New Warriors #5-6 (1990)

Star Thief returns (or more precisely is rebooted).  Only instead of a cosmic star-eater, this time Star Thief is a guy who got powers when a satellite full of cosmic energy—the same that transformed the Fantastic Four—fell from the sky and killed his wife and kids.  Naturally, he’s a little irate, and he’s taken it upon itself to prevent any more space exploration.  Not sure why he’s named Star Thief.  It should be “Space Program Thief.”

Anyway, instead of attacking the FF or Avengers, both of whom have rockets, he attacks various countries’ versions of Cape Canaveral.  The New Warriors see it on the news and decide taking down Star Thief would be a good way to establish themselves as a hero group.

Plus, time-traveler and future Guardian of the Galaxy Vance Astro really doesn’t want a dude discouraging the development of space travel.  He’s kinda got a vested interest.

Before the main event, we see glimpses into the characters’ personal lives—remember, they’re mostly kids who are still in school—and it’s all handled very well.  In fact, Speedball is a joy to read in the pages of New Warriors, where his solo book and the incessant, endless stream of solo short stories in Marvel’s various anthology comics are just awful.

Namorita conveniently learns that Stane International is about to shoot a bunch of nuclear waste into space—rocket trash—and deposit it on the moon.  So the team stakes out the launch pad and, of course, Star Thief shows up.

He’s wicked powerful.

While half the team is taking him on, the other half is fighting Stane International’s security force because The New Warriors don’t want to let Star Thief stop the launch but they also don’t want the launch to happen because using space as a trash can is gross.

(So why didn’t they just let Star Thief do his thing?)

Anyway, Namorita and a few other New Warriors end up, with Star Thief, riding the rocket to the moon, where The Inhumans take action because they’re obviously not happy with their planet being a garbage dump.

It’s not super-clear why they all gang up on Star Thief, who also wanted to stop the space dumping, but they do.  And during the battle they end up at Uatu’s home, also in the Blue Area, which causes him to pause and wonder at all of Watcher’s cool stuff.  He calms down and decides he just wants to live on the moon.

There’s some prelude work showing The Hellfire Club has computer files about Firestar, which an unknown hacker is trying to steal.

More great storytelling—jam-packed, fun, and for the most part clear motivations for a wide variety of characters, all of whom have different interests and personalities.  Team writing is hard, but this book is getting it right.

Creators: Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley
Grade: B-

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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