‘Youngblood’ #1: Rob Liefeld’s Creation Returns to Life Once More!

Youngblood has been a series that’s been through a lot of relaunches over the years. As one of the first books from Image Comics, Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood has a storied history. Now Youngblood is back with a new #1 and a new creative team to boot. The toughest part about Youngblood is that creative teams have come and gone many times on this series. With every revival there has always been a relatively fast disappearance of the team and title in some weird fashion. The ultimate question is will this be the team to stick around for the long haul? Now it is time to find out what this new creative lineup has in store for us. Truth be told, I’ve been curious about this myself. Time to revisit Youngblood once more with a new #1!

Youngblood has always been a team I’ve been rooting for. It’s been through a lot of weird stuff, but I find myself optimistic this time around.

Youngblood #1 Image Comics Cover

Now you may wonder, why am I optimistic? Chad Bowers has been so enthusiastic about this in interviews and so on, I can’t help but share in it. For one thing, it’s friendly to new and old readers alike. If you are totally new to Youngblood, for the most part you’ll be fine. It takes a minute to know some of the characters, but by the end, you will be loving it. Bowers goes out of his way to ease you into the world of Youngblood. While it did take me time to get into this, after the intro I found myself strapped in for the ride. The new characters introduced are engaging and connect to the old characters well. I am going to break this down a bit to show you all why this works.

Youngblood #1 Help! App

Special notice of one major plus of Youngblood, the Help! app.

I have to say the Help! app opens up a lot of interesting concepts from the get go. A superhero hiring app that lets you rate your experience and more with the hero is a cool idea. I’m a fan of how it is used as a storytelling element, especially as to how Youngblood gets involved in the first place. Chad Bowers has opened up infinite possibilities here with this app alone. Considering storytelling elements hint towards more involvement with Help! down the line, which intrigues me. How did this app come about and why has it made such an impact will be interesting to see as this series rolls on. There are some great characters coming out of the Help! app concept and I can’t wait to see more of them.

Now we have new characters introduced with nods to old ones. Yet what about the original members of Youngblood, how is that handled?

Luckily if you’re a new reader, you’ll be fine. It’s all in the interactions as each member of the original team is revealed to the reader. From what is happening to Shaft, Diehard, and as each member is introduced, I can’t wait to see how they got to where they are. Shaft is one such member that fascinates me, especially from the backup story that Liefeld wrote and drew. Between what Bowers is setting up and what Liefeld is setting up in a small way, I’m intrigued. The story of Diehard will be a fun one to follow up on down the line too. There’s a lot of great things happening here.

Youngblood #1 Man-Up

Ultimately the name of the game with Youngblood is fun. This really is a lot of fun.

The action is non-stop, the characterization is fun, and it does set up a compelling narrative for what’s to come. There’s a lot here to like as to what Bowers is doing here with this first story. It’s going to be interesting to see the events of the backup story play out too. Whatever Liefeld is up to with that backup, I want to see what happens as to how it will affect the main story. It takes time to get into, but once you’re into the world this comic is building, you’ll find yourself invested in Youngblood. It’s off to a great start and for what has been set up so far, I’m excited to see where it goes from here.

Youngblood #1 Help App Expanded Edition

Here is where it all comes together, Jim Towe is a strong artist but the rest of the team is just as great too.

Jim Towe is an amazing choice for Youngblood. One thing that’s noticeable about Bowers is his script is animated in the sense that this is a vibrant world. It’s a character driven, high energy universe, and Towe’s art fits this. It’s expressive as there’s a lot of moments where conveying emotion is key; Towe nails it. The action scenes are exciting and dynamic, with some cool layouts to boot. I love the page in particular where a villain is messing with the minds of the new heroes. There’s such a great design to it that works well in conveying the power of the villain. It’s going to be fun to see where Jim Towe’s art goes from here because this is some strong work.

Now for the coloring on this comic – wow does it work well. Juan Manuel Rodriguez is conveying a bright, fun, and only a hint of darkness to this universe. Bowers has a comic that trends towards fun despite some darker circumstances, and the coloring fits. It shines and makes Towe’s art that much better in the process. The letterer for this, Rus Wooton is also amazing here. Especially with the letter design for the Help! app and I like how the texts look too. This is a great art team all around and deserves attention on all levels. Now we get into the one bit that will be fun for everyone, the backup story that Rob Liefeld handles.

As it is Rob Liefeld drawing a story, I say this deserves it’s own special section before we finish this up.

The backup tale focuses on Shaft and certain elements that as I mention in the review, will come up later. As I said, I am intrigued by the new elements. Now for the art, it’s Rob Liefeld and for me, I actually dig his art more as time goes on. It’s Liefeld though, you either love his art or dislike it, there’s no in-between. I will say I like the inker here, Shelby Robertson, that adds a nice strong line to Liefeld’s art. Rodriguez’s coloring is just as strong as it is in the main story, and the same goes for the lettering. A strong backup tale that adds a lot in just a few pages.

Now let’s wrap this Youngblood adventure up as we leave on a light and happy note.

Youngblood is a good read and at times a great read too. It’s got a strong creative team and infinite potential. Give this a chance and you will find yourself liking it as much as I do. Welcome back Youngblood.

Wesley Messer
Wesley Messerhttp://geekwholanded.com/
A long time comic book fan, writer on many comic sites and more, and always enjoys finding new stories and worlds to enjoy. With a lot of love for TV, Movies and so on along the way. A true traveler of the Internet Multiverse.