Amoebas had the pick for new comics shipping July 21st and he selected Justice League: Generation Lost #6 by Judd Winick, Keith Giffen and Fernando Dagnino.
You know what's cool? When people enjoy their comic books.
Review by Eli Katz
I have to admit that I wasn't looking forward to JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #6. After several weeks of reading terrible superhero books for the Review Group, I'd had just about enough of these overpriced, disposable stories. But, to my astonishment, GENRATION LOST #6 is not only a fun book and a worthwhile read, it is also a surprisingly intelligent time-travel story. Kudos to Judd Winick. He’s written a very good issue and has sparked my interest in a series that I’d previously dismissed.
Initially, the story for this issue appears to be rather straightforward and conventional. Captain Atom absorbs the full blast from a "special" nuclear device and then rushes into space where he can release the energy safely. He's blasted back to Earth in the process, and somehow ends up in the nineteenth century. Two farm kids, barefoot and dressed in Amish-like clothing, find him knocked out and lying on the edge of a forest. At first, they mistake him for a "big doll," but they run in terror when he wakes up from the explosion. Afraid that he could disturb "the world -- the universe -- reality" if he remains too long in the past, Captain Atom tries to return to his proper time and place. But somehow, as a consequence of absorbing the blast, he has lost his powers for the next nineteen hours or so. Stranded, he pretends to be a circus freak and tries to do as little as possible to interfere with the course of history.
Now, while the first half of the book reads like a forgettable superhero story, the second half is filled with several major surprises. First, Winick plays a clever little trick on both Captain Atom and the reader and, in turn, pushes the story in a completely new and unexpected direction. I won't spoil the main plot twist here because I want to encourage everyone, even people who know nothing about this series, to check out GENERATION LOST. But let's just say that Winick manipulates the tired conventions of the time-travel subgenre and very expertly upends the reader's -- or at least my -- expectations. Second, Winick follows this plot twist with a very surprising guest appearance. And by surprising, I don't mean simply unannounced. Again, I won't say more for fear of spoiling a really good book. Just trust me that it’s a disturbing surprise.
Third, and perhaps most important, Winick fills his story with unusual and at times surreal images. This is a story that demands cool, imaginative artwork. Winick is not simply writing an entertaining comic, but a visually engaging one. He shows here that he really understands that superhero stories are more than just a bunch of fight scenes, interrupted by the occasional sequence of talking heads -- that they are, rather, an opportunity to borrow imagery from sci fi, horror, and fantasy and to combine them wildly in a single page. If I were an artist at DC, I would be clamoring to illustrate this book. It would be a hell of a lot of fun.
And the art team for this book, headed by Keith Giffen, does a good job of realizing Winick's vision. Giffen and company are able to capture the mood of the story as it changes from superhero tale to nightmarish vision. They add all the right details to make Winick's plot twists and deceptions more surprising and believable. Giffen and his team aren't flashy artists, but they are damn good storytellers. And I just love the way they draw the guest star.
Overall, this is what superhero books are supposed to be: fun, fast, and unpredictable. Winick deserves high praise for this issue and this series. If you aren't reading GENERATION LOST, then you're definitely -- ahem -- losing out.
Review by rdrsfn82
Justice League: Generation Lost #6 is a solid time travel story that shows some insight into Captain Atom, as well as a brief history of his origin and shows what the stakes are if Max isn't stopped. Works well as a jumping on point to the series, while also moving things.............. well maybe not forward but at least moved things along and added to the motivations. Probably the first issue that didn't move the story forward, but after 5 really good issues slowing things down a little bit isn't a problem at all. In fact, I'd be happy to see some more spotlights like this on specific characters if they are this well done.
The art was solid.
This book, for whatever reason, has a great balance of both Winnick's and Giffen's strengths, while not having too much of their weaknesses, as if they are bringing the best out of each other and limiting their negative tendencies. They make for a really good team so far, and if the next 20 issues can keep the quality of these first 6, I'd be happy to see them continue to collaborate on other books. Then again, I've never been a Winnick hater (although he's done some shitty books at times) and Giffen has always been a guy that's very good collaborating with others on writing duties.
Story : 7
Art : 7
Overall : 8 if you've been reading all along and a 7 this is your introduction to the story.
Review by Victorian Squid
It was much better than #5, especially without the Jakov Smirnoff baloney. Actually without a lot of the cast. I'm still not thrilled by how many DCU characters are bouncing through time at the moment, but there were a couple good Twilight Zone-style twists and Cap't Atom came across as more likable than he is often written--sometimes he is just a too powerful mega-douche. The family's easy acceptance and their proximity to Kara was all a little too convenient and I don't understand why he was pulled back when he was, but it served to move the story along and get Cap't Atom back to his own time without 2 miniseries and 36 one shots--RoBW I'm looking at you.
Art was above average for a DC book these days. +1
Review by starlord
Now this is what I call a great comic book and six issues into it, I can safely say it's still one of the top three D.C. books hitting the stand. I've never been the biggest fan of Captain Atom but in this one issue Judd Winick has made me not only appreciate him but actually care about this character.
A time travel story that starts off rather generically turns a complete one eighty right in the middle and shows the reader why Max Lord is as dangerous as he is. Some excellent art supports this story. The absolute surprise guest is perfectly placed and gives this tale a darker weight.
Thank you for this pick. If you haven't been reading this, there is still time. THIS is the series to be reading during Brightest Day. THIS is the D.C. comic that people are going to be talking about for the next couple of years. THIS is the event of the year. Read THIS!
My Score: 8.5
Review by guitarsmashley
This really was a great issue and I will probably end up reading the trades when they're released. Man what a great issue. There isn't much I can add to what Eli and Brian said. The bit with Karrie was very cool I had no clue who they were talking about but then it all made sense and the art was good enough for what it needed to do. Really really liked this issue.
Review by Sire
Holy crap. After seeing Amoebas having 2nd thoughts. Because it doesn't live up to the rest of the run, I was worried.
After reading it I was thinking Holy Crap wtf have I missed. This was a great first issue to read, Blue Bettle is my favorite character, but ouside him and atom it wasn't enough to want to pick up this title. I really want to see the hunt for Max Lord now but I am trying to cut books from my pull list, but this was a suprisingly good read.
Story - 8
What can I say about the art? It was good and conveyed the story. I enjoyed it
Art - 7
Overall - 7.5
Review by BlueStreak
JL:GL continues to be the little book that could. In this issue, Captain Atom discovers the consequences of letting Max Lord go free when he takes an unexpected jaunt to the future.
The plot was solid. While I was worried that this was going to be a filler issue focusing on the good Captain, Winnick and Giffin solidly delivered a character piece that moved the plot and action forward and set up the stakes that the Nu-JLI were playing for.
The art, while not impressive, was serviceable. Dagnino's pencils were better than probably 60% of DC's current output.
Overall, good read.
Review by 48THRiLLS
I was expecting to hate this and was planning on writing a review killing it because I have never read a Justice League book before and starting at number 6 was super lame... but I actually liked this. I had no idea who Captain Atom was before I read this but Winick does a good job setting this up and he tells a pretty fun time travel story with a couple twist and turns that I did not see coming at all. There might have been a few characters I wasn't familiar with but it didn't ruin the story for me. The art was solid, I didn't hate it.
I doubt I will ever read a Justice League book again but I did enjoy this one.
STORY - 8.5
ART - 7.5
OVERALL - 8
Review by Amoebas
I picked JL: GN #6 for a couple reasons
1) nothing else really said "THIS is the one"
2) I love the series and thought it would be good to get it talked about.
The first thing struck me was the lack of Tony Harris on the cover. I loved the guy on Starman but his JL:GN covers have for the most part been an uter embarresment. A Cliff Chiang cover was most welcome and a great image of falling through time.
Inside, the first thing that struck me was the art. The book basically has three rotaing artists...
Aaron Lopresti (issues 1 & 5) just beautiful
Joe Bennet (issues 2 & 4) Not bad but not great
Fernando Dagnino (issues 3 & 6) meh
In the attempt to not compare Dagnino to the other artists from the book I still only call him 'passable' as his style resembles the old Captain Atom artist Rafael Kayanan (whom I never liked).
Storywise, well other have basically said it all ready. Typical super-hero stuff but then the entire tone is changed as Cap Atom gets a side story when he discovers where and when he is. Conventional time travel is turned upside down with the time twist and the full extant of Max Lord achievements are revealed (along with a nice suprise guest star).
Something else happened in this issue though. Judd Winnick told a damn good story.
I love the series and it's bi-weekly schedule as I can't get enough of it. Only 20 more to go before the finale.
Story - 9
Art - 5
Total - 7
Review by Zero
While I would never call the old JLI comics bad, they've never held any appeal for me and while the characters seem to be wheeled out every few years for a moment in the sun it's rarely a positive experience for the fans. Countdown to Infinite Crisis springs to mind here. It's pretty surprising therefore that Judd Winick of all people has written something that is pleasing so many people.
I'm very much not the target for this story. I try to avoid reviewing books like this because my bias against more traditional fair isn't something I care enough to combat. While the twist was nice, giving us one kind of time travel story when we expected another, nothing else about the book made me want to either backtrack or move forward with the story. Competent is what I'd call this, with nothing glaring awful or dazzlingly brilliant happening anywhere down the line.
Oh DC, your house-style art is so so bland. The art churned out here by Dagnino is exactly what I'd expect from a mid-level DC superhero title. I have no idea what Keith Giffen's layouts added to or detracted from this story, but the figures and action layered on top of them left me with no real affection for the art.
It's a comic that I'd never have read without being prodded, and one I doubt I'll give a second thought once the review group moves on. Nothing special.
Review by Jude Terror
Nobody needed to convince me that Justice League: Generation Lost was a great book. I've been on board since I heard it was announced, and not because I've a huge fan of the characters - in fact, I barely know them because I never read Justice League International - but because I feel that DC can really tell some great stories when they focus on some of their underdog characters and set out to tell one long, epic, coherent story. In that way, this series reminds me of 52, and I was excited to see what everyone else would think of it in the review group.
This issue takes a moment out of the regular story to show what happened when Captain Atom went into space to discharge the energy from the bomb left by Max Lord. The energy sends Captain Atom into the time stream for a little less than a day, and though time stream stories seem to be all the rage these days, this one approaches things a little differently.
For one thing, the setting when Captain Atom arrives appears to be about 150 years or so in the past. However, it turns out that this is actually a future world created when Maxwell Lord's dastardly actions, and the failure of the JLI to stop him, caused the death of all of the heroes and the end of the modern world, along with all the progress and technology that came with it.
The story presents two very interesting concepts. One is that the JLI must stop Maxwell Lord to prevent some kind of catastrophe, which offers a counterpoint to the last issue, which painted Max Lord in a nearly sympathetic light. Another is that this future world is, in all honesty, not so bad. It's simpler, with a lack of any kind of technology and, it would seem, superpowers, but it is not a post-apocalyptic wasteland, nor is there some evil tyrant oppressing the people, at least as far as we can see in this issue. Instead, it appears to be a peaceful, rural world which many people might find preferable to the modern one.
Best of all, this trip through time was completed in one issue, adding to the story without needlessly dragging it out, and adding an element of seriousness to the plot. This series as a whole has been good, clean, superhero fun, reminiscent of an earlier age in comics (the eighties), and I would highly recommend that anyone who's not picking it up jump on with this issue, which makes a great starting point.
Review by John Snow
I guess it's good that most everyone else seems to have enjoyed this because it honestly didn't do a whole lot for me. Not that it was bad, it just didn't do anything to get me excited about JLI characters. (An impossible task most likely.) I was grateful for the lack of bwahaha-ness, but mundane isn't necessarily better just less annoying. I suppose the twist would be cool for those into these characters, but as a hater I'd just assume Max Lord kill 'em all. The art was bland and unmemorable.
That gives Justice League: Generation Lost #6 a group score of 7.38. The streak is over! After seven weeks we finally have another book score over a 7!
For what McKegan calls "all the geeky, bitchy arguing about comics you'd expect from a comic message board condensed into absolute awesomeness", check out this week's thread in The News Stand forum.
Zero has the pick for next week and he has selected Baltimore: The Plague Ships #1 published by Dark Horse Comics. Look for what is sure to be a Mignola lovefest after it becomes available Wednesday morning.
Baltimore: The Plague Ships #1
Writer: Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden
Artist: Ben Stenbeck
Months after a devastating plague ends World War I, Europe is suddenly flooded with deadly vampires. Lord Henry Baltimore, a soldier determined to wipe out the monsters, is on the hunt for the creature responsible for this chaos and his own personal tragedy. What he uncovers is a terror as horrific and frightening as any he's seen on the battlefield. $3.50