If I had to describe “Young Allies” in one word so far, I think I’d choose “pleasant.” (Fortunately for me, my editors at CBR prefer slightly longer reviews.) Sure, the story itself involves a super-powered suicide bomber, and a group of villains that call themselves the Bastards of Evil. (It’s such a great play on their status as children of other villains as well as the Masters of Evil group that I’m a little surprised that no one thought of it before.) But when you look past all of that, yeah, “pleasant” is as good a word as any.
Part of it has to do with how Sean McKeever writes his group of young heroes. So far they’re not a full team yet, but two different groups, even as they all are working towards the same goal. But Gravity and Firestar have a good rapport with one another, each bringing to the table some slightly different personality traits that the other doesn’t have, and if the book was just the pair of them I think I’d keep reading each month. That said, the other three members (Nomad, Arana, Toro) is the more interesting grouping. It’s a strange balance of personalities here, each one simultaneously drawing in one while pushing away another. It’s a fun little inversion of the normal triangle you see in fiction.
As for the plot itself, it’s a nice play on legacies and what’s expected of us, as well as making a name for yourself. Considering that three of the five Young Allies aren’t the first to use their own superhero names, it’s a good match up to have them up against the Bastards of Evil, and I like what McKeever’s doing here. This is the sort of book I wanted to read when he took over “Teen Titans” and it’s nice to see him delivering just that.
David Baldeon’s art was good on “Nomad” and he’s providing a strong look to the title here, as well. His superhero forms are sleek and move quickly across the page, and he handles an action scene well. I think my favorite part of Baldeon’s work so far, though, is his design of Ember. It’s simultaneously intriguing and repellant, with his expressionless face and flames pouring out of his head. Some of the characters look a tiny bit odd (what is up with Singularity’s neck?) but overall it’s a good job.
“Young Allies” is fun and while it may look like a strange mix of characters, I’d say that overall McKeever and Baldeon have hit the spot. I suspect if you pick up the first two issues, you too will end up signing up for the series. Check it out.