Generations Forged #1 review

Heroes and villains lost in time. Unlikely team-ups. Angry gods. Reality rewritten.

On the one hand, so far as Generations Forged goes, you’ve seen it all before. On the other GIANT cosmic hand, the aforementioned story points come up again and again for good reason – they’re guaranteed crowd pleasers when brought out by a top creative team.

And that’s what we get in this 80pp issue, the conclusion to the story begun in Generations Shattered. With a Crisis-level event wiping out time and space, a delightfully diverse crew of goodies has been gathered to set things right. As we rejoin them, they’ve been exiled to the far reaches of the DC Universe by the villain of the piece, Dominus. Rather than cackle over his handiwork, though, the Lord of Order turned multiversal madman is busy with smaller affairs.

Illustration by Mike Perkins

Holy Wandavision Coincidence, Batman!

It looks like he’s trying to trip up random children in Mike Perkins’ full-page image. Actually, it’s Dominus having fun with family members he’s created from scratch. He doesn’t want to rule the cosmos, just hang around an eternal suburbia – but his plan threatens all reality.

Meanwhile, so much as the term makes sense when talking time tripping…

Dr Light II, Starfire and Kamandi find themselves on the doomed world of Krypton.

Illustration by Marco Santucci

Steel and the original Superboy are on prehistoric Thanagar.

Illustration by Paul Pelletier and Norm Rapmund

And Batman, Booster Gold and an off-panel Sinestro – plucked from a point at which he was a Green Lantern in good standing – are in the time of Omac.

Illustration by Bernard Chang

Eventually, the heroes – and Dominus’ villainous henchpeople, having realised their boss has abandoned them too – escape the various eras and come up with a plan to confront Dominus in his realm of ‘Extracted Time’.

Illustration by Bryan Hitch and Andrew Currie

After a long, tough battle, Dominus is contained, but while Booster, Starfire and co have triumphed, some find the victory bittersweet…

Afterwards, they make their way to Vanishing Point, base of time guardians The Linear Men. Heroes and villains are returned home, one by one, whether they like it or not.

Illustration by Dan Jurgens and Kevin Nowlan

The most intriguing comment there is the business about their universe being unique. Batman alone hears more about it, from time cop Waverider

Illustration by Dan Jurgens and Kevin Nowlan

That’s new. I don’t need a reason for comic book characters remaining, say, 29 for decades, but it makes for an interesting moment in the story. I suppose it’s a vestigial plot point from the abandoned 5G project, to be ignored even sooner than was Hypertime back in the Nineties.

The real point of this issue is the fun, both verbal and visual. Talented writers Dan Jurgens, Robert Venditti and Andy Schmidt give us acres of action and cracking character moments. It’s wonderful to see the woefully underused Kimiyo Hoshi not simply appear in a story, not just team-up with Jor-El, but provide the circumstances that give Lara Lor-Van, who’s months from her due date, the chance to give birth to Kal-El.

What’s more, powered up by Krypton’s red sun, she gets a striking new look.

Other terrific moments include Batman 1939’s reaction to the future Build-a-Friends – and he thought he was creepy! Then there’s Starfire’s distrust of Kamandi, reminding us that Kory was a spikier character back in 1983.

One thing Starfire and Kamandi do have in common is enviable hair, and it’s the former’s that leads to a wonderful ‘What the?!’ moment. As for Kamandi, he’s impressed by that of the man he doesn’t know is his grandfather.

Illustration by Colleen Doran

A huge kick for me was seeing Silver and Bronze Age Jor-El and Lara again… and is this the first time we’ve seen Superman’s birth mother pregnant? She looks suitably lovely, as drawn by Joe Prado.

The art is terrific throughout, it’s by Mike Perkins, Marco Santucci, Joe Prado, Paul Pelletier, Norm Rapmund, Bernard Chang, Colleen Doran, Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, Dan Jurgens and Kevin Nowlan.

It’s nice to see Dominus’s ‘wife’ is his lost love Kismet, though she’s not named in the comic, which is a shame – an editor’s note directing folk to issues they can find at DC Infinite or ComiXology would have been useful.

Illustration by Marco Santucci

Randomly lovely panels include Santucci’s glowing Krypton; Pelletier and Rapmund’s Steel vs dinosaur; and Chang’s liquid Golden Age Batman. It’s all terrifically coloured by Hi-Fi and sharply lettered by Tom Napolitano, while the cover has the excellent Liam Sharp counting down some of DC’s greatest hits.

Gush gush gush… there must be something I can complain about. Hang on, I have it. Would you look at this!

Illustration by Dan Jurgens and Kevin Nowlan

Yes, yes! Isn’t that disgraceful? How on earth could they forget that by the time the Legionnaires were in their Dave Cockrum costumes, the Kents had swapped the farm for a general store. Editor!

Kidding. Well done to editors Brian Cunningham (let go by DC in last year’s restructuring, which really is disgraceful) and Andrea Shea (also a pretty great writer) for a fantastic diversion from the glumness of Lockdown 73 or whatever. Particular gratitude goes to, presumably, Shea for giving us the artist breakdowns on the contents page, it’s a huge help to reviewers with tired eyes. And credit to Darran Robinson for another great design job, from the slick logo to the burnished back page.

Illustration by Darran Robinson

With DC having been in Future State mode for two months – some issues of which I have enjoyed – I can easily say that this has been the most fun I’ve had in comics. I heartily recommend Generation Shattered and Generations Forged for pure DC Universe enjoyment.

14 thoughts on “Generations Forged #1 review

  1. Agreed. It’s a fun comic and I loved seeing all the various characters working together. That’s the fun in a book like this … seeing how different characters react and interact with one another.
    I’ll be honest, I have no idea how the linear-verse is supposed to work. It’s even more nonsensical and confusing than Hypertime (and that’s saying something). But you’re probably correct when you say that it will be forgotten about as quickly as it’s introduced.
    I’m not sure how DC’s “all stories matter” philosophy is supposed to work in reality, but it probably doesn’t matter in the end.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The ‘all stories matter’ idea makes sense to me in a publishing sense ie they all ‘happened’ and are still there to enjoy again. In the world of the characters, though, they would go mad in ten minutes if the memories of alternate versions of themselves kept piling on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly. I’d like some clarity. Is the “all stories matter” philosophy something for the writers to consider when telling tales. Use whoever/whatever you want and we’ll figure out a way to make it work.
      Or is it something that’s actually going to be playing out in the DCU with characters aware of everything? I can’t imagine how that’s gonna work. Sure, some characters could be long lived, but their supporting casts certainly won’t be. But maybe I’m over thinking it.
      Just tell good stories and we can figure out how it all works later.

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  3. Nice one shot. It was like a 90s Annual. We’ll never hear from this version of the characters or the concept of the Linearverse ever again. I assume they figured they paid for it so print it and deemed it too long for that Vault series…

    BTW, what with how Future State has been and how the real line up looks post-FS, it looks like everyone who thought Javins was different than or a step up from Didio and Harras were wrong. Almost nothing she’s overseen to date shows any signs of understanding the DC character DNA any better than her predecessors. I’m going back to my old pipedream of Palmiotti taking over…

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      1. I try but ever since eye learned of the crossover the Dominus Effect I die a little inside over the face DC never collected it

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s certainly one way to explain why, in those All-Star Comics published in the late 1970s, all the JSA members on Earth-2 looked quite young for people who had been costumed crimefighters for 40 years.

    Interesting to see Sinestro in a line-up of heroes. Well, he’s always been totally convinced that he is a good guy, even though nearly everyone else has understandably been very skeptical.

    Liked by 1 person

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