The penultimate issue of the first story arc is here and it brings the action!
Youngblood has fast become one of my favorite superhero team books due to its deft weaving of new and old heroes and strong character writing. It’s fun to see the 90’s characters older and a bit wizened as they navigate a world with new heroes. This issue brings the new and old to the forefront in one wicked battle.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“REBORN,” Part Five (of Six) It’s the beginning of the end for the all-new Youngblood, as Vogue and Dolante face off against the masterminds responsible for Help! And when Badrock’s machinations finally catch up to him in the form of a pissed off President Diehard, Shaft steps in to save his former teammate—but which one?
Why does this matter?
Chad Bowers and Jim Towe have put a new spin on an old team and done well to build up the new characters at the forefront. The series has looked great with some interesting layout designs too. This is the penultimate issue of the first arc, so things are wrapping up!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
They’re becoming family.
This issue opens with a reminder the new kids on the block are more than just coworkers, but friends too. Bowers does a good job with the dialogue so they feel natural and realistic. They’re just people like you and me, and that helps make them relatable. This scene takes place a week before so that when things cut to the now the action can come in fast and furious. This is one of those issues where you check how many pages are left because it’s so packed with entertainment you think it must be getting to the conclusion. But then you see it’s not and there’s even more! Heroes new and old alike get chances to shine, and Diehard continues to hold his place as president above any allegiance to his friends.
Towe drops a few great full page spreads on readers in this issue, with one reminiscent of the blood and gore that people love so much in Invincible. There’s also a villain reveal that’s detailed, interesting, and perfect at capturing your interest due to the angle and use of speed lines on a floor. Prior to this reveal there’s a fantastic six panel page that draws you in on a major change in a character and caps off perfectly with a hero going, “Oh God,” setting up the full page spread perfectly. There’s also a badass team all on the same page panel that will have you hooting and hollering.
These guys are punks.
It can’t be perfect can it?
As has become customary of this series there are times where the dialogue is laid on quite thick. It mostly sets things up well and taps the characters via the dialogue, but it does slow things down considerably. It’s a brief page or two in this issue — not a deal breaker by any means, but it does throw off the pace.
Is It Good?
Another excellent issue anybody familiar with Youngblood should try out. Bringing the young with the old, Image Comics has a rollicking good superhero book on their hands.