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Credits & Solicit Info:
Story by:John McLaughlin
Art By:Jon Malin & Rob Liefeld
Cover By:Rob Liefeld
Variant Cover by:Ryan Ottley
Price:$2.99Diamond ID:MAR120405On Sale:May 23, 2012Genres:SuperheroSeries:Youngblood
It's the 20th anniversary of the comic book that launched the Image Revolution in 1992! ROB LIEFELD's YOUNGBLOOD returns bigger and better than ever with an all-new look at the next generation of superheroes, courtesy of screenwriter JOHN McLAUGHLIN (Black Swan, Parker), up-and-coming artist JON MALIN and YOUNGBLOOD creator and Image founder ROB LIEFELD!
In this first issue, a young reporter is embedded in the Youngblood team. Her assignment is to gather enough information for a humiliating puff piece, but she quickly discovers Shaft, Vogue, Lady Photon, Die Hard and Cougar are a team to be reckoned with. Badrock would be part of the group too... if he wasn't in a coma with wounds that have nearly pulverized his otherwise rock-hard hide.
The Blood is back! Yet again... and that's not the only problem here.
I'm not going to bore you with the history of the many relaunches and reboots of this concept. This team seems to do that every so often. They launch with a completely different team (which is really not that different than the one that came before) and a new direction (which is really not that different from the one before). Alan Moore was the exception, but he wrote all of 2 issues with his Youngblood concept, so it's safe to say we never really got to see where that was going.
So how does the latest re-tooling of the most Extremely Awesome Superhero Team in the known galaxy fare? Not very well, Extremites.
The story starts out in very confusing fashion as someone is reading a comic of Youngblood. While I believe there is an attempt here at humor or satire, it doesn't work. It only serves to confuse. There seem to be jabs at Alan Moore's YB character, Johnny Panic, now renamed Golden Stream for some unknown reason. There's a hint that the events in the comic might have taken place, but Knightsabre (I kid you not, that's his name) speaks as if he's an alien, which also makes no sense. Of course this could all be set-up for something, but it's not the best way to ease in any reader, old or new.
Turns out that Youngblood is no longer popular, but the government still wants the superteam and is intent on raising their Q-rating. So a reporter-type person is brought in along with a woman they only call Handler. That's what they call her. I'm not kidding. And she can handle me any time...
Anyway, we get some action and we get some characterization (if that's what they're calling it nowadays). I know that Mr. Liefeld's fans are loyal, but I really have to wonder how they would react if other comic book characters they knew were treated in this fashion. Photon has now become a woman, and apparently is sleeping with Cougar. Cougar seems to not mind sleeping with the now Lady Photon, but only minds being reminded that he is banging what used to be a man. Vogue is some super-sexed out mega-whore. You thought Catwoman or Starfire were a bit slutty during the DCnU relaunch? Well, this is EXTREME sluttiness. She's hitting on Shaft (hee hee), she's sexting in the next panel, and then she wants Diehard all in the span of 2 pages. Shaft has been replaced by... Shaft 2, and the new guy is a dick (hee hee). The original Shaft is now back with the FBI, and no one seems to recognize him as the former leader of Youngblood despite being the face of the franchise for years.
It all comes to a thankful end when they fight some girl who was cloning herself for the talent portion of a beauty contest or something. She loses control and her clones go on a rampage. An awesome moment occurs when Cougar is chastised for punching out the prime, because it's in front of cameras. This completely ignores the fact that they were snapping the necks and disembowelling the clones a few pages prior. Oh and there's a mystery as to what may have happened to Badrock. I'm on the edge of my seat, but that's only because my hemorrhoids are flaring up.
A brief word about the art. Jon Malin's work is good here. His angles and composition are good and his panels have a nice flow. I believe some heavier lineweights from the inker might benefit the art, but it's a minor complaint. Mr. Liefeld also throws in some pages and they are not good. He provides the action scene with the car chase, and I won't waste time analyzing it. The panel layouts make little sense, and the anatomy seems worse than his normal work. It stands in stark contrast to Malin's work and is readily noticeable and actually jarring.
I have enjoyed the Extreme relaunch so far. I liked what I read of Prophet, and I thought that Bloodstrike really captured some of that 90's goodness that I have missed in many of today's comic book fare. Youngblood has been the weakest of this relaunch by far. The concept just seems tired at this point, and we just keep getting reintroduced to these characters who have not grown in 20 years.
Avoid this one, Outhousers, it is neither extreme nor enjoyable.
Review by: EXTREMECopter