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Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #1

Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011
By: Ray Tate

Sean McKeever
Mike Norton, Veronica Gandini (c)
Marvel
While divine hammers fall from the skies, Steve Rogers tasks the hero known as Prodigy to reform the Initiative. Sean McKeever excels when establishing character dynamics, but his plotting for this editorially mandated Big Stupid Event needs work.

I had no idea what or who Thor Girl was, but after Youth in Revolt I knew her and liked her. McKeever's orchestrations for Thor Girl, Firestar and Ultragirl are the best thing about the book. The scene where Komodo tries to convince Cloud 9 to rejoin the Initiative is the second best scenario, and overall the artwork by Mike Norton and Veronica Gandini is warm, vibrant and welcoming.

Steve Rogers makes the Initiative completely voluntary, refusing to conscript, which distinguishes Captain America from every other flagwaver. Cap knows that America is about freedom. McKeever furthermore writes a stirring speech for Prodigy, and it really bestows to this generic character weight and resonance he should not have been able to comport.

As to the rest, bleah. First and foremost, I have no idea what's going on. I don't know why regular people are panicking. Where's their faith in the heroes? Is somebody manipulating them ala Legends? Marvel doesn't have a Psycho-Pirate. There is a Psycho-Man, but he's teensy.

Second, the cops in Fear Itself lose their gray cells in the span of a heart beat. Why would they take a shot at Thor Girl? She looks like a feminized Thor. She's wearing heroic colors. She's standing among heroes. She's also rather hot. Seriously though, wouldn't the cops know the difference between hero and villain? Wouldn't they receive some sort of bulletin from S.H.I.E.L.D.? That would be a logical protocol in a shared super-hero universe. Why take a shot at something that's likely bulletproof anyway? More of that panic? Such a reaction doesn't seem a apropos from trained professionals.

Third, Youth in Revolt feels too much like part of Fear Itself. Now, I know that it is part of Fear Itself, but it doesn't feel distinctive enough. I get the impression I must read the other miniseries in order to receive the full story. Now, perhaps some in Marvel are high-fiving right now, but all that makes me want to do is ignore Youth in Revolt, even if Thor Girl is in it. You would have to add Tigra in the mix to make Youth in Revolt a must buy.



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