Hello! Welcome to the space on the internet where Carl Randers, Jack Stevens, and I get together and discuss a comic that we recently read. I like to call it ‘Comic Relief‘! Last time, we gushed about our enjoyment of Astonishing X-Men, Vol 1 – Gifted and this time we’re discussing ‘Youth Season One‘, written by Curt Pires with art by Alex Diotto.
According to ComiXology, “Youth is a coming of age story that tells the story of two queer teenagers as they run away from their lives in a bigoted small town, and attempt to make their way to California. Along the way their car breaks down and they join up with a group of fellow misfits on the road. Embarking together in a van travelling the country they party and attempt to find themselves.” Youth Season One collects the first four issues of the series that comprise the Season One arc and follows the origin story of the series. That’s enough of an intro, let’s jump into the discussion. Enjoy!
Randers: I knew nothing about this series going in. Read the blurb and said sure. I believe afterward I read it was billed as Chronicle meets X-Men… which is too accurate. I was hoping it’d just be a teenage, “summer of love” and “finding yourself” story.
Nick: Didn’t read anything beforehand. Took your word for it and was along for the ride. As a result, it took a HARD left turn for me when the meteor happened.
Randers: Yep! Same. “Oh. It’s gonna be one of those.”
Jack: 100% same. Wasn’t expecting any superpowers.
Nick: I thought it was a unique take on the superpower genre. Though I wish they’d worked a little harder to make it more unique. Like why did we need the “knock-off Nick Fury” thing?
Randers: Yeah… once they got superpowers I was immediately less interested. Which was a shame.
Jack: So full disclosure…I reeeeeally didn’t enjoy this one. This is the first example of one where I’m genuinely disinterested in going any further with it.
Randers: I wasn’t going to be a fan of their reckless runaway decisions but I enjoyed it more than “now let’s add superpowers.”
Nick: Yeah. I was all in for the indie slice of life vibe. That’s where I feel comfortable. Then it just became more comic book-y stuff.
Jack: The dialogue (to me) felt sooooo much like they were trying soooo hard to be edgy, angsty, and cool. Like what a 45-55 year old thinks teenagers sound like. You couldn’t go a single panel without the f word. We get it…
Randers: I do like when comics do a “soundtrack.” I’ve seen that in other books and it is always Kinda fun to cue up whatever song the writer has in mind.
Jack: I did think that was neat
Nick: I love that. Scott Pilgrim didn’t inherently do it, but Brian Lee O’Malley had been very vocal about his musical inspirations while writing/drawing it – and most made it into the movie
Randers: I feel like that’s what it’s like listening to you kids talk.
Nick: I noticed it too. It felt like a CW show in how the drama manifested.
Randers: I think it was fine but I think Chronicle did the friend tension better and a more tragic “fall.” Then of course X-Men is the superior X-Men book. I too did not care for “please don’t sue” Nick Fury.
Jack: That turned me off of Invincible early on. Like the obvious justice league/avengers rip-off. But then they went another way with it and all was forgiven.
Nick: Yeah in Invincible it was more of a funny aside to transition into the real story.
Jack: Agreed. At first, I was like “is this just what Kirkman would do if he could work with the licenses…?” But it felt like its own thing by the end. I really don’t have a ton more to say about Youth. [I] did like the art style. None of the characters were likable. The “we have to save our friends!” felt rushed and forced. Trying to think of any stand-out positives.
Nick: I’m with you 100%. I liked the art a lot. Nobody was likable. A couple [of] characters were very forgettable even. They rushed through a lot of character arcs just to give us an origin story and set up for the larger world.
Jack: Yeah totally agreed. Nothing really felt earned, or like an actual payoff.
Randers: Disappointing really. An opportunity for an LGBTQ superhero story or even just the “slice of life” story…When the partner got killed OFF PANEL, I threw my hands up. Obviously, they were bad for each other, but I thought they’d get a chance to work it out.
Jack: Or at least come to the realization that they wouldn’t. But again, no real resolution.
Randers: Maybe he’s not dead and he comes back in volume 2 working for Rick Furious…which is an AWESOME fake name.
Jack: We’ll never know.
That’s all folks!
As a reminder, we try to pick comics that are easily accessible (both to get ahold of and to understand) so anything we read is available through ComiXology (which is owned by Amazon, just FYI), both Marvel and DC have their own digital comic sources, or you can support your local comic shop by picking up a hardcopy (I highly recommend Destiny City Comics in Tacoma, WA, who ship anywhere) so feel free to follow along and chime in with your thoughts, feelings, concerns, or considerations in the comments!
Next time on Comic Relief, we will be reading: ‘All-New Captain America Vol 1: Hydra Ascendant‘, written by Rick Remender with art by Stuart Immonen.
Continue the conversation on social media:
Carl Randers: @FantasticDork
Jack Stevens: @Jackstandsup