Wes Reads Extreme: Bloodpool #1: Surprise Youngblood Spinoff!

In yet another comic from my collection I have never read, welcome to the Youngblood spinoff Bloodpool #1. All I initially knew of this comic was it was where Pat Lee got his start as a penciler and as a colorist too. Yes, that Pat Lee of Dreamwave Productions fame and the entire history that comes with it. I had no idea until reading it that this was a spinoff of Youngblood. Heck, I had no idea who the writer even was! Talk about your blind readthrough. Yet as I read it I found myself pleasantly surprised and also not entirely shocked as to what I got myself into. You’ll see what I mean as you read this piece. Let’s dive into this deep cut of the 90’s with Bloodpool #1. This is either going to be a magical experience or just a weird one, your mileage may vary.

Note the “your mileage may vary” bit at the start. It’s Youngblood related so already Bloodpool fits that phrase.

Bloodpool #1 Youngblood Pat Lee Extreme Studios

Weirdly enough I grew up in the 90’s but my experience with Extreme Studios is minimal at best. At the time of the rise of these studios and the 90’s comic boom and then bust, I was almost out of comics. Bloodpool was a series that slipped past me entirely, along with most of the Extreme Studios output. Bloodpool came out in August of 1995 so it is knee deep in 90’s land with all it entails. It focuses around the Youngblood training program to set up the next members of the team, until it all ends suddenly. Simple version, an event called Extreme Sacrifice happened and changed the entire framework of the program. Now you have all these young heroes set loose on the world and that’s the general idea of the story.

Now as for characters and how the story is given to us, that’s a different case entirely. Jo Duffy had a tall order back then to make this work and in some cases, it kind of does.  Now before you all go crazy here, I’m not saying it is perfect by any means. Gosh, not even the best thing I’ve read but I can own up to being entertained by it at certain points. Main reason why I had fun with it, Bloodpool doesn’t take itself that seriously. Duffy made me laugh a couple times as much as the actual structure of the story was weird, at least it was amusing.  I give props to someone making a seemingly strange crossover story work as well at does here.

Bloodpool #1 Liefeld Cover Youngblood Image Extreme

Yes this is the Rob Liefeld alternate cover. This is part of the Youngblood Universe so he did create this as part of the larger franchise. So here you go, Liefeld cover.

The dialogue in this is probably the saving grace of Bloodpool. As once it gets into Youngblood minutia it gets bogged down fast.

There’s not even a focal point character to focus your attention on. That camera floats around every which way as this was Pat Lee’s first story so the storytelling gets messy at times. Part of me wishes I could find critical thoughts on this from way back when. If my 2017 mind is having trouble figuring it out, I can only imagine what people at the time thought. Outside of Rubble, I could barely figure out any names of the characters until I went on Wikipedia. Oh yes there are names but they sure don’t stick with you that’s for sure. It’s a weird script to say the least.

I felt like Duffy had to shove in a ton of plot points and still try and make a new team have some impact. There’s also the possibility that it was the 90’s and sometimes certain 90’s books have a way of trying to tell too much at once. Bloodpool doesn’t have any cohesive feel to it until they leave the base, then it makes a little more sense. Of course as I learned from the back matter, Jo Duffy was writing Glory at the time which means there are Glory plot points too. I respect a cohesive universe but I am impressed to a degree that Duffy was able to get that much into one issue. There’s a level of respect to be had for that.

Bloodpool #1 Pat Lee Rubble Image Comics Extreme Youngblood

Even for the Youngblood Universe, Bloodpool is a little crazy. It’s kind of stupid, makes little sense, yet it’s fun in a weird way.

Now I know at least a few people reading this are salivating at what I’ll say about Pat Lee’s art here. There’s a level of nostalgia for me as one comic I liked at one point was Dark Minds. Pat Lee’s art had that anime aesthetic and it was my absolute jam at one point. Of course as this is early Pat Lee, it’s a different ball game. The characters that look best are Rubble, Shaft at times, and then the anatomy goes all over the place from there. No one is safe in the wonky anatomy adventures as male or female, the bodies are tilting this way and that at many points. I mean I know I’m being snarky to a point at an artist with his first gig, but it is Pat Lee so I don’t feel that bad.

Special note: If you’re not familiar with the history of Pat Lee and how he handled Dreamwave Productions, oh you’re in for one treat of a Google search.

Yes you all get to learn that I was once a big Pat Lee fan, which is part of why I wanted to read this in the first place. One compliment I will give, the coloring looked good so that’s a plus. Sheer curiosity though lead me to check out a comic I would not have looked twice at. Jo Duffy had some good dialogue but the story made little sense. Crazy part is that there’s four issues and a special out there for Bloodpool. Will I read more? Maybe if I find the rest of the series for cheap. Unless some lunatic wants to donate me issues of Bloodpool they have laying around.

Bloodpool #4 Pat Lee Image Comics Extreme Youngblood

Note: yes I know this is from #4 but I kind of wanted to give you all an extra idea of some of the oddball anatomy here. It’s a weird ride my friends.

I will totally take donations of Bloodpool though if anyone really wants to get rid of some random mid 90’s comics.

I mean the story ends pretty well as the team is now out on their own and doing their thing. Not sure how this will go from here but if the comic had even a tiny bit more of a connection I’d likely be curious for more. It’s insane and makes little sense at points but it can be funny so maybe there could be more down the line for me. There’s even a trade paperback out there for it that’s out of print. I guess Extreme Studios/Image Comics had big plans for Bloodpool at one point, who knew right? I sure didn’t until I read this.

Now do I recommend you all go hunt Bloodpool down? Nah, but hey if you are morbidly curious you will find it for cheap in any back issue bin across the land. This is another adventure into my comic collection and weird comics that I somehow haven’t read. Thanks for reading and hopefully enjoying this strange adventure. Take care and remember, yes the 90’s had a lot of comics with blood in the title. So many comics with blood in the title. Have a good one.

If you are seriously curious about owning Bloodpool for yourself I am an affiliate of mycomicshop.com so you can find it here.

 

 

The Bloggity Session for 4/22/16: Sorting Through the Back Issues

Welcome to my daily column idea, The Bloggity Session. This is my way of talking about whatever is popping into my mind and gives me a loose way to update you all on what I’m up to. Right now it has been sorting out further on my back issue adventures. I’m finally narrowing it down to what I want to write about here. Writing about series in long form is actually one of my bigger plans for this blog o’mine here. I like back issues, I love finding cool series that haven’t been collected, and also from time to time I just love hunting for back issues. You don’t get that as often nowadays depending on where you are but around here, I find I have ample opportunity to do my fair share of back issue hunting. Yet on some stuff I even have to do the grand internet wander of hitting up the stores and sellers to find stuff. I do love though when my local Half Price Books has issue packs collecting four or more books for usually between three to seven dollars, that is always a good time. Of course lately I’ve mostly found a strange bit of Lobo, Azrael, and other assorted random. Hence why I have a mycomicshop.com order on the way completing my Power Company run, and a couple more weird things I want to talk about as I didn’t know they existed until recently.

Recently I saw images of this odd What If? that Rob Liefeld did art for and it looked totally bonkers, which means I needed it in my life. Turns out it was What If? #7 from Vol. 2 of the series. As I was already making the Power Company part of my order I figure why not add the What If? to the haul right? Then I discovered this other book called the Nth Man, which I had never heard of until recently. It was released back in 1989 and written by Larry Hama and in the small bit I have heard about it, this sounds amazing. I won’t say too much as if this promises what I think it should, oh this is going to be something to look forward to experiencing first hand. I somehow have an Excalibur issue that has the Nth Man in it too, so I am surprised this didn’t hit my radar until now. As for The Power Company, it’s a DC series that I always meant to read more of but some how slipped past me somewhere along the way. I am a fan of Kurt Busiek so anything with him involved I am likely to be game to give a go.  I am looking forward to all of this immensely, the order is also supposed to be here on Monday so I am excited!

What if? Vol. 2 #7 Marvel Comics Cover

 

See that cover of What if? and realize why I could not wait to have this craziness in my life. I always like to say in my comic reading, I read everything and I just love comics by golly. I have all sorts of cool back issues on the way and this should be a great time. Now with this first edition of The Bloggity Session out of the way, let the daily adventures begin here. In between larger pieces I plot out, The Bloggity Sessions are my relaxed times just talking comics and whatever else pops into my mind. Put it this way, this is me chatting with you all a bit. Thanks for reading and to all of you who have been reading my blog thus far, thank you so much. The best is yet to come, take care and hope you all are doing well out there.