Image Comics is one of the biggest publishers in the industry, famous for series such as Black Magick, Rat Queens, Spawn, and of course, The Walking Dead. Formed in 1992 by comic book artists who didn’t want to give up the rights to their characters, we can expect many special issues to appear next year, as the comic giant celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Among those will be the return of Image’s flagship title, a superhero team that has had its ups and downs but that was still immensely popular throughout the ’90s.
In a segment with Nerdy Pop, Rob Liefeld announced that he will be resurrecting Youngblood, a comic about a government team of young superheroes in a world where super-humans are treated like celebrities. Liefeld is the original creator of the comic, and says that he “has turned the lights on and off” on the comic depending on the creative team that he has to work with. For this new variation on the title, Liefeld will be working with writer Chad Bowers (Deadpool, X-Men 92) and artist Jim Towe.
Although Liefeld and Youngblood are both established names in the comic book world, Bowers and Towe are both relative newcomers. Bowers is the more established of the two, currently working for Marvel. Towe, meanwhile, is best known for commissions and fan art, and got the Youngblood gig by tweeting his interpretation of the team to Liefeld in June. Both are described as fans of the original comic, with Towe calling it his “dream assignment”. Liefeld also revealed some of the concept art that Towe has created for the series.
The re-launch of Youngblood is obviously going to get fans of the original series excited, and it definitely comes with a hefty dollop of nostalgia. The team was hugely popular when it was first released, and plenty of readers are going to be thrilled to see some of their favorite team members back in print (including Suprema, Doc Rocket, Shaft, Vogue, and Sentinel). The team, though fairly new, is clearly incredibly enthusiastic about the project (if Liefeld’s energy is anything to go by), which always bodes well for a new comic. Bowers’ name should also help to boost the profile of the revamp and bring in new readers who enjoy his work with Marvel.
Die-hard fans of the original might not be too thrilled about the re-vamped look, however. Lowe’s take on the classic characters is a far cry from their ’90s debut, and comic book fans aren’t always known for taking change well. We will just have to wait until April to find out, and enjoy the art that we got to see today (below).
Youngblood will be published by Image Comics in April 2017