Youngblood Is Back. You Were Warned.

Youngblood is infamous. As one of the first Image titles, it was so anticipated that it sold more copies than any other independently comic at that point. However, creator Rob Liefeld’s reputation as a bad artist has tarnished it despite efforts by some really good writers to explore the central theme of superheroes as celebrities. The series has a habit of not finishing planned stories and not meeting commitments of completed mini-series. 

How do I feel about this press release from Image Comics? I don’t think Youngblood has as much promise as others do. Those people also include Alan Moore and Mark Millar, so my opinion may not jive with with what more talented creative people think. In my opinion, the best ideas for Youngblood come when the concept is so entirely turned around that it barely resembles the original incarnation.

I’ve not read any of Chad Bowers’ previous work, so I have no idea if the story will be good. Jim Towe’s art is a style that I can get into, but that alone is never enough to carry a bad concept or a bad story the whole distance and make for a comic worth spending four bucks an issue. The plot seems a little hackneyed to me, with a distrusted team being called in to help find a missing hero. The incorporation of an app into the plot just insures that the story is firmly rooted in the current time period, maybe moreso than most other times a current trending technology has been incorporated into a comic book’s plot.

Yes, I’m judging a comic before a single page has seen print. However, Youngblood has had numerous restarts and re-imaginings. There is nothing here in this press release, which I’ve added below, that gives me pause that this one could be different. Perhaps with Youngblood, the challenge is making something originally executed so poorly be actually good. Perhaps the appeal is that no idea is completely bad. That would certainly be promising, especially given the history working against it.

YOUNGBLOOD IS BACK

Image Comics is pleased to announce the return of Rob Liefeld’s YOUNGBLOOD—the blockbuster hit series that launched the Image Revolution and turned the comics industry on its head—with story by Chad Bowers (X-Men ‘92, Deadpool: Bad Blood) and art from Jim Towe. YOUNGBLOOD is reborn with an all-new cast and a bold new mission with YOUNGBLOOD #1 issue—set to hit stores this May.

“Youngblood has had outstanding talent contribute to its amazing history,” said Liefeld. “Alan Moore, Robert Kirkman, Keith Giffen and Mark Millar are a few who have left their mark. Chad Bowers and Jim Towe are four issues into their run and are producing stories that will be held as some of, if not the best Youngblood tales ever told. It honors the best of the past and forges exciting new paths for these characters!”

In this YOUNGBLOOD #1, an uber popular self-protection app called HELP! is changing how we stay safe—“HELP! lets you decide who saves you.” But when a high-rated young hero on the app goes missing, his best friend’s search for answers gains the attention of some unexpected allies, and together, they’ll do whatever it takes to find him… even if it means resurrecting the world’s most hated super-team, Youngblood.

“Trust me, you’ve never read a Youngblood story like this,” said Bowers. “I’m so incredibly proud of what Jim and I are doing on this book, and can’t wait for readers, especially those who’ve maybe never picked up a Youngblood comic, to see what all the fuss is about!”

Jim Towe added: “I’ve been having the time of my life with Youngblood. The combination of so much creative freedom along with having a fantastic writer like Chad has really made this an artist’s dream book to draw. We’ve crafted an incredibly fun and exciting modern day reimagining of these characters that I think both new and old fans are really going to enjoy.”

The series will also feature jaw-dropping alternate covers by Rob Liefeld, David Finch, and Chris Daughtry—so, gear up, strap in, and get ready to rediscover comics most Extreme universe.

YOUNGBLOOD #1 Cover A by Towe (Diamond Code MAR170637), Cover B by Liefeld (Diamond Code MAR170638), Cover C by Finch (Diamond Code MAR170639), and Cover D by Daughtry (Diamond Code MAR170640) hit stores on Wednesday, May 3rd. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, April 10th.