Old Habits Diehard (Youngblood #7 Comic Review)

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Pressed to salvage his administration, President Diehard pivots in an unexpected direction and readies himself for his next move as both politician and national superhero.

YOUNGBLOOD #7
Writer: Chad Bowers

Penciler: Jim Towe
Colorist: Juan Manuel Rodriquez
Publisher: Image Comics


What You Need to Know:

In the wake of events in Baltimore, President Diehard finds himself under intense public scrutiny. The entrepreneurial duo behind the Help! app, siblings Hans and Rudolph’s true motivations were not as philanthropic as they appeared to be. Despite a brilliant marketing strategy, Youngblood exposed Brynetec and its criminal activity. The newly reformed group which initially gained mass media attention is now nowhere to be found.


What You’ll Find Out:

Baltimore was nothing less than a political disaster. Despite how hard President Diehard tries to deflect inquiries about Youngblood and the recent fiasco involving Brynetec by focusing on other policies and diplomatic initiatives, the press continues to nip at his heels like a pack of hungry jackals.

Later, Diehard is debriefed regarding an incident in Morrocco which reportedly was carried out by the renegade Youngblood team in connection to the Hans brothers and their concealed trafficking of superhumans using data collected from the fraudulent Help! app.

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The office of communications is in full spin mode. Attempting to craft an official response to quell fears and salvage the reputation of Diehard’s administration, a staffer uncovers recruitment plans from the previous executive term. The president sees opportunity.

Nikola continues to receive ambiguous texts from “Jack in the Box,” while Diehard receives word that Thomas has awoken from his coma. Initially amicable to his visit, though disappointed in the loss of his Badrock form, the conversation quickly becomes heated as the two debate Shaft and the motivations of Youngblood. Realizing no one will win the argument, Diehard departs and returns to Washington, where during a press conference he disowns the Help! app by way of introducing another.


What Just Happened?

Chad Bowers does a commendable job of building the framework around the events following the climax of “Youngblood Reborn.” The difficulty most writers face is when the action stops and the story has to stand on its own. Save the initial panel on the very first page, the installment is entirely devoid of any action or physical conflict. Whereas it would be all too easy to simply skip forward to another issue in which a continuation of pace by the inclusion of combat would be simple, Bowers sets the stage by relating the in-between and opts to provide insight into motivation. Bowers most powerful achievement is that the reader is afforded the circumstances and environment following the first 6 issues without being drowned in minutia. Instead, the plot and events unfold organically and with clear intent. Despite a reduction in pace, though issue #7 would be difficult to understand without having read all 6 previous installments, Bowers pulls off another solid execution and builds a worthy springboard for coming developments.

Towe should also be praised for his illustrative execution under the same circumstance. His art, without the ability to use action as a vehicle to lean on splash pages, holds its own throughout with each interaction and dialog reflected with great effect. In particular, I felt a real tangible atmosphere during Diehard’s series of interviews while working the press junket, almost as if I could turn on CNN or Conan at that moment for a live viewing experience.


Rating 8.9/10

Final Thought: This issue for all intents an purposes bridges the gap between the events after Brynetec and Diehard’s next move. Though by no means a standout, the events and story within issue #7 is one of necessity in order to provide the context for the plot to move forward.

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