Comic Book Run Review - Youngblood 0-4 (Image Comics 1992-3)

So what happened when several of Marvel Comics' most popular artists of the late 80s and early 90s formed their own company, Image Comics?

One result: Rob Liefeld's creator-owned comic book Youngblood (1992-3).

While some comic readers vehemently hate this man and his artwork, especially his most recent artwork on comic titles such as X-Force (2004) and Onslaught Reborn (2007), I thought I would give this original run of the Youngblood mini-series a chance: the original four issues mini-series and the 0 issue that is a prologue to the series.

I am still quite fond of Liefeld's work on later issues of The New Mutants (1982), and then the first year or so of X-Force (1991), though I may be biased, because that is my favorite era of Marvel's mutant "X" titles (X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, etc.).

So did Youngblood make me want more? Can I wait to get my hands on the next back issues of Youngblood?

The answer: I can wait...a long time.

I was generally enjoying the series, since I didn't have to wait months in between issues, as did readers of the comic as it was being released, but several things took away from my enjoyment, and one thing really irked me. The coherence of the stories of this so-called mini-series is lacking, with the series beginning with a flip-book storytelling, introducing dozens (and I mean, dozens) of characters in the first two issues, therefore there was little opportunity to really tell much of a story. The art (which I enjoyed in the sense of early 90's splash and dash) was what would be expected of Rob Liefeld of that era. Not that many of the early Image Comics characters appearances were very original, Liefeld's designs screamed reminiscence of characters from X-Force and a title Liefeld would later pencil, The Avengers.

What pissed me off was coming to the end of issue 4, only to discover that the ten page conclusion to this mini-series appeared in the fourth issue of another comic book title all together. What the *&$#? I have no desire to seek out Brigade 4, or whatever ten cent bin comic that story appears in. For some reason I would have been less disappointed to discover that the conclusion appeared in, oh say, Youngblood 5. As tumultuous as at must have been to be a founding member of a breakout comic book company that Image Comics was, this was really poor planning and marketing in regard to reader/customer satisfaction. I'm glad that I obtained this run as part of a cheap (my cost) collection, because it makes me feel less bad about dumping this run. If you can get a hold of that conclusion, it might be almost worth it, as there seemed to be story coherence by the fourth issue and finally some momentum, even if details and character development were lacking.

Issue 2 featured the debut of a character named Prophet, who would later receive his own title. Could he predict my future anger some fifteen years later?

And could Prophet predict the Rob Liefeld Drinking Game?