Channel Awesome
Team Youngblood #1

At4w team youngblood 1-1024x453.png

September 7, 2015
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Hey, I've got an idea – let's release ANOTHER book about these characters when we can't even get ONE out on time!

Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. (strokes chin in thought) Say, you think we haven't had enough "Youngblood" on the show? Well, too bad, I'm reviewing more.

(A montage of "Youngblood" comics is shown)

Linkara (v/o): "Team Youngblood" first came out about a year after the first regular issue of "Youngblood" and sometime between Issues 5 and 6. Considering how much of a tonal shift there was in the books between those two issues, I can only guess that this was a serious attempt at relaunching it as some kind of franchise after the disaster that was its opening arc. It's still odd that they would try to launch a second "Youngblood" book at the same time when they were having trouble with the chronic lateness of the main series.

Linkara: Although, maybe this is the book where all the character development and interesting stories went into, where they truly explored what it was to be a superhero celebrity in our media-enriched lives... (bursts out laughing uproariously) Oh, yeah, I'm shocked it lasted that long, too. Let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "Team Youngblood #1".

(AT4W title theme plays, and the title card has "Polkas On 45" by Weird Al Yankovic playing in the background. Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)

Linkara (v/o): The cover is bad.

Linkara: (pretending to be shocked) From an issue of "Youngblood"?! (covers his mouth in phony shock) That's so unlike it!

Linkara (v/o): I'll give it credit that it's a bit more dynamic in the poses, as opposed to just guys standing around that Liefeld would provide. Our artist here is Chap Yaep, but that's pretty much the only praise I can give it, since it is still just guys standing around... except in rather off-putting green colors. I'm not sure what it is about the green lighting that's around... purple guy down there. But hey, at least Photon up there wants to fist-bump us. Also, Sentinel, in an attempt to break away from his roots as an Iron Man ripoff, fails to do so by getting himself some Hulkbuster armor. Although, this is Youngblood; that might actually be his physique now.

(The comic opens to the first page)

Linkara (v/o): We open IN SPAAAAACE!

Narrator: Far beyond the outer reaches of Earth's atmosphere...

Linkara: Relic is attempting to convince us that spaceships are tied into the emotional reservoir, since really, they're just rocket fuel being angry at outer space.

Linkara (v/o): Said spaceship is landing on board the Liberty II space station. On the control deck of the space station, the crew have detected cyborgs aboard the landing ship, much to their irritation.

Colonel Haver: I want whoever's in charge of that tub up here on the double! I'm gonna rip 'em down one side and up the other side for bringing cybernetic personnel up here without prior authorization!

Linkara: (dramatically moving his hand across his face) Team Youngblood! Can you stand the action-packed bureaucracy?

Linkara (v/o): They also remark about some oddities with the ship. Apparently, there was a last-minute crew change, which would explain the previously-unannounced cyborgs, but also, they're six hours overdue. And of course, he lets the crew come onto the command deck, since, you know, all those suspicious things are no reason to be suspicious or anything. Oh, and surprise! The crew comes up and starts shooting at them.

Invader [Giger]: Greetings, Colonel. I'm so sorry we were late, but I'm afraid it was quite...unavoidable.

Linkara: (as Giger) I can't be seen in public without dulling the spikes on my huge shoulder pads.

Linkara (v/o): I mean, just... why? At least Stryfe, as dumb as he looked, had sharp-looking blades on his ridiculously oversized outfit. I think the worst these shoulder pads can do is poke you every once in a while if you were stuck in an elevator with him.

(Cut to a clip of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching The Undead)

Mike: (as a character in the movie, wearing a huge knight's helmet) There, sure glad I don't look stupid in this.

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): But yes, the station has now been taken over.

Giger: Excellent...excellent. Liberty II is mine and with it, we shall teach the world below to fear the name of-- GIGER!

Linkara: Considering Geiger counters are used to measure radiation, the name is not exactly one associated with happy fun times already, dude.

Linkara (v/o): We cut to Washington, D.C., where some people in the government are talking about how the Liberty II has been taken over.

Linkara: Oh, I'm sorry. When they said "far beyond the outer reaches of Earth's atmosphere", I should have figured that they meant (scowls) "in orbit of Earth"!

Linkara (v/o): This now raises a crap-ton of questions about this original establishing shot of Liberty II. For starters, Earth is apparently lacking in vegetation; there's a big, purple streak across the sky, no doubt the shockwave from Praxis exploding; and speaking of moons, someone finally took a belt sander to the moon to smooth it out. Now they just need to fill in those cracks with plumber's epoxy, and we'll be good to go with our moon makeover project.

President: In the hands of a madman like Giger, nothing we--or even you for that matter--have ever encountered has been as potentially dangerous as this single space station. The power he now wields is staggering...

Linkara: Well, then maybe you should have had better security for it.

President: Regardless of the danger at hand...Giger must be stopped.

Sentinel: And that's exactly what we intend to do, sir. No matter what the danger... No matter how high the cost.

Linkara: This is a weird remake of Transformers: The Movie.

Linkara (v/o): Seriously, Sentinel is even dressed like a strange Optimus Prime cosplay. Oh, and of course, this shot of Sentinel? Two-page spread I have to turn on its side.

Linkara: Oh, well, I can see why they had to do that. I mean, a shot of a guy just standing there and barely any background? That can't be contained on one page.

Linkara (v/o): The next two pages don't have to be turned on their side, but it is another two-page spread. You know, at least "Green Lantern #23.1"'s laziness was contained to just one page each, with one exception. This is our third two-page spread. We are almost at the halfway point, and the only thing that's happened was, Liberty II got attacked. The main "Youngblood" book had more plot than this so far! Oh, I say that, but most of that plot is shooting things, but hey, there are still more details that I could describe. So anyway, Sentinel requests that he has Shaft's team to help with this. Oh, I'm sorry, he wants the aid of "The Shaft".

Linkara: Appropriate, since (makes an "air quote") "The Shaft" is exactly how much these "Youngblood" issues are worth.

(Cut to a clip of an episode of NewsRadio)

Jimmy James (Stephen Root): Zero dollars. Or as I call it, "the shaft".

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Their request is denied, but hey, let's take a look at the team he does have at his disposal: Riptide, the waterbender; Cougar, the Wolverine ripoff who is really proud of his chest...

Linkara: (as Cougar, imitating his chesty pose) I'm posing, I have scoliosis!

Linkara (v/o): ...Photo, AKA Green Fire-Headed Dude – what sort of shampoo do you think he uses? And finally, Masada, the... uh... the Masada. Yeah, I don't think we've been introduced to this person before, but I think she's really proud of her chest, too.

Linkara: (as Masada, imitating her chesty pose) You think his scoliosis is bad? Check this out!

Linkara (v/o): You know, at least when the main "Youngblood" book introduced new characters, they actually, you know, introduced them. Who the hell is Masada? Why is she wearing a battle thong? And seriously, lady, that hair cannot be combat regulation. Are you actually just part of a hair metal band who is touring the White House and decided to pose next to Youngblood? Anyway, government guy says they want Shaft's team as a backup in case he fails in the mission. Sentinel's not happy about this, since they're shorthanded after what happened at "Youngblood #2" through "5", but government guy just says to pick out some of the trainees in the "bloodpool" who show some promise.

Sentinel: Oh, well, that'll fix everything then, won't it?

Government Guy: I find your sarcasm highly inappropriate, Sentinel.

Linkara: The real reason people bought "Youngblood" was for the humor and wit injected into every piece of dialogue. It's almost Shakespearian.

Government Guy: Now, come on-- I've got something to show you.

Linkara (v/o): Ooh, that'll be tricky. Sentinel's in full-on "Youngblood's Disease" right now. I doubt he can see anything with those blank eyes. So apparently, in another room of the White House or the Pentagon or whatever, there's a big holographic projector, where they display a terrorist message from Giger.

Giger: ...For years, you have chosen to label Cybernet as nothing more than another of countless terror operations...

Linkara: (as Giger) But dammit, we deserve to win the Terrorist of the Year Award!

Giger: With Liberty II in my grasp, I now have complete control over the communications satellites which currently play so vital a role in today's media-reliant world.

Linkara: (pointing to camera) Joke's on you, Giger! I have cable!

Giger: It shall be most interesting to see how you'll react when the very instruments that benefited you for so long are suddenly turned against you!

Linkara: (as Giger) Twenty-four-hour-a-day marathons of every Adam Sandler movie (clenches fist) begin now!

Sentinel: Is that it?

Government Guy: More or less.

Linkara: (as government guy) There is also some stuff in there about Nabisco putting mind-control drugs in Ritz crackers. We figured you didn't need to see that.

Linkara (v/o): We cut over to Manassas, Virginia, where Brahma, who you may recall as the Youngblood member with a black hole in his mouth, drinks Duff beer and ignores his pager.

Linkara: (stroking chin) Come to think of it, Brahma does have roughly the same color scheme as as Duffman. (points to camera) The true origin story of Duffman, perhaps?

Linkara (v/o): You shouldn't drink that stuff, Brahma. It'll make your eyes go white. Oh, no, we're too late! Anyway, his... dad, I guess; we never get told who he is... comes in and complains how loud the beeper is. They yell at each other, and finally, Brahma smashes the pager. Really, I'm just left wondering, considering how big the doorway is compared to Brahma's dad, is the door really huge, or is his dad really tiny? We then cut to the Blue Ridge Mountains, also in Virginia, where Sentinel is heading into a cabin in the woods for his next recruit: another overmuscled guy. He goes by the name of Dutch.

(Cut to a clip of the original Predator)

Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger): (meeting Dillon) You son of a bitch!

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): Actually, if we're making the Schwarzenegger connection – muscly guy in the woods, going to shoot lots of guns – this should be Commando, right?

(Cut to a clip of Commando)

Col. John Matrix (Schwarzenegger): Wrong.

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Dutch says he already knows about the situation with Giger, but refuses to come help. Sentinel threatens to blackmail him, and Dutch says he'll think about it, running off to no doubt chop some more wood, because that's what people do when they live in a cabin in a forest: they chop wood. Considering how nice the weather usually is, I'm surprised these kinds of characters need so much wood chopped anyway. Anywho, to take a break from the two-page spreads that need to be turned on their side, enjoy this splash page that needs to be turned on its side!

Linkara: (annoyed) Just... Just why?! What possible purpose was served by doing this?! You can't even claim laziness to eat up two pages! (shoves comic in front of camera) There is absolutely NO REASON TO DO THIS!!

Linkara (v/o): And what is this brilliant scene that needed to be horizontal? Psi-Fire, that guy who can fry people's brains, is in a coma, and some scientists talk about getting readings on him. Well, whoop-a-dee-doo-dah! Thank God we turned the comic on its side for this one page! Truly, this comic is making us elevate the way we think to higher planes of understanding! After that, we see the away team fighting... something. I have no idea; there's no establishing shots or anything in these kinds of comics; it's just "Boom! Action scene!" Then again, why should I complain? At least it's right-side-up. Oh, right, because it's still bad. All we really learn here is that Masada used to be in Israel, but now isn't, thanks to Brahma.

Masada: I just hope we can get this whole thing over with as quickly as possible and go home. We haven't had any serious down time in ages!

Linkara: It's almost like the creators are only capable of making action scenes where you bend yourself into a letter C, and they can't handle basic human interaction or something.

Photon: This Giger... not know what he gets into! Makes... big mistake... mistake he soon does regret!

Linkara: (as Photon) I guess I am foreign now. Would complain, but really, at least I'm getting some kind of personality, finally.

Linkara (v/o): After beating up some more robots, the lights in the facility go out. We cut over to Giger and his very necessary holographic globe that I think he's supposed to be holding as if he holds the world in the palm of his hand, but unfortunately, with the way it's drawn, he's instead holding his hand out past the globe, meaning his own Youngbloods Disease is even affecting his ability to perceive how close objects are to him. He talks to his forces, which reports that all lines of communication between Russia, Japan and the U.S.A. have been severed, and there's a major blackout across most of the Western Hemisphere.

Linkara: (stroking chin) Yeah, a satellite control network and a power plant are the same thing, right? Eh, I'm sure it's fine.

Linkara (v/o): Back over to Sentinel and Dutch, our lumberjack here opens up a bunker and crawls down inside, expositing how he thought he'd never have to go down there again. And so, our comic ends with him emerging from it as the guy in goofy purple outfits and cyborg earmuffs.

Dutch: In a way, it's sort of ironic. There's been so much bad blood between me and Giger over the years... but it takes someone I hate almost as much to finally rally me against the old man.

Linkara: Yeah, that sure is ironic with how... (stops in confusion) Wait, what?

Dutch: Whatever the case--me and Giger are gonna come to blows, and when we'll be for the LAST TIME!

Linkara: Wow! It's so exciting to finally see Giger and Dutch end their conflict that we have seen developed over so long, and (holds up comic angrily) dear Lord, this comic sucks!

Linkara (v/o): Ugh! Why did they bother splitting "Youngblood" into two books if they might as well just be the same book?! I don't care about anyone, mostly because I don't know anything about any of them! They couldn't even spare the time to show us a flashback panel or something to indicate why these characters... Well, I say "characters" in the loosest definition of the term... hate each other! It's just a bunch of blind, over-muscled assholes talking about how much they hate other blind, over-muscled assholes! The artwork is lazy as hell, from the multiple two-page spreads to just even a lack of basic sequential art. Every panel is drawn to be a big shot featuring the character taking up as much space as possible so they don't have to draw any backgrounds. At least last week, as lazy as it was, with the one panel per page, they bother to make the panels pretty! Everything is dark and murky, too. Even the panels in brightly-lit rooms look grimy and dirty, somehow!

Linkara: Next time, we move away from the frustrating awfulness of the '90s, and go back to the awesome stupidity of the '80s with more "US-1". (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)

(End credits roll)

The funny thing about Youngblood is that with so many characters that all look the same, it's difficult to even keep track of which voices to do for which character, but I don't think anyone would notice, anyway.

Despite showing full-body shots in that one spread with the four characters, they still went out of their way to cover their feet.

(Stinger: A panel with a bolt of lightning on it is shown, along with text, which Linkara reads...)

Linkara (v/o): Hmm... "The God of Thunder is coming..." I wonder who they could be referring to...

(Cut to a shot of Image's "Thor vs. Supreme!")

Linkara (v/o): Ha ha! Norse mythology, you can't sue us!