A new, rogue Youngblood team is on the prowl, but the authorities aren’t too keen on their activities. is this the end for Vogue and her friends? Your Major Spoilers review of Youngblood #8 awaits!
Writer: Chad Bowers
Artist: Jim Towe
Colorist: Juan Manuel Rodriguez
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Youngblood: “Feared by villains and adored by the public, Youngblood was the most popular super-team on Earth. Then, came the Bloodstream, a hacktivist group that exposed Youngblood’s darkest secrets, doing more damage than all their enemies combines. With their reputation sullied beyond repair, the government disbanded Youngblood and forced its members into retirement with strict orders to stay out of the limelight. But now, against all odds, a new team of heroes has taken the name…
And they’ll be damned if they’re giving it back without a fight.”
A NEW AGE FOR AN OLD TEAM
Even having been told to cut it out, the new Vogue and her team (Doc Rocket, the kid who doesn’t want to be called Sentinel, Supreme who used to be called Suprema and Man-Up) find themselves in the middle of the ocean, chasing down leads on a human trafficking case. When things go badly, though, Man-Up gets involved, nearly drowning his teammates and a squad of Interpol officers whose carefully planned sting the Youngblood team has just ruined. Worse still, the girl whom they have saved has no interest in being in their care, and psionically teleports Supreme into deep space. Things aren’t any simpler when they get back home, as Shaft has gone underground, Badrock is dead, and the triangle between Vogue, Man-Up and not-Sentinel is heating up as well. There are a couple of really deep conversations to be had in these pages, and I like the fact that this group of young teens doesn’t feel (to a 40-something man, mind you) forced and false like so many teenage voices of the past.
TOPICAL AND AWARE
In fact, the biggest conflict in the issue is the romantic one, overshadowing the mysteries of Youngblood and the superhero stuff in interest for me. That’s a good thing, and the premise that this twenty-fifth anniversary series is actually years into the world of Youngblood is what makes this book fun. Even though they haven’t been in print constantly over those two-plus decades, the fragmented history of the team is the canvas on which this creative team is painting, and it works. The fact that the art is strong, stylized and beautiful help, with Jim Towe giving us strong facial expressions and body language and delivering costumes that are much less ridiculous than the team’s 90s heyday. Treating Youngblood’s excessive parts as leftover 90s effluvium makes this book work so much better than any slavish relaunchbootvamp, which is why it succeeds narratively where several recent restarts haven’t.
THE BOTTOM LINE: NOT BAD
As someone who has been reading Youngblood from the very beginning, I can say with surety that this is one of my favorite iterations of the much-rebooted franchise, meaning that Youngblood #8 gets a surprising-but-well-deserved 3 out of 5 stars overall. The use of modern themes and storytelling techniques against a background of 25 years of things that never quite worked makes the whole thing even more entertaining for me as a reader, which could finally be the missing key to success for Youngblood.
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