I’m a sucker for motley crews. Give me heroes from across time and space whom you wouldn’t usually see together, and I’m there. Enter the Golden Age Batman, Superman’s Pal Steel, New Titan Starfire, the original Superboy, the second Dr Light, the one and only Booster Gold, Last Boy on Earth Kamandi and Green Lantern Sinestro before he went to the yellow side. If you had to guess which of them was gathering the rest to face a dastardly villain, you’d likely say Booster Gold. He’s had a stint as a time agent, able to travel throughout history. So of course it’s…
It is. To be fair, it would have been Booster Gold… an older Booster Gold, who comes to collect Kamandi as a wave of anti-matter wipes out his timelime.
But circumstances prevent ‘Booster Old’ from carrying on, and his Skeets glove goes to Kamandi, along with his mission.
Now this is fun. Good, old school fun. Old as in Nineties, with characters such as Waverider, Knockout and the Linear Men playing a part. Even the mystery villain is a refugee from that terrific decade for DC, someone who proved a headache for a big hero and then pretty much vanished.
Well, they’re back, and out to move realities, having become tired of this hero-filled one. The plan’s collateral damage is the death of the current universe, with time unravelling.
Generation Shattered #1 is the classic ‘gathering the team’ issue, with dozens of pages following the same template – Kamandi and Skeets drop in on someone with a desperate plea to help save Everything. If there’s reluctance, it’s soon overcome. An especially interesting sequence sees the then-new Dr Light, Kimiyo Hoshi, approached… by Green Lantern’s psychic nemesis Hector Hammond. Dr Light feels threatened but then Kamandi and Skeets make the scene.
Even though Kamandi can’t speak Japanese, Dr Light instinctively trusts him, and signs up for the mission. It’s a little odd – sure, Hammond is a known bad guy, but she’s just come back from the Crisis on Infinite Earths, a situation which saw heroes and villains teaming up for the greater good… she couldn’t even listen to him? Does Kamandi have a sincerity aura that brings instant trust? There has to be some reason Booster Old would seek him out in the first place, when he’s supposedly looking for geniuses who might be able to deal with time trouble, and powerful warriors to run interference. Perhaps Hammond will show up in the concluding part of this story, next month’s Generations Forged.
I could easily believe this was an old, typically entertaining Dan Jurgens script that had been languishing in a drawer that DC decided to use in a month that has many of its regular books shelved. It’s certainly in his ballpark, even the main villain is from the Triangle era of Superman which Jurgens helped make such a creative and financial success. The seamless presence of co-writers Andy Schmidt and Robert Venditti, though, tell us this is something newer. I understand Generations Shattered was commissioned – as Generations Fractured – as a step towards the 5G event that was going to reset DC continuity. With Dark Nights: Death Metal now filling that role, and 5G plans mostly truncated to the Future State event, this has been repurposed as Metal-adjacent high adventure. While Future State characters have been squeezed into a symbolic splash image, there’s no true link I can find between events in the Death Metal books and this, but it fits with the new ‘everything happened’ notion.
Not that I’d have passed on this had it simply been a piece of nostalgia – Jurgens is always wonderful value and this book has a bevy of superb artists to carry us along. So many great names.
There’s outstanding visual work throughout, so much that it’s tough to play favourites. I must, though, as a fan of the classic Legion of Super-Heroes, note how great Fernando Pasarin and Oclair Albert’s pages are, filled to the brim with scores of heroes, citizens and monsters.
And Yanick Paquette’s Titans scene has a classic Eighties look, super sleek and dynamic. Then there’s Kevin Nowlan’s Sinestro and Adam Strange encounter, an ode to classic sci-fi comics. And the Golden Age Batman meeting the world of OMAC moment by Jurgens and inker Klaus Janson is a hoot.
Oh, there’s just so much lovely work in here, and all of it lettered and coloured by stalwarts Tom Napolitano and Hi-Fi.
The cover, by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Hi-Fi is a winner too, while Darran Robinson’s publication design – complete with sharp back cover art – is typically terrific.
There’s a cliffhanger that guarantees I’ll be back for the conclusion, one that hits the same zeitgeist button as an upcoming Disney+ TV show. I can say no more!
$9.99 is a lot to pay for a comic, but this is four times the length of the average book at a lot less than four times the price. And it’s huge fun all the way through. Don’t miss it.