Current Reviews


Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #2

Posted: Friday, June 17, 2011
By: Ray Tate

Sean McKeever
Mike Norton, Veronica Gandini (c)
Fear continues to spread. We learn the origin of Thor-Girl, and it looks like a shadow government continues to operate and may be using Prodigy as a dupe. Meanwhile, the implications of the Raft's destruction continue to manifest in the form of murderous villains on a rampage. Will these nemeses prove deadly for our young heroes?

Thor-Girl's origin recapped in an economical single page is very interesting, and it does fill in some blanks. Thor-Girl isn't a Skrull, but she is an alien. Thor saved her from doom, and she wears his uniform to honor his heroism. The hammer's still a mystery though. I suppose Odin could have commissioned the Dwarves to make her one like he did Beta-Ray Bill. Whatever. All I know is that I like this girl's personality, even more so than Ultragirl or Firestar.

Prodigy convinces Thor-Girl to turn herself in, and it's here that the shadow government manifests. In a very McCarthyesque scene, the agents torture and interrogate. Furthermore, they question Thor-Girl's loyalties. There's also the sense that they're doing this because they can. They think Thor-Girl is a weaker version of Thor and therefore vulnerable. The nameless individuals beyond the glass wouldn't dare to attempt such cowardly acts on Thor. They don't have the wardrobe budget to replace the wet pants. So, while bigger events play out, McKeever exposes the underbelly of male chauvinism and bullying still working behind the scenes.

While it's mostly the Thor-Girl show for this issue of Youth in Revolt, Initiative ally Cloud 9 also guest stars and thanks to superb artist Mike Norton and colorist Veronica Gandini, she gains a new iconic costume more fitting for the Heroic Age. Originally a sniper in the Initiative, Cloud 9 proves to be a peacemaker and a rescuer in Youth in Revolt.

Even the more ridiculous-looking heroes gain a certain amount of respect as they risk their lives for the innocent or their friends. Leap Frog attacks a major heavy. Doc Samson's daughter Geiger makes a heroic sacrifice, and Gravity proves very hard to kill. All of these moments sing to the song of Norton's slick pencils and inks as well as his choreography and understanding of composure and body language. Gandini's colors make this a splashy, vibrant affair, and it all boils down to McKeever's willingness to treat these also-rans seriously. Youth in Revolt is turning out to be the surprise sleeper hit of the Fear Itself tie-ins.

Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups. In the POBB, as it was affectionately known, Ray reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.

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