GEN 13 WORLDS END TP
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When ranking all the World’s End titles, I’d have to say Gen 13 would be the weakest of the four titles (Wildcats, The Authority, Stormwatch PHD). But as I write this, Scott Beatty and Mike Huddleston’s 12-issue run is ending with #32. And I must say, their second run is much better than this initial. First thing about this, is that since it continues the numbers (#21-26), instead of starting over at issue 1, it was not really new-reader friendly. The only argument that can be made is that since the kids arrive after Armageddon hit, a new reader might me as disoriented as the Gen 13 team. But that might not work for every new reader. Also, because of the World’s End backup stories, this initial arc seems to dwell on certain ideas too long. Issue #21 has the kids discovering the world in ruins after battling it out a bit with a surviving Ratcatcher (the soldiers of Tabula Rasa introduced in Gail Simone’s run). Then #22 has them running into an anti-super-powered-being cult who blames them for the state of the world. #23 is basically a day-dream issue with each of the kids talking about what they would have done if the world hadn’t ended. It isn’t until #24 that the kids reach a deserted shopping mall, and flashes of the movie Dawn of the Dead come to mind. This was an interesting take on the “teenagers in a mall” idea but it’s resolved by #25. Issue 26, however, is interesting because it introduces us to Gen 14. However, we get guest artist Dan Hipp and I did not care for his art at all. The irony too is that this is probably a more new-reader friendly issue than #21 since Gen 14 is the focus of it.
The good news? Beatty & Huddleston use the things planted in this first arc to deliver greatly in their second arc (#27-32). And although I wasn’t a fan of Huddleston’s art to begin with, it grew on me as I came to appreciate all the little details Huddleston included that added to the story. What Beatty & Huddleston have done is created almost like a dark comedy here because Gen 13 as a book has always been light-hearted. But the World’s End landscape is anything but light-hearted. So, Beatty has crafted ways to incorporate humor, action, drama, and a pinch of horror in order to make this “feel” like a Gen 13 book. Overall, a moderate start for Gen 13 in World’s End but I can honestly say, having just read issue 32, Beatty and Huddleston let loose with a ton of fresh ideas in their second arc and even have a nice conclusion before they’re done. So, it’s worth reading this just to get to that.
Art: 3 - Good