“Justice League: Generation Lost” is the little series that could.
When it first began, I know a lot of readers – including myself – had doubts about the title. Keith Giffen, originally the co-plotter and providing breakdowns for the art, left fairly quickly. And with “Brightest Day” running on opposite weeks, “Justice League: Generation Lost” looked almost like an afterthought to fill those remaining shipping dates.
But then a funny thing happened. “Justice League: Generation Lost” turned into a solid, fun comic, and probably the best superhero comic written by Judd Winick to date. It helped that Winick quickly grasped that the twice-a-month schedule meant that he could add the occasional detour/flashback/origin story into the mix without disrupting the flow of the series, and he found how to balance humor with heroic struggle. Even though the overall setup was a little bleak (an entire world not believing the team and setting them up for failure), there was a real sense that things would somehow work out in the end.
Well, we’re at the end. And guess what? Things did work out, more or less.
Winick uses his double-sized finale to break the comic into three different pieces: the team’s fight against the massive OMAC, Booster Gold’s confrontation with Max Lord, and the aftermath. Each one of them is satisfying in their own way; while it’s not a clean sweep, almost everything is defeated in the end with just enough left over for, yes, an ongoing series in the near future. As Batman points out toward the end of the issue, while the one piece still on the board could be looked as a failure, the team proved that they’re heroes and they accomplished a lot. It’s an upbeat ending, a real – dare I say it? – brightest day for the members of “Justice League: Generation Lost.” And with multiple members helping contribute to the defeats of the bad guys, it’s a reminder that this group of characters works well as a team, too.
Aaron Lopresti is in the rotation for this issue, which is good since I think he’s the best of the three regular artists for the mini-series. OMAC Prime ripples with power and strength, its deliberately exaggerated frame making it look somewhat intimidating. (I did have to laugh when Lopresti had it sprout its own version of Wonder Woman’s hair, though.) And it’s some of the little moments, like Captain Atom’s climactic scene for the comic, or Max’s defiant look even as his plans are defeated, that remind me how good Lopresti is with the less energetic aspects of comics.
Hopefully, Winick and Lopresti will be back for the sequel series, because for a comic I was prepared to write off, this has turned out to be a lot of fun. “Justice League: Generation Lost” seems to have found a new readership through the best gimmick of all: good writing and art.