Young Heroes in Love #3 (1997)

Young Heroes in Love #3 (August, 1997)
“Two Hearts Beat as One Giant Undead Guy!”
Writer/Co-Creator – Dan Raspler
Penciller/Co-Creator – Dev Madan
Inker – Keith Champagne
Letterer – Bill Oakley
Colorist – Scott Baumann
Assistant Editor – Ali Morales
Editor – Dan Thorsland
Cover Price: $1.75

Had such a great time revisiting the Young Heroes yesterday… figure we’ll go two in a row!

We open with Thunderhead and Frostbite hanging the Young Heroes’ first trophy… the massive sword of that giant Mummy they defeated last issue.  Bonfire looks on to make sure they’re hanging it straight… when in reality, she’s just checking out their butts.  Hard Drive enters the room… and so, Frostbite leaves.  Hmm.  Anyhoo, he informs the kids that trophy swords are customarily hung straight up and down… lotsa phallic imagery and commentary to start, folks!

With Hard Drive and Frostbite gone, Bonfire saunters over to Thunderhead… and they make out.  Not before she admits to being something of a superhero fangirl… which makes her current situation something of a dream come true.

We rejoin Hard Drive as he visits with a clearly annoyed Frostbite. Frostbite looks to be designing a giant ice sculpture.  H-D asks how he’s adjusting… which Frostbite kinda brushes off.  It’s here that Hard Drive reveals that he can become a nervous wreck around new people… which is something we might just be revisiting, this very issue.

We shift over to the living room where Monstergirl, Junior, and Off-Ramp are chatting about the nonsense that the giant Mummy from last issue was blathering on about.  Junior’s kinda freaked out, but Monstergirl is taking it in stride.  Off-Ramp is kind of aloof and suggests that the Mummy was just kvetching about a woman.  Elsewhere, Frostbite continues to sculpt.

Bonfire and Thunderhead enter, and before long the subject of the chat is changed to ranking superhero costumes.  Junior suggests that Thunderhead took a cue from Superman’s new (at the time) Electric Blue costume when he designed his own. Thunderhead is adamant that that’s not the case.  All the while, Frostbite sculpts.

They posit a few theories on why Superman is now displaying new powers… did he always have electric powers and was just hiding them?  Did something happen to him?  The girls are just happy that the change also marked the loss of Superman’s mullet (though, that had been gone for a little while at that point).  Frostbite… still sculpts.

Junior offers that Green Lantern currently has the best costume going… this would be the Kyle Rayner “crab mask” Green Lantern, which I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one who has any affection for.  Bonfire digs the Flash… and likes that his suit went from cloth to being “shiny”.  This leads to a discussion of Jay Garrick’s helmet and how different that looked.  This really allows Bonfire to drop some Golden-Age knowledge on her teammates, further illustrating her superhero fandom.  Oh yeah, and Frostbite is still sculptin’.

Hard Drive enters the room while Bonfire is giving the team the low-down on why the Golden-Age Green Lantern wore a red shirt, and suggests they all pop down to Frostbite’s room and make him feel more welcome.  And so they do.  Inside, they check out his ice sculpture… which, Bonfire can tell has a secret “heat signature” message embedded in it.  She looks intrigued… but cannot explore that emotion, because the giant Mummy sword has vanished!

The team gathers in the living room to plan their next move… all the while, Hard Drive is blaming himself for not making sure that the “job was done” last time.  The team, quick to forgive him, brushes off his concern.  They hop into Roadshow, and port back to the Army Base.  Only… they’re not the first heroes on the scene!

The Young Heroes meet up with Superman just after he wallops the Mummy into a hole.  Hard Drive insists that they’ll take care of everything… Superman isn’t so sure.  He believes there might be something about the  Mummy making it impossible to destroy physically.  As a confident Hard Drive leads his team into battle, Monstergirl remains behind to make Superman an offer.

Superman appreciates M-G’s offer of joining the Young Heroes, but turns her down anyway… after all, he’s Superman… he’s got a whole slew of responsibilities, and maybe doesn’t want to add “babysitting” to the list.  As this is going on, Frostbite makes short work of the Mummy… encasing it in ice.  Superman is a little confused, but impressed none the less.

As the dust settles, Hard Drive tells Monstergirl that he’s going to ask Superman to join the team.  She tells him that’s a great idea… but he should wait until everyone’s watching before popping the question.  Hmm…

And so, Hard Drive… in front of his entire team… asks Superman to join.  Once again, Superman declines the offer.  At this point, Hard Drive gets in Superman’s face and proceeds to shout at him!

We close out with a teary-eyed Hard Drive running away.

Another fun issue of Young Heroes!

I always look at these early issues of a new series where Superman (or Spider-Man in Marvel’s case) show up as the publisher “giving their blessing” to a new property.  It was really cool to have Superman here… especially considering that Raspler and Madan “played the ball where it lay” and used Electric Blue.  I suppose they could’ve just as easily used any other DC heavy-hitter and had a similar result… but they used Electric Blue, and I think that’s pretty cool.

This issue was a really good way for us to get a little “surface level” characterization.  Nothing all that deep… yet; just a few idiosyncrasies… but it all works so well.  We learn that Bonfire is a superhero fangirl… and that Hard Drive gets antsy around new people… things that can (and will) be used against (or to control) them.

It’s also made pretty clear that there’s more than meets the eye about Frostbite.  He definitely knows something… and he’s already making overtures toward Bonfire with his heat-signature invisible ink.  It’s been about twenty-years since I’ve read this… so, I don’t remember at all what his ice sculpture “said” to Bonfire.  I am pretty psyched to find out (again) though.

That brings us to our “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” bit:

Bonfire is still “with” Thunderhead due to Hard Drive’s “power of suggestion”.  She’s a massive superhero fangirl whose life’s dream was to be part of a superhero team… something she’s not likely to do anything to possibly mess up.  At the same time, however, there’s a definite “spark” between her and Frostbite… and we get the sneaking suspicion that Frostbite knows what’s up.

Monstergirl is still “with” Hard Drive… and is probably closer to him (ie. knows more about him) than anybody else on the team.  Hard Drive is quick to reveal his personality quirks, as evidenced by what he told Frostbite… so, we’d have to imagine Monstergirl is aware of his social anxiety as well.

At the end of this issue… she totally sets him up.  This is the second issue in a row where she kinda “plays” him.  Was she aware that he’d have a meltdown in front of Superman?  Is she trying to kill his credibility so she might take over leading the team?  I feel like the answers to both questions are “Yes”.

Oh, and Off-Ramp is still very much in love with his car.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Overall… man… such a fun series.  I’m tellin’ ya… this isn’t one that’ll break the bank, but it might be a bit of a hunt.  It’s definitely a worthwhile hunt though… so, if you do happen across a random issue, do yourself a favor and snag it!

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