Justice League: Generation Lost #19
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Fernando Dagnino
Now this is more like it! Not that this book was short on action, but it was severely lacking one thing….Max actually at risk, but no more! This issue gives us glimpses of Max’s new Checkmate, hints towards his endgame, and the fight of Blue Beetle’s life! Winick does a great job mixing up the action and suspense and keeping this issue going at full speed from the first page until the shocking ending.
The issue opens up with Jaime talking with his friends about the two previous Blue Beetle’s in a flashback sequence meant to build up his own threshold for pain, as well as point out that he didn’t exactly pick up a legacy of long lived heroes. This is especially important because you might recall that Jaime is being tortured by Max Lord, the guy who killed Ted Kord. There’s more exposition from Max, and the nice culmination of story plots as he spells out that everything the JLI has done this book has worked in his favor, as an end result thus far has brought Checkmate back entirely under his control. All of their efforts to stop him have only given him what he wanted, how’s that for well thought out?
One thing I don’t fully get is how they can have Power Girl join the team last issue and already be out the door in this issue. I mean, yeah, she has to play out more in her solo title, but I was so totally looking forward to Peeg joining the fight against Max directly. But she has her own mission, to get the word out that they aren’t crazy and there really is a guy who made the world forget he existed. That isn’t even to mention how it really is fitting that the first time they truly get the drop on Max and wind up in a situation where they are in even some semblance of control over the situation that it’s the core group from the series, and not a character who is just now joining. It keeps it clear that it’s the characters who this story has been built on the backs of that have reached this point, and have done so without help.
Jaime’s breakout is done well, with the suit finally working in his favor. He’s given a lot of big action in this issue, mainly with his suit transforming into various weapons for him to blow the crap out of stuff with. He looks like he belongs on the Justice League, he holds his own and keeps his cool, it’s a very good issue for him as far as characterization goes.
The thing is, this is Max’s book, and that grows clearer every issue or two. This is one of those issues. Some of his motives have been clear for a while, while others, like Checkmate, emerge more and more every issue. Max has reminded us a few times that he isn’t the villain in his eyes, even if they actions he takes are villainous (and believe me, they are villainous this issue, no question), that he’s justified in everything he does. On top of that, he’s as collected as Batman at times, as even with everything hitting the fan around him he still handles everything with ease. Even the random variables don’t shut him out, and that makes him scarier than anything else.
The League itself is somewhat ineffective in this issue, as while they make a flashy entrance they really just seem to be on autopilot to put them in place for next issue, which given the way this issue ends, should be freaking huge.
Fernando Dagnino does another awesome job with this issue, especially with the Blue Beetle action sequences. Seriously, I love the way he draws Beetle in action, the armor looks great, the character moves fluidly, and everything just has a unique touch about it. I also like the way Power Girl looks in this issue, but then again, I also like the way Power Girl looks. Alright, that wasn’t as clever as I’d hoped for. The issue looks great, and I will continue to say that DC made the right choice when they put him in the rotation for this book along with Joe Bennett and Aaron Lopresti.
Seven issues left until Generation Lost calls it a day, and if this issue is anything to go with, things are going to keep getting crazier. Max’s plans are coming to a head, and we still don’t fully know his endgame. Not to mention the cover image for this issue, the one I have no problem doing a Spoiler Warning of, but won’t ruin in this review. After last issue’s mistep it’s great to have this one, as it puts the book back to its winning ways, and it’s a good thing too because this is probably the best thing to come out of Brightest Day. The two weeks of waiting for the next issue is just too long!
Tags: Blue Beetle, Brightest Day, Fernando Dagnino, Judd Winick, Justice League: Generation Lost, Max Lord, Reviews