Justice League: Generation Lost #18 review

It’s Power Girl vs cover boy Captain Atom after Max Lord’s mental whammy makes the Kryptonian see her old teammate as a kill-crazy Superman. The bout arranged by writer Judd Winick is reminiscent of Wonder Woman’s battle with Superman in Greg Rucka’s Sacrifice storyline; then, Superman saw Diana as the murderous Doomsday, but it was Max Lord who wound up dead. Here, not so much.

But there is hope when Fire, Ice, Booster Gold, Rocket Red and Skeets arrive to help Atom out and, thanks to the smarts of one member and the passion of another, help Power Girl see the truth. Before that we have one of the most satisfying hero-on-hero slugfests I can remember, with Power Girl on full fighting form while Atom holds back for fear of blowing up Tokyo. We’ve all been there …

The rest of the heroes also impress, despite admitting that Power Girl – who is seeing them as other, more threatening JLA members – may be too much for them. It’s rare to see heroes acknowledge the massive differences in juice in any line-up, even though every league should have rankings.

Elsewhere, Max continues to torture Blue Beetle for the secrets of his alien technology, insistent that he’s not the bad guy. Yeah, right, look at how creepy he is (click to enlarge).

He’s also overconfident, telling Beetle just that bit too much about how his psychic powers drain him. That moment’s going to come back and bite him in the bottom.

We’re offered a flashback to Power Girl and Captain Atom’s time together with Justice League International, likely a bid to add poignancy to their spat. Winick’s opening line for this scene – ‘Years ago. And many lifetimes away’ – is oh-so-true, given the DC Universe’s regular reboots, while Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan capture the vibe of classic JLI artists Kevin Maguire and Bart Sears.

The duo’s art is gorgeous throughout, as they find poetry in violence, and show us the same scenes from ‘Maxed’ and ‘non-Maxed’ perspectives. They don’t stint on the emotion, though, demonstrating with their lines the heroes’ sadness at having to fight – Power Girl’s being all the stronger because she thinks her cross-dimensional cousin is calling her a failure. The Hi-Fi colourist makes the pages positively pop, while John J Hill adds character to the lettering assignment.

There’s also a new look for the recently up-powered Ice (ie it was probably introduced issues ago and I never noticed), a lighter spin on her classic costume that works very well indeed.

Just a few more issues of this limited series to go. I’m hoping for an announcement any day now that it will become ongoing. The heroes, and the creative team, deserves it.

9 thoughts on “Justice League: Generation Lost #18 review

  1. I thought it was quite convenient that Max revealed that (1) he had weaknesses, and (2) they were so easy to achieve. (And if he's human he's got far more weaknesses than the ones he admitted to.) Of course, I don't understand how he came up with the power to do what he's done so far, even amplified.

    The DCU is so very tiny compared to ours.

    It was indeed satisfying to see Peege being given some respect, and the fight scenes were okay in that they didn't have three thousand capes fighting each other in each panel, as DC is so wont to do. This was almost a good number of folks, and they didn't take turns (iIrc) at slugging. Well, maybe a little.

    Does everyone know that Superman is “Clark”? She called Supie “Clark,” and then whoever it was who was fighting her said, “Hey, she thinks she's battling Superman.”

    Why is Ice dressing like a Legionnaire?


  2. I just keep repeating the mantra, “Please don't kill Blue Beetle” as I read. Very much hoping he comes out of this alive but it isn't looking good.

    That said, this is the best story DC has put out in 2010. Amazing writing by Winick with a fantastic pace. Can't wait to see how he wraps this up.


  3. Carol, I think Captain Atom's been around long enough to know Superman's other name – the JLA have gone through plenty of super-pally periods. Or maybe he gained the knowledge when he was Monarch (not that I'm sure he ever was Monarch, in this week's continuity).

    J-Man, I've seen the upcoming covers and solicits info too, but I just don't believe DC would do away with a character who was able to support a comic for a while, and is certainly popular with audiences. While resurrecting Ted Kord would fit the 'getting the team back together' theme of this book, I feel Jaime's viewed as a worthy successor, like Rocket Red Gavril.

    Scipio, good point, 'reason' would have been better. So many people misuse 'rationalize' (he said, going to US spelling just this once) that dictionaries will likely accept the (mis)usage any year now … certainly, UK dictionaries are awfully quick at 'keeping up to date with language change'. Yuk.

    This isn't the worst piece of garbled language in this series, mind – did you see my review of #1?


  4. I'm an unexpected fan of this book too, what started out as misjudged nostalgia turned into one of the books of the year.
    I was hoping we'd get a fuller explanation of it an I have to say Max Lords power makes a bit more sense now, I had to think on it but – if his mind feeds on the mental energy of others using it as fuel to trigger the effect he wants (wiping his existence) it makes sense of how the Justice League team here may have bucked that fate. By being together they escaped the effects and continue to do so, if I understand it correctly that is…


  5. I love this team. I would pick up an ongoing, no question.

    As for the errors in grammar, diction, usage, etc… It's a huge issue as far as I'm concerned. They need to hire editors who edit. And they should expect their writers to master the language.


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