This is the most enticing issue of this series to date, and not just because it is the first title to be offered both digitally and on newsstands on the same day by DC Entertainment. This issue takes the foursome — Captain Atom, Booster Gold, Ice, and Blue Beetle — to Russia, where they meet up with the Rocket Reds. And I mean all of the Rocket Reds, which evidently includes a self-proclaimed enemy of the state. Fighting leads to sides being picked, and pretty soon a Rocket Red is allied with the JLI members who are trying to track down Maxwell Lord.
For readers who think Winick might not get Booster Gold, this issue will prove otherwise. Booster has grown, he has evolved, and this issue allows Booster to step up and shine. Winick also gets to play up the Russian stereotype and has fun doing it, making this issue feel more lighthearted than it truly is. Don’t get me wrong, Winick is no Giffen/DeMatteis, nor is he trying to be. He’s simply writing these characters with voices that are as human as can be. From a dubious Batman to bold Booster Gold, Winick delivers character beats that are worth reading.
Joe Bennett’s art works well with this story. Bennett tends to play up the heroic aspects of the character he draws, and this issue focuses only on heroes. Even so, Bennett gives us a Blue Beetle who does look heroic and powerful, but the power clearly comes from the armor, not the person, while the exact opposite is certainly true of Captain Atom.
Hi-Fi’s colors are dead on, especially with some areas being more experimental, like the shadowy portions of Booster’s goggles, the effect and texture of Fire’s powers in action, and the metallic sheen of the Rocket Reds.
“Justice League: Generation Lost” has had a slow start, but after four issues, some tread is starting to grip the road and this story seems ready to start really rolling. With the team (which refuses to acknowledge that they are, indeed, a team) now up to an even half-dozen, I’m curious as to who’s waiting in the wings to help the cause. Batman seems like a logical candidate. One thing is for certain, I’ll be checking in to see what’s happening. I might even decide to check it out digitally. Anyone have an iPad I can borrow?