I remember when The New Warriors came out. My initial interest had been from recognizing Namorita from Sub-Mariner, Firestar from the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Cartoon (as well as her appearance in Uncanny X-Men #193), and Nova from his then defunct series. (I had also recognized Speedball, but I wasn’t an avid Spider-Man fan, so I just remember reading about him in an annual but not being overly impressed). Fabian with pen in hand wrote The New Warriors and changed everything I knew about them – and made them better. He even changed everything I knew about comics. Fabian delivered hard hitting stories about these characters who were finding themselves in complex situations. There were no easy answers. It wasn’t always just a simple “Good Guy vs Bad Guy.” These were characters, who were being so well developed, that you got to see how they sometimes questioned their own morals and actions, as they did things “to make a better difference in the world.” And oftentimes, you got to see what having these powers did to them rather than just for them.
Back in the days of Geocities.com (that may even pre-date some of you newly surfing the web type people!), I had searched the web and looked for New Warriors related websites. There wasn’t much out there, but then, developing such websites for comics wasn’t that big of a thing yet. So, I took what little know I had (emphasis on little knowledge) in terms of knowledge on website creation and developed a pretty simple site on Geocities, centered on The New Warriors. On Dec 13, 1998 (told you it was a long time ago!) I created an eGroup (since then purchased by Yahoo, who ironically had also been the ones to purchase Geocities!) for New Warriors. It didn’t take too long for the list to thrive and some great discussions were to be had! In Fen 2000, my wife surprised me by purchasing the domain “NewWarriors.com” for me to move my Geocities site to a “real” website.
Since then, I have been adding to the website, and trying to improve it as time permits.
So why all this rambling? Well there’s a reason! I just wanted to show my passion and pride at being a fan of The New Warriors, yes! But there’s more to it!
“So THIS is coming out on Wednesday! NEW WARRIORS OMNIBUS from Marvel. It’s been 20 years and I’m still proud as hell of the work we all did and excited to see our first two years collected in this fashion.”
Folks, that is TOMORROW!
And if for whatever reason your local comic store does not have it – you can pick it up on Amazon.com!
Anyway – in my excitement, I asked Fabian if he had time to answer a few questions, which he graciously did!
Q) What was some of the favorite things about working on THE NEW WARRIORS?
The raw excitement of getting to work on my first mainstream Marvel superhero book with Mark. The sense of satisfaction at having won a pretty long, grueling bake-off against other potential writers. The knowledge — real early in the process — that we were putting together something pretty exciting. ALL OF IT!
Q) Who was your favorite character to write?
Speedball, just for the sheer fun of it, but I really liked all of them for different reasons and the different perspective they brought to the book.
Q) What is it that you’re most proud of having accomplished in THE NEW WARRIORS?
That we took a concept that a LOT of people were either indifferent or outright disdainful off and created a title whose sales consistently went UP its entire first year of publication. It’s first issue sold 126,000 copies in the direct market, by issue #15 we were brushing 200,000. The very loyal fan support we had was very gratifying as well.
Q) You have us Psionex, Folding Circle, Forces of Nature, Lady Sphinx and several new (or revamped) villains that fought the New Warriors throughout your run? Is there any one of them you’re most proud of or enjoyed writing the most?
Probably Mathemanic was my most interesting concept and Pretty Persuasion my most “you gotta be kidding me”, but really since I was creating or revamping a lot of characters — even designing a lot of them for Mark to make better — the truth is I kind of liked them all!
Q) The roster remained pretty stable but you occasionally had folks like Rage and Darkhawk become “members” of the team (either permanently or on a temp basis). Were these things that were forced on you or something you had wanted to do?
Nothing was ever forced on me with WARRIORS. If anything Danny Fingeroth and then Rob Tokar helped guide me in making sure I didn’t overdo things! I brought in Rage and Darkhawk because I think it’s important to always tinker with your dynamics in a group book. Never let things get too settled for too long or they get boring. Plus they were teen characters in an “adult world” so it was good for them as characters to have the chance to interact with others their own age.
The truth is, at one point, as our sales were going up, the goal was to do a spin-off group book, and to do that I needed to seed enough characters into the mix to accommodate that. By the time we would have gotten there, after #50, sales weren’t strong enough to justify the second title so the plans never happened.
Q) We have seen several of the characters you wrote in the NEW WARRIORS appear during your run on the THUNDERBOLTS – how was that?
I don’t even remember, so many characters appeared in TBOLTS over such a long period of time. I’m sure some villains made their way over because I was comfortable with them and wanted to use them, but I don’t recall any of the main characters playing any significant part in TBOLTs.
Q) And finally, before you handed off the series to EVAN did you work closely with him – with what you had planned?
Not at all. I quit a little abruptly, for a variety of reasons, and I was glad Evan got the gig, but honestly — and he knows this so it’s not a secret shame — I didn’t read his run until YEARS after it was published. I really tend to NOT look at a title I have quit or been fired from even to this day. Although Evan was and is a great friend of mine, I didn’t want to know what he did with the book until I felt I could read it with a fair and open mind. Once I did, I enjoyed a lot of what he did and he had some interesting stuff happening. So I’d say I think he’s the SECOND best writer the Warriors have ever had .
Q) And for all the NEW WARRIORS fan who yearn for it – given the chance, would you return if they offered you free reign to do a NEW WARRIORS series?
Tell Marvel to offer it and we’ll see what I do!
So you are seeing what I am seeing right? If we rush Marvel’s offices and protest and don’t let them leave until they give Fabian another swing at the New Warriors, Fabian just might take the offer! So what to do? I say (Note: Fabian had nothing to do with this part of the plan!) – email the main email addresses at Marvel:
Spidey office: – firstname.lastname@example.org
X office: – email@example.com
Heroes office: – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hulk, Ultimate & All Ages office: – email@example.com
Editors who recently handled these characters:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Bill Rosemann)
email@example.com (Lauren Sankovitch)
Me, personally? I’d write to all four of them in one email. What’s it going to hurt? Email’s still free to send!
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