Justice League: Generation Lost #23

Story by
Art by
Raul Fernandez, Fernando Dagnino
Colors by
Letters by
Steve Wands
Cover by
DC Comics

The penultimate issue of the "Justice League: Generation Lost" series delivers O.M.A.C.s, Batman, Max Lord, Professor Ivo, and a cheap apparent knockoff of a classic Justice League villain. Max's plan spilled forth in the last issue, but this issue doesn't advance the plan so much as it sets up parameters around the plan and narrows the focus of the struggles in this title.

One single page, framing Booster Gold up against Max Lord, offers the most intriguing plotline to follow into the final issue of this series. The other side of the battle - everyone else vs. O.M.A.C.s - seems unoriginal and boring, kind of like Max Lord's Slave-1 knockoff Checkmate ship. What is this turning into, a brochure to prospective toy manufacturers showing just how ultimately toyetic the Justice League franchise can be? Whatever it is, it lost my attention a dozen issues back and it is sincerely threatening to do so again.

While filled with detail, Fernando Dagnino's art is scattered and inconsistent, with Diana sporting a shrinking head and inconsistent accoutrements. Where does she keep that shield and sword? The art is not at all helped by some magnificent color-changing ability in accessories and costume details, thanks to Hi-Fi. One last comment on the art, can we PLEASE leave the excessive gore period of superhero comic book stories now? Max Lord oozing spaghetti sauce from every orifice doesn't compel me to think that the character is in dire straits. It strikes me as lazy storytelling, substituting in gore and goop where characterization and expression should come into play.

I know there are fans of this series, and I have tried to dig into this series more than a few times over the twenty-some issues to this point, but it just doesn't offer much substance to the story for me. All of the characters here have moved on to other places, become different characters, but here they keep hitting the same beats over and over again. Booster is frustrated by his inability to gain traction against Max, Captain Atom is afraid to unleash his power, Rocket Red is played as Yakov Smirnoff in armor, and Fire and Ice are present for little more than window dressing. I've seen some significant clamor for this team to continue on following this series, but if the final issue gives the team a true shot at Lord, what purpose would there be to a return, save nostalgia?

This series draws to a close with the next issue, and I'm not so sure I'll be back for it. I'd love to see Booster finally get his chance to put a beating on Max Lord, but I'm fearful that we'll somehow get slighted from letting Booster have a chance to mete out some justice.

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