Saturday, May 12, 2018

Youngblood #11 Review

Because I'm Appy

Written by: Chad Bowers
Art by: Jim Towe
Colors: Juan Manuel Rodríguez
Letters: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image
Reviewed by: Andrew McAvoy 

I felt that the last issue of Youngblood had to do a lot of groundwork aimed at setting up the next few issues in the series. The crux of the last issue (and the previous issues) was that after being run out of the US the Youngblood initiative was given a new home by the Japanese government who wanted to give state sanction to the Youngblood team. This issue picks up on that fresh start with official Government backing in Japan. Let's see how the team get on, and more importantly, find out how the news goes down with President Diehard back in the US!

Before we look at the story though, I want to pause to give some credit to Juan Manuel Rodríguez for his color work on this title. Although the storyline has been a little up and down at times, I always really look forward to opening up this book. It occurs to me that it is the coloring that plays a large part in that sentiment. This comic always has a really interesting range of colors deployed in it and is visually striking because of it. So I think a little recognition of that fact is important, not just in respect of this issue but the whole series to date.

Plot-wise this issue really takes some strides to connect back to the story themes that made the first arc in this series (see volume 1 in trade) so enjoyable. I like the fact that the Youngblood programme was shut down in the US with a tarnished reputation, and that the sanitized "Youngblood-App" is preferred. Meanwhile, Diehard is on Air Force One and told that not only had the Japanese Government backed his outlawed Team Youngblood at a national level but that it is completely legal and there is nothing the US can do about it. It is quite a delightful reaction.

The plot twists in this issue really work well to create a number of interesting story threads. Firstly we have the tension created at an inter-Government level. Secondly, we have the pressures of being State-sanctioned and observations on how this can impact on the Youngblood team. We also have the dynamic between Petra and Horatio explored further, plus an interesting cliffhanger.

Bits and Pieces:

It is hard to know whether to describe this issue as an epilogue to the previous arc, or a prologue to the incoming arc. I suspect that it is slightly more of the latter. This issue was interesting though and it closed off some story points while really giving us some green shoots of what will make for interesting terrain as this series rolls on. A solid issue, and quite enjoyable in the end. Side note: Doc Rocket appears in a very small part of one panel in this issue yet features on the cover - quite strange and a little misleading if like me you are a fan of that character. Oh well.


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