I’ve really been liking this series, mostly because it gathers one of the first teams that I ever read when getting into comics, the JLI. Though I’ve never been a fan of Judd Winick, I think he does a good job with the characterizations and interactions. However, with this issue they try to tie the overarching storyline into Kingdom Come (which I think is good, but overrated) and man, that just chaps my hide. Tell a story, not the prequel to someone else’s story from 15 years ago dammit.
By noting what Judd Winick is doing right with Generation Lost, we can learn what all the other weekly/bi-weekly series creators have failed to do since the success of 52. The key to this book’s success, for me, is the immediacy of its storytelling, and the forward momentum from issue to issue. Plainly speaking, this thing has a PULSE, and even if some of the individual story beats and dialogue bits don’t sing, you enjoy watching Winick manage the tightwire trick of single-handedly penning 572 pages of comics in a year. It’s moving inexorably forward in a way that monthly(ish) comics just don’t. For that reason, when it does work–for example, when Winick is channeling DeMatteis on dialogue by bringing his own unique spin to the characters, or when the new Rocket Red is proving himself to be just as endearing and goofy as the late lamented Dmitri Pushkin–it’s somehow more engaging than a monthly book managing the same achievements.
Which is a long, drawn-out way of saying that I think the Kingdom Come shit is boring too, but the overall enterprise is enjoyable enough that I’ll go with the flow.
The best Judd Winick book I’ve read since Exiles, Generation Lost has been shockingly consistent in terms of quality, even under a rotating roster of artists. It’s tough to assess Glost on an issue-by-issue basis because it comes out so frequently and it’s so tight that the story just seems all of a piece. That said, this week’s DC Challenge-esque cliffhanger might be signaling some new monotonous globetrotting filler as we close in on this series’s halfway point. Still worth reading.