The Creators – Chad Bowers, Rob Liefeld – Writer, Jim Towe, Rob Liefeld – Artist, Shelby Robertson – Inker, Juan Manuel Rodriguez – Colours, Rus Wooten – Letters
The Players – Shaft, Diehard, Badrock, Doc Rocket, Vogue, Suprema, Sentinel, Crime Condor
The Story – The United States is a different place, one where Youngblood has been disbanded and branded as criminals and where vigilantism is outlawed. It finds Diehard as president, Shaft and Badrock in prison and some younger heroes taking matters into their own hands.
The Take – It has been a while since the last iteration of Youngblood has been on the stands and just like every time before that, it did not last very long. In the afterward to this issue, Rob Liefeld states that he has always been reluctant to let others play with these characters and perhaps that is why this book does not currently have a good two hundred and fifty issues behind it like Spawn or Savage Dragon. The book has been around for twenty-five years and yet it has never been published long enough to build up much of an audience, which is in itself, quite a shame. This issue, the first of what will hopefully be many, finds Chad Bowers and Jim Towe taking the reins and it is probably the best thing to happen to this franchise in a very long time. It begins with a mystery, the disappearance of a young man who liked to play hero at night and it leads to a series of events that finds a new Vogue investigating said disappearance, the emergence of Shaft and Badrock and the circumstances of their current situation and finally, the revelation of what it means to be a hero in this new era. Bowers writes a great story, one that is witty, fun and exciting. He packs it not only full of action, but some great characterization and it is hard to remember just when the title was as good as it currently is now. It feels current and relevant and more than anything, it proves you can go home again despite being burned on multiple occasions. Towe provides some extremely attractive artwork, playing into that relevance that Bowers’ script elicits and altogether, it makes for one perfect book. Youngblood’s erstwhile creator also lends his talents in a backup tale that finds some future members of the team coming back to the past in order to save their future. Where that will lead is anyone’s guess. As it stands, the book is definitely worth buying and definitely worth reading and if Liefeld is smart, he will keep this team on this book for the foreseeable future and perhaps let it continue on as a real, ongoing title – no more stops, no more reboots and no more years between publication.
Worth It? – Yes