In what has become one of my favorite superhero books of the year Chad Bowers and Jim Towe have delivered with Youngblood. The book has been a complete surprise as it melds old and new with an interesting plot and fresh-faced characters. In the last issue of the first arc can they wrap things up?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
END OF STORY ARC “REBORN,” Conclusion This is it: the pulse-pounding finale of REBORN! They had a plan: exploit the Youngblood name for media attention. But what began as a shrewd publicity stunt ends in catastrophe, with Youngbloods old and new fighting for their lives against an enemy none of them were prepared for and the American public waiting outside with stones in hand.
Why does this matter?
I never got into Youngblood back in the 90’s and now I’m not sure if that was a bad idea. This book has made me a believer in this universe and I only want more.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens in a clever way for any reader who may not have read the last few issues. Bowers opens the issue with a commercial for “help!”, a new app that gives you direct access to heroes. It’s a reminder of how they duped innocent kids who want to make a difference and segues into the middle of an action sequence well. Much of this issue is devoted to action and there are some great twists to be had. There’s also a horror vibe to what the villain does to “flesh” which is still creeping me out after I read the damn issue. This issue does a great job wrapping up the arc but also laying seeds for future stories and a more traditional superhero team to come.
Towe draws another very clean issue with nice cel-shading throughout. That creepy horror thing I mentioned above? Ya, Towe nails it and then some. From the look of the techno fingers on the face to the facial expression of complete fear and submission, it’s all kinds of disturbing. Meanwhile, Diehard plays a semi-villain type who has an older guy look with wrinkles that make him somewhat evil looking. There’s also a fantastic bit of dialogue later in the issue that leads to a fantastic giant “BOOM” at the turn of a page that’s delightful.
This will freak you out.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a final scene that kicks off in a way that left me slightly confused. I think I understand what is going on, but I wasn’t sure who the villain was and what the deal was with his little trick. That said, it becomes clear with the fantastic double page splash that ends the issue.
Is It Good?
This issue wraps up the first arc with great action and creepy intrigue that’ll stick with you. The fact that it ends with a promise for true to form superhero team action only seals the deal.