COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Youngblood #11 (Don’t Make Me a Liar)

Youngblood’s newest team begins their role as Japan’s protectors. Diehard moves to counter the initiative and one of Youngblood’s most deadly figures makes a shocking return!

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YOUNGBLOOD #11
Art: Jim Towe
Story: Chad Bowers
Cover Artist: Jim Towe and Rob Liefeld 
Colorist: Juan Manuel Rodriquez
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics


What You Need to Know:

Youngblood’s misfit team has been at odds with President Diehard since the beginning. New heroes assuming the old moniker have resurrected the prohibited name and in doing so has made themselves fugitives. Seeking sanctuary in Japan trouble follows and after showing their abilities and resourcefulness, the team has been offered more than just asylum but a formal endorsement as Japan’s legitimate defenders.

What You’ll Find Out:

Prime Minister Akamatsu puts an end to the rumors that have been dominating the news media and formerly announces that Japan has not only sanctioned but has formally employed what she dubs as “Team Youngblood.” Diehard is furious. Staffers inform him that due to franchising deals prior to the Bloodstream events, Japan retained their license to utilize the name and initiate their own operatives.

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Press junkets aren’t for everyone though. Vogue prefers training. She always has. Gymnast, hero, regardless of the role she uses what seems to be an inexhaustible drive to maintain her edge.  Man-Up preps to leave. Having been forcibly removed from Youngblood by way of ultimatum by Sentinel in exchange for his continued involvement on the team, Man-Up wants to settle the score. The two face off in yet another heated battle which ends only when Vogue intervenes and employees a virtual simulation that forces Horatio to acknowledge the truth. He may have been the motive for Vogue to reform Youngblood, but now he’s tearing it apart. Despite his stubborn attitude, there’s no place for him anymore.

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Back in the states, news breaks of a town that’s appeared literally out of thin air. As military personnel arrives to secure the area they are slaughtered by an elderly woman with incredible powers. With the soldier all dead, save one, she effortlessly locates her true objective and in doing so, frees one of Youngblood first members and also one of it’s deadliest enemies.

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Psi-fire is back and out for blood. Literally. Welcome to the Blood War.

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What Just Happened?

It didn’t take a genius to figure it out but I still am psyched when I say, “I knew it!” The telltale signs where all in place and team Youngblood’s creative members, Jim Towe and Chad Bowers left some really fun Easter eggs in previous issues leading up to this pivotal moment. For all of the conflicts and stories that have been told so far, I am by far the most excited for what I’m almost positive will be one of the series highest points in Psi-Fire’s arc. For the newest fans that aren’t familiar let’s just say you’re in for a real treat.

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From Youngblood #1: Psi-Fire from way back in 1992!

The series continues to impress me with each new installment. Youngblood proceeds to provide consistency in a market where comic books can fluctuate in quality from one issue to the next. The stability Youngblood has achieved lies in careful methodical planning and strong execution in plot and character development. And as far as I’m concerned, by all means, keep the return of old characters coming! The difference between these characters and others in flagship titles is that though Youngblood debuted to mainstream readers in the 90’s, (Liefeld states 1987 actually; little caveat there,) these characters have an advantage where they have not been used so often that they have been oversaturated and thus stale.

Perhaps the strongest of its qualities lies in its pacing. Bowers consistently unveils one development after the next with just the right amount of information without getting bogged down in trivial minutia. Whether you’re reading Youngblood for the first time or a longtime supporter you can follow the events in each issue with a pace that hits the mark perfectly, striking a balance between newness and nostalgia.

Unfortunately, while issue #11 makes room for a big return, it also marks the moment of a bittersweet departure. On March 6th, Youngblood creator Rob Liefeld tweeted that issue #11 will be Jim Towe’s final issue.

It’s not possible to give enough credit to Towe with the success of Youngblood’s latest series. Jim Towe entered the assignment with little experience but proved quite quickly that though he may have been a rookie, his art began strongly from the start and only improved with every issue, solidifying what I think would have been comic’s Rookie of the year, if there was such a thing. For purely selfish reasons I’m sad to see his talent go and will follow his continued career with keen interest. The question is, with such a strong visual stylist in Towe, who does Liefeld have in the wings ready to assume the new role? It goes without saying that I hope the art will remain a high point for the title and continue to promote Bower’s excellent storylines. I’ve yet to be let down with the title and constantly maintained high praise for this volume. But with Jim Towe’s departure and his replacement yet to be named it’s like Petra says, “Don’t make me a liar.”


Rating: 9.7
Final Thought: 
Issue 11 marks exciting new twists in the return of an old foe. One which is probably the most powerful and deadly the team has faced yet as the highly anticipated Blood War begins.


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