Writer: Gail Simone
Artists: Kevin West & Sunny Lee
This issue marks Gail Simone‘s swan song on the title she helped relaunch.
Looking back, this certainly hasn’t been one of her finest efforts. But is it really her fault? Gail is a stellar writer, when she’s paired with a capable editor and creative team, but throughout 2007 she seems to have been lacking in both; Gail has made some questionable career decisions, quitting the critical darling Birds of Prey to focus on the Atom, and the botched Wildstorm relaunch. There’s always Wonder Woman in her horizon so things can only get better!
In the closing sequence of the issue, she pretty much lays out the characterization approach she took for each character, but it has all been too cut and dry and obvious throughout the run. Where she did succeed, was in getting each character’s personal voice, through their individual narrations throughout the series. It was a bit gimmicky from time to time, but it did have tis moments, and managed to breathe some life into these –let’s admit it– formulaic characters.
This issue quickly wraps up the Authoriteens plot (can we pleeeease see them again!) and moves the long-running Megan+Gen14 plot to the forefront for the big bang finale. The Gen13 kids face off against their (also) lab-grown clones to an anti-climactic emotional and tragic end.
Well, according to the script at least.
The fill-in art was so bad that it sucked away any emotional resonance that Simone might have intended for the issue and left it a dry husk. Kevin West is a tried and once-successful artist (Guardians of the Galaxy alumni) and Sunny Lee has had some experience through this title, but from the result here, they might have both been doing a sequential issue for te first time; especially Lee totally drops the ball, delivering unreadable sequentials and empty lifeless characters in the most uninspired breakdowns and storytelling choices. If I could wager, I would say this issue can’t have taken more than 4 days to complete, judging from the quality of the art. Dear Wildstorm editors, this isn’t Countdown, and there’s many actually capable sequential artists, inkers and colourists out there who could do a good job of this issue. Just saying. If you’re looking for someone to blame for the commercial failure of this relaunch, it’s certainly not the writers’ fault.