was vaporized. Justice suggests maybe there was something about Dwayne’s body his brother was not supposed to see. You okay, Vance asks? Yes, Donyell responds, only he does not know how he will deal with the possibility his brother might still be alive. Luckily, the DNA assay will take only a few minutes; he will have his answers soon enough.
The New Warriors continue to get battered by the Skrulls. Rage taunts the Nova-Skrull for stealing his friend’s powers, but the Skrull silences him with a devastating punch. Decibel counters this attack by incapacitating the Super-Skrull with an ear-shattering sonic scream. Coupled with an immediate high-energy burst of Phaser’s ultraviolet light, this attack disintegrates Super-Skrull. The team stands proudly over its smoking ashes.
Reinforcements from the Army arrive, board the ship, and exterminate all of the remaining Skrulls in a barrage of gunfire. As the battle winds down, the New Warriors and Counter Force assemble on the ground and tend to the injured government agents. One S.H.I.E.L.D. officer advises them to leave; they have done well, but the Army can take it from there. Besides, he does not want to see the vigilante heroes arrested.
Back in the lab, Donyell finishes his DNA assessments. Is it them, Justice asks? Yeah. It’s them, Donyell replies. Not knowing what to say, Vance offers him his condolences. At that moment, Justice’s team informs him via comm-link of their need to depart. Donyell overhears, and insists they take the bodies with them. Vance stares at him for a moment before giving him a response. “Let’s do it.”
The following day, on top of a scenic hillside at dusk, Donyell, Vance, and their teammates lay the bodies of the deceased New Warriors to rest. Rage offers a memory of Namorita as they stand around the monument. I’ll miss her unique sense of humor, Vance says when Rage finishes his story. Donyell, however, stands silently before the monument that reads, In remembrance of the New Warriors. “Once a Warrior, always a warrior.” Dwayne Taylor. Zachary Smith. Namorita.
Jubilee offers Donyell her condolences about his brother. Vance interjects, adding that while he was never comfortable with the team being formed again, especially not without its original members, he is glad it is at least under the direction of the brother of the man who started it all. Donyell thanks him and shakes his hand.
This tender moment is interrupted by a phone call Donyell receives. He excuses himself, wanders away from the others, and answers it. “You got it?” he asks, enigmatically. The voice on the other end answers affirmatively. “Then meet me tomorrow,” Donyell says. “The usual place. It’s time.”