Written by John McLaughlin
Art by Jon Malin
Release Date: August 22, 2012
The Youngblood relaunch continues with issue #73, apparently building toward something big with issue #75. McLaughlin and Malin are on their own with this issue, without Rob Liefeld as part of the creative team. While the issue actually seems to benefit from this fact, the title still has a very long way to go.
McLaughlin’s pacing in this issue feels somewhat inconsistent and at times I felt like characters were appearing simply to make their token appearance in the issue. After three issues (with this one being no better than the previous two) I still feel absolutely no connection to any of these characters. The story has not yet delved beneath the surface of any character and I have to admit the constant obvious archetypes are getting a little old. Prior to this relaunch I had virtually no knowledge of the Youngblood universe, and as of yet the characters have yet to step beyond superficial copies of iconic characters. This may be a fundamental flaw of Youngblood as a series, or maybe just the current interpretation of these characters, but without any character breaking out and taking over this book, this series is getting tired very quickly.
Malin’s art is the strongest part of this book. Without Liefeld co-penciling this issue, Malin could really implement a style that felt more comfortable to him. Rather than being a straight up Liefeld copy, Malin proves he has some artistic chops in this issue, which has featured his strongest work in this series. I hope for the sake of the book that Malin is left to his own devices more often, if for no other reason than to keep this title interesting.