Once upon a time, there was a man called Rob Liefeld
. Near the end of The Dark Age of Comic Books
, his comics began to sell poorly. And there was another man — Alan Moore
. He felt guilty, because a couple of his comics
drastically changed the industry, when everybody wanted to do something like him, thus creating the Dark Age. Those two men met and saw great opportunity with each other. Everything with Moore's name on it was selling, so Liefeld could save his company by hiring him. On the other hand all of Liefeld's heroes were copies
of DC/Marvel characters or teams, and Moore got an idea how to use them to appeal to classic comics fans. At first, they started slowly; Moore got Supreme
and turned him into a living love letter to Silver Age
Superman. It worked, so Moore got his hands on all Liefeld's characters. And this is when this story comes to life.Youngblood: Judgment Day
is a 3-issue miniseries (plus Aftermath
one-shot) written by Moore and drawn by Liefeld and various other artists. Youngblood
team member, Riptide, has been murdered and her fellow teammate, Knightstrike is the main suspect. Because the authorities don't want anything to do with it and it's the first case like that in history, they left the superhero community to handle this, with superheroes as the jury, courtroom, defense, prosecution and judge familiar with the community. But it's all only the beginning of a far greater tale, one older than our world.
This comic book series provides examples of:
- Anachronic Order: Flashbacks in the first issue jump from present to various times in possibly-random order - 1868, 436, 1943 etc. Later issues set them in chronological order.
- Art Shift: All flashbacks are drawn by different artists.
- Barbarian Hero: Bram the Berserk
- Courtroom Antic: Skipper's actions would have turned the courtroom into a circus if it weren't one already.
- Darker and Edgier: Liefed's characters before Moore took over.
- Expy: The series was full of this as well, as it was heavily inspired by the New Teen Titans and a number of Silver Age teen hero books:
- Future Me Scares Me: Marcus wasn't pleased to find what future had been written for him in the book, so he rewrote it.
- Lighter and Softer: Seriously, stories in Aftermath are, with the exception of MaxiMage, classic Silver Age and Bronze Age adventures with Dark Age ex-poster boys.
- MacGuffin: The Book of Hermes is a central plot element here.
- Metafiction: All over the place, with everything being a part of a story and a man who travels through imagination visiting to see what new stories are going to happen now.
- Mighty Whitey: Zantar, White God of the Congo. This is almost endlessly Lampshaded by the casually racist narration during his part of the story, and later by one of his own descendants.
- Mind Screw: The MaxiMage story in Aftermath.
- Most Common Superpower: Lampshaded by a superheroine from sixties who says that she was considered as well-endowed back in the days, but compared to today's heroines, she feels flat-chested.
- Power Fantasy: Pretty much shows what can happen if somebody would make his Power Fantasy real.
- Reality Writing Book
- Retcon: The series did this to the heroes' Darker and Edgier counterparts.
- Rewriting Reality
- The Smurfette Principle: Lampshaded, where Glory is keen to the idea of re-forming the Allies of Justice because she enjoys being the only woman in a team of men — it's implied that it makes her feel like she's the one in charge.
- Stable Time Loop: It's mentioned that the League of Infinity first heard of Giganthro through historical records of the trial... where they helped their longtime friend and teammate Giganthro testify.
- Stripperiffic: Suprema doesn't like these kinds of outfits, but finds costumes worn by men even worse.
- The Trope Kid: The Brimstone Kid
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: As Marcus plunges the superhero world in the Dark Age, a lone silhouette of him is shown. The pose is almost exactly the same as the one on the iconic The Dark Knight Returns first issue cover.