Comics
Published February 16, 2024

Meet Night Thrasher, Founder of the New Warriors

Who is Night Thrasher? Learn more about Dwayne Taylor, the self-made hero who founded the New Warriors!

The hard-hitting crime-fighter Night Thrasher returns to forge himself a new future in NIGHT THRASHER (2024) #1 by J. Holtham and Nelson Daniel. While he remains haunted by his own explosive brush with death, Night Thrasher is leaping back into action just as determined as ever to make New York City a safer place for all.

Here is everything you need to know about Night Thrasher, including his debut appearance, his extensive history with the New Warriors, and the way he cheated his untimely end in CIVIL WAR (2006).

WHO IS NIGHT THRASHER?

After Dwayne Taylor's parents were murdered before his very eyes in the streets of New York, he dedicated his life to pursuing vengeance on villains everywhere. By day, Dwayne heads the Taylor Foundation, a multi-billion dollar enterprise primarily geared towards helping the inhabitants of Harlem that also expanded its business into advanced medical research. By night, Dwayne patrols the streets of New York as his costumed alter ego Night Thrasher, ready to punish any evildoers who have the misfortune of crossing his path.

A tactical genius and formidable fighter, Dwayne founded the New Warriors in an effort to confront the threats he alone couldn't fight and to expand his super hero activities beyond New York. Driven and often uncompromising, Dwayne has come to blows with many familiar heroes across his time as Night Thrasher. When Dwayne died at the hands of the super villain Nitro, his older half-brother Donyell Taylor briefly served as Night Thrasher until Dwayne reclaimed the mantle.

POWERS AND ABILITIES

Although Dwayne does not have any super-powers of his own, he spent his life honing his body to the peak of human physical fitness and is highly trained in a number of martial arts styles and techniques. With his genius-level intellect, he furthers the Taylor Foundation's research and business practices and develops new technology for his Night Thrasher persona. However, because his caretaker Tai tampered with his childhood memories, Dwayne also has a limited amount of resistance to telepathic probes and attacks.

When active, Night Thrasher wears advanced armor and a helmet, which was originally made from Kevlar and ceramics before he eventually upgraded its build with a vibranium mesh. This armor provides Night Thrasher protection from numerous devastating attacks and also has the ability to go invisible when its stealth mode is activated. Night Thrasher's helmet provides the wearer with a rebreather, infrared and telescopic sights, and an advanced communications transmitter.

Night Thrasher's armor is fitted with a number of hidden weapons, including wrist-mounted projectiles and a utility belt filled with other tools. Night Thrasher's preferred weapon is a pair of Escrima sticks, which he refers to as his Night Staves. For increased maneuverability, Night Thrasher has a high-tech skateboard, a backpack-mounted glider, and grappling hooks in his armor's wrist compartments.

NIGHT THRASHER (1993) #1 pages by Fabian Nicieza and Javier Saltares
NIGHT THRASHER (1993) #1 pages by Fabian Nicieza and Javier Saltares

NIGHT THRASHER'S FIRST APPEARANCE

In THOR (1966) #411, Night Thrasher made his debut alongside the rest of the New Warriors during a battle between Thor and Juggernaut. After the God of Thunder became incapacitated, it fell on the New Warriors to prevent Juggernaut's rampage from spreading further. 

Night Thrasher stepped up to confront the magically-empowered villain alone. The young heroes kept Juggernaut occupied long enough for Thor to recover and, working together, the group transported the unstoppable enemy to a distant dimension, ending the fight.

Night Thrasher drew inspiration for the New Warriors from his past partnership with vigilante siblings Silhouette and Midnight's Fire. Sometime after Night Thrasher and Silhouette became romantically involved, she was gravely wounded by gunfire during an altercation with the police. Dwayne was haunted for years by the incident and believed Silhouette dead, while Midnight's Fire blamed Night Thrasher for what happened to his sister and swore revenge.

NIGHT THRASHER AND THE NEW WARRIORS

Determined not to let what happened to Silhouette and Midnight's Fire occur with the New Warriors, Night Thrasher assumed a more calculated and controlling role in leading this super hero team. Night Thrasher initially took inspiration from how Reed Richards led the Fantastic Four before realizing his fledgling team was developing a distinct identity of its own, underscored by an impromptu team-up with the Avengers in their first adventure together. Soon thereafter, Night Thrasher reunited with Silhouette, who survived the shooting and gained super-powers, but was partially paralyzed from her injuries.

Although Night Thrasher founded the New Warriors, he found himself clashing with his team frequently, with conflicts stemming from his no-nonsense nature, heavy-handed leadership, and obsession with learning about his forgotten past. Frustrated by their difference in priorities, Night Thrasher attempted to disband the New Warriors in NEW WARRIORS (1990) #20, only to be manipulated by his adoptive parents Andrew Chord and Tai into reforming the team. After the pair were exposed for trying to carry out a sacrificial ritual they had been planning for Dwayne's entire life, the reformed team defeated them.

After this harrowing confrontation, Night Thrasher worked directly with the New Warriors on an intermittent basis, opting to focus on his personal life and his professional commitments leading the Taylor Foundation. During one fateful return to the New Warriors, Night Thrasher and most of his teammates were killed while fighting Nitro in Stamford, Connecticut. The tragedy spilled out into the local community with disastrous consequences and served as the catalyst for the explosive crossover CIVIL WAR (2006).

NIGHT THRASHER'S RETURN

Beyond his prominent role with the New Warriors, Dwayne became the legal guardian of the young hero Elvin Haliday after he was kicked off the Avengers for his age. Around this time, Dwayne's love life took a major hit when Silhouette left him for his older brother Donyell in NIGHT THRASHER (1993) #2

Dwayne poured his energy into his professional life, but this similarly fell apart when the Taylor Foundation invested heavily in a faulty cancer cure that put its fiscal future in doubt. Dwayne also adopted the lead scientist's son Microbe after the researcher died trying to prove his experimental cure worked.

Long after CIVIL WAR (2006), Dwayne was spared from death during the cosmic game between the Collector and the Grandmaster in CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS (2015) #1. Using his reality-bending powers, the Collector plucked Night Thrasher from the timeline moments before his death and brought him several years into the future to serve on his team against the Grandmaster. 

After the competition concluded, the Maestro sent Night Thrasher to the present-day Marvel Universe. There, Dwayne struggled with the memories of his near-death experience as well as his discovery that the world, believing him dead, had moved on without him.

Dwayne Taylor returns in NIGHT THRASHER #1, now on sale!

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