Justice League: Generation Lost #15
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Joe Bennett
Man, this book is just plain fun, and just when you think you’ve got a handle on everything going on, Winick gives us yet another wrinkle as he tries to reflect one of the biggest current wrinkles in DC’s continuity.
A few months ago the book sort of rebooted under the pen of J. Michael Straczynski, a ripple in time rewrote the characters entire history, and despite that she had been a prominent part of the DC universe for years, it was as if none of it had happened. Interesting in concept, but it had yet to be truly executed. Enter Judd Winick, who last issue revealed that Max Lord brings about his war that plunges the Earth into chaos and death by killing Wonder Woman, revenge for the way she killed him during the OMAC Project. Max is a petty man, he does enjoy the concept of revenge, and it would have been disappointing had he not gone after his killer. Just like it would have been disappointing had Winick had not given Max the kind of curve ball he deserves. See, Max made the world forget he existed so he could operate in secret, the JLI only knows because of where they were when he sent out his mind mojo. So I guess that’s why it makes sense that right now, the only person who remember Wonder Woman existed are Booster, Captain Atom, Fire, Ice, and Maxwell Lord. That’s the first moment when I realized that I was going to love this book, when Max realizes the irony in making the world forget he exists, only for the same thing to happen to the source of his rage and need for revenge. It’s a perfect little moment that opens up the issue and sets the pace moving forward.
See, the issue is all about things not going according to plan. It’s about dealing with things not going according to plan. From Max being cheated out of his revenge on Diana by nature of her current non-presence in the DC Universe, to the fact that Captain Atom is now known to the world around him as a mass murderer for what happened in the aftermath of his fight with Magog, and Booster making it clear that killing Max is not an option. Captain Atom has done everything in his power to be a hero over the course of this book, and he’s been to two different horrible futures because of it. He knows what history has in store, but it involves a man no one believes exists, and trying to save a world that now believes him to be a monster. The atomic powered soldier is at the end of his rope without much farther he can fall, and he’s ready to cross the lines that heroes don’t cross. He’s ready to play the executioner, to do what any soldier would do when faced with an enemy combatant as dangerous as Max. He wants to change the futures he’s seen, he wants to make the world better. Atom just wants to be a hero, but he’s been pushed farther than he has in a long time, and it’s interesting to watch him teeter on the brink without some forced Monarch-creating-mind-issues.
A few issues ago we were treated to the ‘secret origin’ of Ice, and during a brief interlude, we’re treated an endnote of that pertaining to her joining of the Global Guardians. As well as a mention to her thoughts on her recently upgraded powers.
The highlight of this issue, honestly, is going to be my number one moment of the week. Booster Gold tears Captain Atom a new one, and delivers one of the most awesome speeches I’ve ever seen come out of the character. This is Booster’s team, hands down. He’s the leader, he’s in charge, and right now he’s the most well adjusted member of the team as well. It’s an ironic moment when the man most famous for shilling his name out to any endorsements he could come across is the one giving a lecture in heroism, and what it means to be a hero. How Booster seems to understand best why they can’t do the things the most want, and why it’s so important that they stay above that line the villains have no trouble crossing. And then to completely make the entire scene, and to remind us that despite the maturity and responsibility being broadcast by Booster, that he’s still Booster Gold. Booster makes it all personal, and reminds us that he wants to take Max down just as bad as anyone.
It’s when the JLI realizes the same thing as Max that they get worried, when the existence of Wonder Woman is brought into question. They’ve been chasing Max since the beginning of the book, always a few steps behind him, but this time they know what his target is, and even if they don’t realize it, they are in the same place as he is. It seems like the book is going to turn into a race to save Wonder Woman before Max Lord can bring upon great and total world, and destroy the future because of it.
I continue loving the art teams on this book, as well as the way the story is paced around them. This issue is Joe Bennett, and while he isn’t given much action to draw, he is given a lot of characters to handle. This issue is very much a talking heads issue, but Bennett doesn’t give us the Ultimate Spider-Man treatment of recycled panels and face shots. The story moves and flows even at times where it could easily stay stationary without taking much away. There’s always something happening, and it’s all clear, and it all looks good. There’s a reason that I’ve been a fan of his work for years, and he excels on a book like this just like he did on 52.
It’s an issue full of character moments, with a last page shocker that may very well change the face of the JLI for good, but most importantly it’s another fun issue of Generation Lost. Judd Winick has made Max Lord one of the best current villains in comics, and the journey to try and stop him only gets more intriguing by the issue. The book leaves you wondering who will still be standing when it’s over in another ten issues, but more so, it makes you wonder just how far Max will go before someone stops him.
If someone stops him.
Tags: Booster Gold, Brightest Day, Captain Atom, Joe Bennett, Judd Winick, Justice League International, Justice League: Generation Lost, Max Lord, Reviews