PopCultHQ received a review copy of YOUNGBLOOD #11 from Image Comics. Available May 9th, the creative team for this series features writing from Chad Bowers, art from Jim Towe, colors by Juan Manuel Rodriguez, and lettering from Rus Wooton.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…
In Shops: May 9th, 2018
“A TALE OF TWO YOUNGBLOODS” Japan formally endorses Youngblood, putting them directly at odds with the U.S.’s own Youngblood initiative. Can a trip overseas be far behind for President Diehard?
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
If you were collecting comic books in the 90s, then you certainly know Image Comics, Rob Liefeld, and Youngblood. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking and no; this will not be a comentary about pouches and no feet with a Deadpool joke thrown in for good measure. Nothing of the sort, this is a commentary about a writer/artist in the industry who helped launch a promenient chapter of the industry as a whole.
Youngblood was the first title to hit the stands under the Image banner and what began as a single flip-book issue turned into a huge universe of vibrant characters. Rob just seemed to churn out character after character in what was The Avengers meets G.I. Joe. There was something, someone for everyone. Ask anyone today and they will tell you at least one Youngblood character who gained their attention back in the day.
The series had evolved over time; serving as a four color superhero series from a prominent independent company and eventually becoming a spoof of the industry as a whole in a very Dave Simm Cerebus way and then back again. Even Alan Moore took a stab at penning a Youngblood story which sadly never saw completion. After countless relaunches under different banners, studios, and even imprints, Youngblood has come home to Image.
This issue of Youngblood has the look and feel of the classic series. Chad Bowers seems to know the world he is working in. While he obviously has gutted it and made it his own, he still maintains small nuances. I’m not even sure if everything that had come before is still a thing? The continuity of Youngblood is all over the place but it’s one of those series where you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride. I can completely see Diehard evolving into a real Presidential candidate.
This issue also carries a heavy Watchmen feel to it. Diehard, one of their own, is President; there is what is called ‘The Freelance Mask Community’ of independently active superheroes. We even have Presient Diehard having to deal
with international relations as the rest of the world begins to jump on the Youngblood program. The book is full of familar character such as Diehard and Vogue, however some look different and some even have new positions. There are even new characters who keep to the feel of what Youngblood was back in the day.
Again, G.I. Joe with superheroes. Characters have their own independant threads which slowly come to fruition. Bowers is taking this somewhere and it would be most interesting to see where it goes.
What can I say? I’m a writer and not an artist so I never really have much to say about artwork. However since I’m required by the Suits who run this place I’ll try to find something nice to say. Jim Towe; a relatively new face in comics whose past credits include work in Cyberforce, Jim Hensons’s Labryrinth Artist Tribute, Riverdale and Younglood. Must say his cover work for Robocop: Citizen’s Arrest was fantastic. Back in the day it was believed that Rob Liefeld’s books all had what was considered a ‘House Art’ style. Towe’s work, while he doesn’t have much to compare currently, his Youngblood is far different from his Cyberforce. He also keeps his art in Youngblood in synch with continuity of a sorts. What do I mean by that? Good question, I’m not even sure I do but on page 7, we’re treated to Vogue fighting a four armed robot. The design of that robot gives it cannons for each arm, these cannons are extremely reminiscent of the drawn technology in Youngblood from back in the day. This is not a bad thing, if anything it’s a great point of reference for those older fans.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
On its own, Youngblood #11 isn’t a book you want to rush out and buy before it vanishes. It’s a comic issue, it tells a story from page 1 to page 32. However, it is a story which is a part of a greater whole. The pacing is well-done and it
doesn’t drag its feet. Not a dramatic page turner, mind you, but it does make me want to move forward without making it feel like a job to read it cover to cover. The dialog is what gets me, the inter-character relations; unlike past Youngblood series I can actually believe that Chad Bower’s characters are real, they speak like real people. If you were a fan of the earlier Youngblood stuff then you’ll eat this up as the world is no different than what we were once use too.
Why so low? Who pissed in your morning cereal, Christian? Good question. On a scale of 1 to 5, I don’t see 2 being bad. Giving it 2 & 1/2 stats is even better for it. Being as it’s just a regular everyday issue, nothing major or dramatic happens. Sure, the establishment of Youngblood Japan is a big deal but not so much in this issue. But it certainly will be a big deal in what’s to come. I’m sure as more unfolds in Bower’s narrative, this issue will look different to me in time.
YOUNGBLOOD #11 can be purchased now on ComiXology
and available at your local comic shop and online retailers Wednesday, May 9th!
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Writer- Chad Bowers
Artist – Jim Towe
Colorist – Juan Manuel Rodriguez
Letterer – Rus Wooton
Publisher – Image Comics