Monday, January 11, 2021

Generations Shattered #1

Generations Shattered #1 (March 2021)
writers: Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, & Robert Venditti
artists: Fernando Pasarin & Oclair Albert; John Romita Jr. & Danny Miki; Rags Morales (Legion related pages only)
colorist: Hi-Fi
letterer: Tom Napolitano
editors: Brian Cunningham & Andrea Shea
cover: Ivan Reis & Joe Prado

reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Overall Summary: 
Kamandi is rescued by Booster Gold and Skeets as something very similar to the anti-matter fields that wreaked havoc during the Crisis begins to destroy all of their Earth After The Great Disaster. When Booster is injured, Kamandi is then tasked by Skeets to take over for him. Their mission: to collect various champions from various time-zones to create an army to defeat the villain behind "the Goneness." One of those selected for this Task Force is Legion of Super-Heroes member Superboy! 

I'm not going to get into a whole lot of details in a long summary of this issue because 1. I don't want to spoil anything and 2. the joy of the story is seeing Kamandi plopped down in various time-lines and asking help from various characters. Any summary of those specific scenes that I would try to write would not do them justice. The plot is what I already wrote: Kamandi needs to assemble a team, so he is sent through the time stream by Skeets to do that. Along the way we get art by Ivan Reis, Yanick paquette, Kevin Nowlan, Paul Pelletier, Klaus Janson, and Dan Jurgens himself. When they meet up with the bad guy, we find out that HE has assembled a team, too! And their confrontation scenes are fun, too. 
I will say, though, Minor Spoiler on what doesn't happen....on page eight immediately after Kamandi is rescued, there is a series of vignettes of various DCU time-travellers noticing the Chronal Crisis and commenting on it. Besides characters I have never heard of such as the Linear Men, this page features better known, classic time travellers such as Abra Kadabra, the Reverse Flash, Waverider, and....the Time Trapper. Yes, unfortunately for us Legion fans,  the bad guy is NOT the classic Legion villain. Because he's shown on page eight I figured it was fair to share this. And I didn't want anyone to get their hopes up TOO high, as I almost did when I first opened the book and saw what appeared to be a dark, hooded figure. Nope, not our guy.  
The main characters in this story are those heroes featured on the cover. Besides Superboy swiped from the 31st Century we have Batman from 1939, Sinestro Green Lantern before he went bad, Dr. Light (Kimiyo Hoshi) immediately after the initial Crisis, Steel immediately after defeating Cyborg Superman, Booster Gold on his first day in the past, and Starfire at the beginning of the Terra & Deathstroke attacks. So let me tell you straight up, if you're looking for a story set before all of the negative DC Universe crap continuity from the last twenty years or so, this is the story for you. 
But this is a Legion site, so I am sure you want to know which Legionnaires appears in this story, right? Well....for all you die-hard Legion fans I have scanned and included within this post all the pages from the story that actually show the Legion of Super-Heroes. So you can see for yourself who appears and who doesn't. 
I'm happy to say that most of the members from the mid-Baxter Book run appear to be active. What is interesting to me (besides the goodness that is on display, generally) is the implication behind all of the different members we get glimpses of. Ferro Lad is a member at the same time as White Witch? Okay, maybe if that is Andrew's twin brother, it might be possible. But look again....isn't that Chemical King behind Mon-El and Dawnstar in the panel above? And that is clearly both Invisible Kids in the same panel! In the initial group shot panel on this first page reprinted above, look closely and you'll see Karate Kid AND his widow, Sensor Girl! 
Are these editorial oversights? Brian Cunningham is co-editor of this book (with Andrea Shea, whose name is unknown to me). He is the editor of the current Legion series, so him not having a lot of deep Legion understanding is a distinct possibility. 

Still, it's fun to see all of the different Legionnaires drawn in their classic uniforms. Why can't DC publish this book again? 

As for the bad guys, I don't want to give too much away but I will say that one of the members on the bad guys' team is none other than former Legionnaire Nemesis Kid! He faces off against Superboy on Krypton just before it explodes. So that's a fun scene, even though it looks like neither character is used correctly! (Superboy seems to retain his powers, which would be impossible, and Nemesis Kid seems to have been beaten by the Boy of Steel, which also would be nearly impossible.) 
Still, for those of us with sufficient Legion history to know who Nemesis Kid is, it's a very fun bit. 

The last thing I want to bring up as one last tease for you to possibly buy this book is a scene very late in the story. As the bad guy splinters time into various chards, one of the time mixes gets us members of the Justice Society versus....the Fatal Five!?!? 

Illustrated by the great Rags Morales, this is a scene that I hope is a prelude to an actual chapter in the second part of this story! WOW! was my first reaction. (My second reaction was: why couldn't colorist Hi-Fi have colored the JSAers correctly? Wonder Woman's chest and Hourman's uniform are off. You would think there would be plenty of reference on those two classic looks....!?) 
To sum up: although "true" Legion appearances in this book are short, the story is fun because it reads like one of those old Bronze Age Legion epics. Also, there are hints at more goodness to come in the second chapter, Generations Forged. Overall the story is well worth the incredibly high price ($9.99 for 80 pages). After all, time machines don't come cheap. If you want to feel some genuine Bronze Age DC Legion and Multi-Earth goodness, you owe it to yourself to pick this up. 

3 comments:

  1. I don't know if the story is good but the visuals are way cool.

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  2. Also, Shadow Woman (in her body paint) is behind Timber Wolf. And that could be her cousin Grev (Shadow Kid) between Tinya & Mon-El, unless it's just a colorist's error.

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  3. DC should only bring Nemesis Kid back if Jeckie gets to snap his neck again. Ditto with Max Lord and Wonder Woman.

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