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A Broken Future

August 9, 2010

At long last, the newly reformed Justice League International gets their chance to confront Maxwell Lord in Justice League Generation Lost #5.  Well, at least, sort of.  After a brief flashback with Booster Gold relating to his little betting scheme on his football games back in his home time, Lord explains that he brought the team back together because the world needs them.  But he makes it clear that they must not pursue.  The team still agrees that they must find him, but one of the other Rocket Reds is rigged to explode.  Unable to save him, Captain Atom takes him up into the atmosphere so that the explosion won’t hurt anyone else.  Blue Beetle managed to trace Lord’s signal, and they go back to the old JLI embassy in New York City to recuperate.  Blue Beetle insists on staying, and Ice explains that her reluctance to fight comes from having died and come back.  She doesn’t want to die again.  Rocket Red says that he’s willing to overlook political differences for the greater good and the chance to be on a Justice League team.  Seems Lord is in Checkmate, by the way.  Booster remembers when he first gave his superhero pitch to Lord and how Lord screwed him over.  And the team is ready to go get him.  Then, in Justice League Generation Lost #6, after a brief flashback to his origins and a discussion among the team about invading Checkmate, we see what happened to Captain Atom after he exploded the first time in this series.  Seems he traveled to a future in which the moon was shattered into multiple pieces, technology had gone backwards by centuries, and saying the names of superheroes was taboo.  Atom is eventually led to some old woman named Karrie who turns out to be an old, badly injured, kryptonite-ridden Power Girl.  She has trouble thinking and remembering, but she manages to say that the person responsible for the wars that changed the world this way was Lord.  So Captain Atom understands the stakes of this conflict better than anyone else on the team.

I know I keep saying that Judd Winick and Keith Giffen are working on this book together.  But based on interviews and the credits in the books themselves, it’s rather clear that this book is really being written by Judd Winick.  And Giffen will be leaving the series completely soon, so Winick will be going completely solo.  Considering how well he’s written things thus far, I certainly don’t mind.  Maxwell Lord is definitely being written as a very interesting villain with this bizarre need to protect humanity by gathering a group of people who are the very kind of people he thinks he’s protecting humanity from.  And this new team is definitely made up of a very interesting group of people.  It’s interesting to see that this new Rocket Red, who’s basically a terrorist/revolutionary/whacko, be the least cynical of the group.  They’ve all gone through rather hard times, but I’d say that it’s Ice and Booster who have become the hardest.  Atom was always like that a bit, and Fire’s darker personality comes largely from losing Ice and her time in Checkmate.  But Booster’s like this because he lost Ted Kord.  Because Lord shot him.  And Ice had died while a member of the previous incarnation of the team.  But anyway, it’s quite interesting to read all of this.  I am so very tired of the apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic future as a mechanism for demonstrating how big a deal a certain conflict is.  But at the very least, that issue gave some development to Captain Atom.  Aaron Lopresti’s pencils are absolutely great.  And Fernando Dagnino’s work is still just not quite up to snuff in comparison.  He’s basically like a lesser version of Dave Eaglesham.  Don’t know why he’s on this book.  Anyway, some people may say that this series is better than Brightest Day proper.  I wouldn’t necessarily say that, but it’s just about as good.

Plot: 8.6      Art: 8.4      Dialogue: 8.7     Overall: 8.5

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