Written by Chad Bowers
Drawn by Jim Towe
Colored by Juan Manuel Rodriguez
Lettered by Rus Wooton
Published by Image Comics
PREVIOUSLY: YOUNGBLOOD #2
I’m going to try to be lighter on potential spoilers for this. This issue opens with a flashback showing how Petra recruited Doc Rocket to the team, and why she did, considering that Doc Rocket was a member of a previous version of Youngblood, which has since been publicly discredited. This sequence takes place on a train, at Doc Rocket’s suggestion, since she mentions that she hates sitting still. That may seem like a small detail, that immediately stood out to me, as it does seem like something someone who is used to moving at super-speed would feel. So I give kudos to writer Chad Bowers for thinking of that. And there’s also an appearance by another popular Extreme Studios character, whom I won’t name.
Then we jump forward to the present, picking up right were the previous issue’s cliffhanger left off, with the dramatic reveal of who has been secretly helping Petra and the others start this new Youngblood team. Now they want Shaft to join them, but he’s not happy about it, and not all members of the new Youngblood are happy with the idea of Shaft joining them either. But it’s revealed that the purpose of this has to do with the superhero app HELP! It turns out that, in addition to Petra’s friend “Man-Up”, several young superheroes who worked for the app have been abducted in recent weeks, and they want to find out who is behind this and why. We, the audience, see who’s behind it, and near the end, someone else figures it out. But by then, Shaft has gone off on his own, not going back to prison, but also not joining the new Youngblood, making him a fugitive from the U.S. Government, something that President DieHard doesn’t appear to be taking lightly…
There’s some other little goodies in the story that you’ll want to see for yourself. My suspicion about the name of the HELP! founding company, Byrnetec, turned out to be true, although I just thought it was funny little in-joke about comic-book creator, and notorious Rob Liefeld-hater, John Byrne, but it’s more than that. Also, I forget to mention in the previous review, but from dialog both there and in this issue, it appears that not everyone remembers Suprema, for some reason, although she knows all of them. It’s not followed-up on yet, but I suspect that perhaps it’s due to latest “Supreme Reality Revision” that happened in Warren Ellis’ SUPREME BLUE ROSE series? We’ll see.
But once again it’s a very satisfying story, something I think both old and new Youngblood fans can enjoy. The writing is solid and the artwork is lovely, making this one of the most promising new superhero titles I’ve read in years.