This year marks Image Comics 25th anniversary. In that time, Image has provided the comic world with countless creations, including Spawn, Savage Dragon, Witchblade, and The Darkness. One creation served as the flagship publication for Image Comics, do you know what this was?
Youngblood is a superhero team, created by powerhouse writer-artist Rob Liefeld, that initially premiered as a backup feature in the 1987 one-shot, Megaton Explosion #1. The team quickly gained interest from fans and was awarded its own ongoing series with Image Comics in 1992. Youngblood #1 became the first book published by Image Comics. The series was inspired by Liefeld’s idea that if superheroes existed in real life, they would be treated as celebrities. Therefore, Youngblood follows the superhero members fighting crime and evil, as well as navigating the world of celebrity endorsement deals, TV show appearances, and agents.
The original Youngblood team, featured in Megaton Explosion, consisted of Sentinel, Sonic, Brahma, Riptide, Cougar, Psi-Fire and Photon. By the time Youngblood came to Image, a new proposal for the team included Speedy, Harlequin, a pair of Kh’undian warriors, a S.T.A.R. Labs android and an unknown character. This idea was ultimately rejected. Under his Image imprint, Empire Studios, Liefeld revived his Youngblood proposal to created new characters and expand the team roster. This new team consisted of Shaft, a former FBI agent who uses a high-tech bow and arrow; Badrock, a teenager transformed into a living block of stone; Diehard, an advanced cyborg; Vogue, a Russian fashion model with purple and white skin; and Chapel, a government assassin.
Together this new team served as a high profile superteam sanctioned and overseen by the United States government. In celebration of the 25th anniversary, Liefeld launched a new ongoing Youngblood series, led by Chad Bowers and Jim Towe, in May. The series has proved to be so popular that Image Comics will be fast-tracking a second printing of Liefeld’s Youngblood #2. This second printing will be available on July 5 (Diamond Code MAY178003).