Young Heroes in Love #2 (1997)

Young Heroes in Love #2 (July, 1997)
“Look Before You Leap into the Telekinetic Proto-Bomb!”
Writer – Dan Raspler
Penciller – Dev Madan
Inker – Keith Champagne
Letterer – Bill Oakley
Colorist – Scott Baumann
Associate Editor – Ruben Diaz
Editor – Frank Pittarese
Cover Price: $1.75

Wow, it’s been over a year… closer to a year and a half, since we discussed the first issue of Young Heroes in Love!  Time is such a cruel S.O.B.!  This issue might be a bit of a toughie without the proper context, so… I don’t always do this, but I’d recommend checking out that discussion if you’re unfamiliar with this team/property.

It’s been awhile since we read it, but at the end of last issueBonfire and Thunderhead agreed to go out on patrol together, and that is where we open.  They are atop a tall building, and Thunderhead comments that he could jump all the way to the ground without hurting himself.  Bonfire isn’t so sure, and wants him to prove it.  At hems and haws a bit… however, as he is rather smitten with the red-head, he goes ahead and takes the plunge.

Back at Young Heroes HQ, Hard Drive and Monstergirl are discussing and debating how to debut the team.  Hard Drive thinks they’re ready to show themselves off to the public straight away, while MG thinks it would be best to wait.  Off to the side, tiny Junior overhears the conversation… and is quite bothered over what their motivations for putting the team together in the first place might be.  He also overhears them discuss finding a “minor threat” via the news wire to take advantage of.

We shift over to Off-Ramp‘s garage, where he’s puttering with Roadshow.  He is soon joined by Thunderhead, who spills all the beans about his night out with Bonfire.

Speaking of Bonfire, we rejoin her as she enters a darkened locker room.  Inside, Frostbite is waiting… and testing his ability to “read” people by their heat signatures.  He makes it clear that he’s noticed there is a spark between the two of them, but Bonfire plays dumb.  Remember, Hard Drive used his “power of suggestion” to pair her with Thunderhead last issue.

Back at the garage, Monstergirl requests Off-Ramp check into the newswires for trouble… only, she doesn’t tell him to look for a “minor threat”… she’s looking for “serious trouble”.  She also… mayyybe makes a pass at Thunderhead?

Back in the locker room, Junior pops his tiny head in.  He begins telling Bonfire and Frostbite what he’d overheard during Hard Drive and Monstergirl’s conversation… however, before he can go into any detail, Hard Drive himself shows up.  He asks Junior for a moment of his time… and uses his “power of suggestion” to keep the little bugger quiet.

We rejoin Off-Ramp who is “navigating” for trouble, which, as we learned last issue, pretty much means he’s lounging around smoking a cigarette.  He finally comes across something worthy of the Young Heroes’ attention, and heads off to inform Hard Drive.  As luck would have it, the JLA are currently off-planet… so this falls on the shoulders of our new team!  Or, ya know… the JSA, the Teen Titans, the Outsiders, Hero Hotline… were the Darkstars still a thing in 1997?  Okay, I’m splitting hairs… this looks like a job for, the Young Heroes!

They load up into Roadshow and FAAASH! upstate to an Army Base where… a giant (cool-looking) Mummy is running amok!

Hard Drive begins issuing commands… and the team proves that they’ve got what it takes to get the job done.  There’s some really cool use of Off-Ramp’s portals here… reminiscent of the video game, well, Portal (which wouldn’t come out for a decade!).

The battle ends with Hard Drive stood before the Mummy… as it is sucked into, what Thunderhead refers to as, “some Mummy dimension”.  Well, can’t argue with that.

After getting some “face time” on the local news, the Young Heroes head back to HQ.  We close out with Monstergirl visiting Hard Drive in his room… apologizing for doubting his vision… and then they make out.  In our final panel, however, she give the camera a bit of a “dirty look”.  Hmm…

Another super-fun issue of Young Heroes.

Before exploring the various love-rhombuses… let’s get my one kinda “ehh” bit out of the way.  We see Junior overhear the conversation between Hard Drive and Monstergirl… and I just don’t see what the big deal about that was.  It’s treated like Junior just heard them admit to secretly being supervillains or something, when it was really just a debate about the team’s readiness.

I feel like if you have a team with, for all intents and purposes, two leaders… you’re going to have discussions like this with regularity.  I feel like their compromise was a good one as well… find a “minor threat”, give the team some “field experience”, soak up the press and public goodwill.  Sounds good to me!

I reread that scene a few times to see if Hard Drive used his “power of suggestion” on Monstergirl in order to get his way… but he didn’t… and that wouldn’t have made any sense anyway, since she wound up telling Off-Ramp something completely different.

Speaking of the “power of suggestion”, let’s take a look at who’s zoomin’ who on the Young Heroes.

We have Bonfire… who clearly shares a connection and attraction with Frostbite.  Hard Drive enforces that she be paired with Thunderhead.

Thunderhead is clearly smitten with Bonfire… however, Monstergirl might have some interest in him.  All the while, MG is knockin’ boots with Hard Drive.

Off-Ramp is still passionately in love with his car.  And, that’s okay.  Junior’s all by his lonesome… buuuuut, that might change pretty soon.

Onto the action!  I feel like the fight scene with the Mummy was pretty good!  It’s definitely just a back-drop for all of the romantic and backstabby intrigue, but it was quite well done.  The team comes together, saves the day… and thanks to the art, looks great in the process!

Overall… this is a great book.  The characterization is wonderful… it’s hard not to fall in love with this cast… even the rat-bastards among them.  The art is also great.  I mentioned last issue that this feels like a blend of Batman: The Animated Series and Darwyn Cooke… and I still feel that way.  This series is most definitely worth tracking down.

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