Youngblood has been a series I could have sworn I’d never be into–in part because I wasn’t a huge fan of the 90’s series–but has won me over due to its deft character writing. It has managed to weave the old Youngblood in with new heroes who are forming a team of their own. The building of the team has been intriguing and deals with a bigger mystery that certainly makes you ask some questions.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“REBORN,” Part Four Danger. Most people run from it. Shaft rides a motorcycle straight at it. When the world’s most extreme bowman goes rogue, it’s up to the new Youngblood to stop him before he ruins everything. Or worse, gets them all killed.
Why does this matter?
Chad Bowers and Jim Towe are four issues into the first arc and things are ramping up quite nicely. Plus you got Shaft fighting robots off with a sword and a bow. How awesome is that!?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue does well to show how the villains are operating and why they are a threat not to be trifled with. Without spoiling things, it ties well with the mystery that opened this series, which is a relief as answers are waiting for you to read here. So often stories draw things out and they can drag, but so far this series has introduced new characters, new plot twists, and kept it moving forward well. There are a lot of characters in this series and Bowers keeps it manageable with strong scene changes that flow nicely. It always seems like the plot thickens at the most opportune times and it does so in this issue with a variety of characters.
Plus it’s action packed. I think one of the reasons this series has been so strong so far is because it approaches superheroes with a fresh face. Sure it’s weaving in the old with the new, but Bowers and Towe have made the characters feel fresh. That includes the action, which Towe paces well. In one page for instance, using four panels Towe shows Shaft get shot at, cuts to the threat, then cuts back to Shaft who is now sliding on his motorcycle like a scene out of Akira. Towe can do a lot with a few panels, which, when done well, can allow the reader’s imagination to fill in the gaps and create even more suspense.
This is totes not normal.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I lost the tether between a few of the different plots going on in this issue, especially the opening one. The issue itself actually opens with a confusing, mysterious scene with cryptic captions, which doesn’t help clarity when the following scene is a group of characters trying to find more super powered characters in a rural town. Much of the issue reveals a lot, but I was at a loss as far as what is going on exactly between the plots.
Is it good?
This is fresh superhero comics if I ever saw it. Bowers and Towe have made a once tired 90’s era team super cool and it shows the potential for superhero storytelling is still strong in the right hands.