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Monday, February 11, 2019

NuPerspective Black History Month: Day 11- NIGHT THRASHER

For Black History Month I've decided to re-release the characters posted from last year's Nu-Perspective column as a "character-a-day".

What IS Nu-Perspective you ask? Well, it's a bi-weekly column I started with my writing collaborator Fabian Wood with the purpose of revamping and updating different underdeveloped, underutilized and all-but-forgotten Nubian (black) comic book and pop culture characters.

Night Thrasher original appearance. Art by Mark Bagley

With this repost, you get the same full bio, art and our storyline concept, but also some behind the scenes thoughts on how and why Fabian and I went about doing what we did.
And today's post features one of my favorite characters from one of my favorite teams of ALL TIME-- Night Thrasher!!!

Night Thrasher Nu-Perspective revamp by Shawn Alleyne

Real Name: Dwayne Michael Taylor
Current Alias: Night Thrasher
Identity: Secret
Occupation: Businessman, Engineer, Philanthropist, Vigilante
Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois
Base of Operations: New Warriors headquarters
Affiliations: Taylor Foundation, New Warriors
First Appearance: Thor #411 1989
Original Creators: Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz

Story: A self-made man living in a world of super-powered individuals and cosmic beings, Dwayne Taylor was always about protecting the common man from these incredible threats as the vigilante, Night Thrasher. Founding a team of super-powered teenagers called the “New Warriors”, Night Thrasher’s life followed the ebb and flows of vigilante/superhero life with many adventures. However, this road took its’ most drastic turn for the worst when the New Warriors ended up as reality show stars and wound up at the epicenter of the infamous Stamford incident that sparked the first civil war between Earth’s greatest heroes. Night Thrasher was presumed dead, but in reality, he was snatched from death by the Collector to be an unwilling participant in his “Contest of Champions”. Only recently been brought back to Earth, Night Thrasher learnt how far the New Warriors and his legacy had fallen in his absence. Steeling his resolve once again to build himself back up, Dwayne reveals himself to his former teammates, hoping to reunite the New Warriors with the goal of rising above their past mistakes and shortcomings and becoming a beacon of inspiration in a new generation of super-powered teens and vigilantes. But first, they will have to contend with opposition from the S.H.I.E.L.D. sanctioned Secret Warriors who do not want a repeat of history.

Powers/Abilities: Aside from his passive ability that makes him immune to psionic attacks, Night Thrasher is a man in peak physical fitness. Having trained in various forms of martial arts, Night Thrasher’s time in the “Contest of Champions” has further enhanced his hand-to-hand, firearms and weapons combat proficiency to match enhanced humans. Night Thrasher is also a highly skilled skateboarder and an efficient hacker.

Paraphernalia/Weapons: Battle Amour – As an expert engineer and weapons designer, Dwayne’s Night Thrasher armour is of a military-grade light-weight bullet resistant and fire retardant material. It is also outfitted with a high-tech thermo-optic camouflage lining. The armour suit also comes with two multi-purpose wrist gauntlets that can, among other functions, launch a grapple line, discharge a powerful electric current (mimicking his brother’s former mutant power), a hacking interface, retractable blades, as well as fire bullets. The mask and goggles on the armour have various audio and visual enhancements, breathing apparatus, and more. The suit itself has hidden compartments for caltrops, smoke pellets, mini explosive and other devices and gadgets. Night Thrasher is never without his trademark Escrima sticks and a hi-tech customized skateboard that has reverse-engineered repulsor discs of mobility and speed.

Night Thrasher design sketch by Shawn Alleyne

Old piece of Night Thrasher I did. You can see I kept many of the aspects for his final revamp.

Q&A with Fabian and Shawn

What do you like most about the character?- Shawn: Night Thrasher has secretly been a favorite character of mine for many reasons. He's tenacious, super-skilled, brilliant, has a great back story, he's a leader, he's Nubian, he's an underdog (and who doesn't love an underdog?) But the thing I like most about ole NT, is the fact that he's a NINJA!! And all I ever wanted to be growing up was a ninja.
What made you choose this character?- S: Ummm...everything I listed above. lol

What was the creative process like for this character?- S: Due to my love affair with this character the creative process for him started loooonnggg ago, before there was even the idea of a Nu-Perspective. My dream is to one day draw a New Warriors comic book, and I've been revamping these characters for a while. I came with the look and Fabian slam dunked the story. I added my touches and voila. 

Did the character pose a challenge to update and if so what was the hardest part of the redesign?- S: No challenge whatsoever. I just modernized his original look. Some influences of Masumune Oshirow are in there. 

In regards to the story aspect of the update, what was your main inspiration for the direction?- S: Correcting the BULLSHIT that was done to him as a character. The New Warriors are now considered a joke and that's one of Marvel's biggest mistakes. My main intent was to return NT to his roots.
In hindsight is there anything you would do differently now?- S: Not a thing. Ok, that's not quite true. Maybe give him back his skateboard. lol

Did this character resonate with you in anyway? - S: He's everything I would want to be. 


Fine Print: Nu-Perspective is a column focused on revamps and updates of various underdeveloped, underutilized and all-but-forgotten Nubian (black) characters specifically. We aim to showcase these chosen characters in fresh, contemporary and exciting ways both visually and story-wise to show just how awesome they can truly be. All characters are copyrights and trademarks of the respective publishers and creators. This column is used solely for artistic enjoyment.

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