Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #1
Written by Sean McKeever
Art by Mike Norton and Veronica Gandini
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Teresa Jusino
Sean McKeever seems to be the go-to guy for writing young superheroes these days. After a sadly short-lived run with Young Allies, McKeever is back to bringing us some of those characters, as well as some other fascinating young heroes from the Marvel Universe, and showing us how the events of Fear Itself are affecting them in Fear Itself: Youth In Revolt.
Issue #1 begins with Prodigy, having finally settled into a normal life after the events of Civil War, getting a message from Steve Rogers asking him to head up a new Initiative of young heroes to help with the current situation plaguing the planet. Prodigy reluctantly accepts, realizing that the very things that make him reluctant are the things that would make him the perfect choice to lead. (Steve Rogers seems to have a great knack for hiring people and putting them where they need to be) Other young heroes join this Initiative, also reluctantly, and they are quickly in the thick of things, forced to put their personal rivalries aside for the greater good. As they attempt to save the fearful general populace from itself, Thor Girl gets cornered by law enforcement who are suspicious and afraid of the hammer she wields in light of the five hammers that have fallen all over the world, and she attempts to convince them that she was trying to help.
McKeever has done an excellent job of not only figuring out where all of these young heroes fit into the events of the larger Fear Itself storyline, but he’s managed to give so many of them their own stories based on their individual wants and needs. We’ll get to watch Prodigy deal with being a leader after having been imprisoned twice for his individualistic, leader-like qualities; Gravity and Firestar’s return to working with a team despite things going badly last time they tried; Cloud 9’s return to superhero life, period, after swearing to give it up and trying to live a normal life; and Thor Girl’s struggle with what it means to have chosen to mold herself after the Asgardians now that they have seemingly abandoned humanity. McKeever has written a fast-paced, human story that never loses sight of the characters even as they delve into the larger plot.
Mike Norton is one of those artists whose style is a perfect fit for stories with young characters, and so he was an excellent choice for this limited series. He does well by large images (his two-page spread of all the young heroes listening to Prodigy’s proposal is great), action panels, as well as smaller character moments where an eyebrow crinkle can reveal so much; and he draws it all with a buoyant, youthful energy. I could easily see his images as an animated series.
Sometimes, I think that every event is overrun with tie-in titles. However, I respect the fact that Marvel always checks in with the least-known of its superheroes, fitting them into the story and showing us how the world’s big events affect the most vulnerable. McKeever’s Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt is a promising read in its first issue as it plunges character-first into the events of Fear Itself.