Struggling to find their true identity, Youngblood escapes to Japan and ponders a question faced by their predecessors. Will they find salvation in heroism or survival as renegades?
What You Need to Know:
The Bloodstream made yet another attempt to prevent the resurgence of the fledgling Youngblood team. On the run from President Diehard and taking refuge in Japan, Youngblood, still in their earliest days as a team continues to work out the kinks.
What You’ll Find Out:
Youngblood has been residing in Japan in an attempt to lay low after the incident with BryneTEC and out of reach of President Diehard. At least for the moment. Youngblood has been summoned by Task and local enforcement of a threat that menaces the safety of Tokyo. As soon as the team touches down, the onslaught begins. A mammoth purple abomination launches its first assault, destroying Youngblood’s jet.
Springing into action, Sentinel and Vogue’s attacks instigate nothing more than beast’s escalated anger. Man-Up steps in, literally. With his ability to increase his size to his own enormous proportions, the monstrous assailant is pinned under his foot. To the surprise of Man-Up, the attackers’ strength exceeds his own. After boring a hole through his foot, granting him escape, Doc Rocket intervenes what would have certainly been a fatal blow to Youngblood’s strongman and attempts her own assault by gaining speed which will deprive the unknown being of precious oxygen.
The story shifts momentarily to Badrock who is still confined in Diehard’s recovery cell. Badrock without his own formidable power is prevented from escape, but that doesn’t mean others with alternative methods can’t get in. The mysterious Superstitious who tells Thomas that once a former hero herself she is now nothing more than a tool for “the great rotting.” With no further explanation, she performs a spell which begins to change Badrock into what he will become.
Returning to Japan, Youngblood realizes that an all-out battle won’t end in their favor and opt for a different approach. Sentinel attempts to reason with the purple mammoth but before he is able to subdue the brute an enraged Man-Up. Always the hothead, Man-Up fully intends to end the threat on a permanent level. Vogue opts for a less homicidal conclusion and orders Sentinel to suppress Man-Up with a full force energy burst.
Standing among the wreckage Task informs the team that though the attack required intervention, Youngblood was specifically chosen for a larger purpose. Doc Rocket, well versed in Task’s machinations responds with a swift uppercut. Task implores Youngblood to listen to his plan which ushers in the prime minister of Japan who thanks the unit for their aid and offers them a choice. To leave their status as renegades behind and accept a nationally sanctioned position of Japan’s defenders. Sentinel accepts but with one condition. That condition requires that Man-Up is expelled from Youngblood.
What Just Happened?
The 10th issue of Youngblood offers probably the most continuous action we have seen in roughly 4 issues. The confrontation certainly doesn’t disappoint. The appearance of Superstitious certainly seems to be well timed with the monster loosed on Japan which leads me to think that the “monster” is, in fact, a fully manipulated and transformed Badrock. Nothing within the issue confirms this but her trademark purple energy signature and appearance play well into her visit with Thomas and his own transformation.
In the final pages that feature the homicidal elderly woman who made her first appearance in issue #9 continues her journey, seeking the unknown at this point, I still have a strong gut feeling that this is the resurgence of one of the earliest figures in Youngblood history. I mean all the way back from issue #1 of Team Youngblood from the first series. I could absolutely be wrong. I don’t want to outright announce my theory but this menace has all the hallmarks of one of the deadliest most powerful psionics. One who is famed for shifting one sex to another. That’s as far as I’ll go but damn I hope I’m right!
Again we have solid writing and artwork which has been the trademark of the series since issue #1. Towe’s art captures each action scene with sincere immediacy, supplying a genuine sense of urgency that really draws the reader into every battle.
Bower’s is truly weaving so many threads together in every issue which provides the Youngblood title with plenty of direction in which every tale can be explored and propels the comic into a position of true longevity. A feature to the dismay of many longtime YB fans that has escaped the title and each of its previous volumes. My prediction is that if this team continues to hit each issue with continued success, this most recent iteration could well surpass the success of its predecessors.
Final Thought: The stakes continue to get bigger with every issue. For readers who are seeking alternative comics within the heroic team genre but looking for a book which is truly forging its own path without the strict control of larger publishers and editorial edicts, Youngblood may well fit that bill.
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