Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week – 08.25.2010 – Justice League Generation Lost #8

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

447
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.3
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 4.9%
 
Users who pulled this comic:
Written by JUDD WINICK
Breakdowns by KEITH GIFFEN
Pencils by AARON LOPRESTI
Covers by TONY HARRIS and J.D. METTLER
White Lantern Variant covers by RYAN SOOK, FERNANDO PASARIN and JOEL GOMEZ

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

A funny thing happened amidst all the chaos that is the current state of super hero comics and the battle of the bannered comics, such as The Heroic Age and Brightest Day.  Yes indeed, a very funny thing happened in that the least likely to be expected book has quickly become the book that I've found myself anticipating and ultimately enjoying more than the others out there.  When no one was looking, Justice League Generation Lost became the "it" super hero book to read and I couldn't be more surprised or delighted by that.
 

When I originally heard the announcement of Justice League Generation Lost reuniting the characters that I grew to love from the classic late 1980s run of Justice League International, a part of me grimaced.  After several attempts over the years, DC was yet again going back to the well to try and mine some yucks similar to those woven by Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire.  Hell, they even had Keith Giffen involved in this current incarnation, joining writer Judd Winick in the plotting and breakdowns for the book.   And somehow they were going to tie into the Brightest Day status quo pseudo events happening, after the arch villain Max Lord was resurrected by the White Lantern in the pages of the Green Lantern event, Blackest Night.  My eyes rolled as I wondered how many issues this series would last.  6 issues? maybe 5? But then through some bizarre sense of sentimentality, I picked up the book and started reading.  Initially it didn't do much for me, but somewhere around issue #4, I started turning my opinion.
 

And now with Justice League Generation Lost #8, I officially declare this is THE book to be reading, and if you're not, you're completely missing out.
 

With the shadow of Giffen gone from the book, Justice League Generation Lost has completely become Winick's book to steer.  Very early on, there was a choice to be made.  To emulate what's come before and try and recreate the magic with these characters, or to spin them into something else.  A direction that's not all too particularly new or different, rather a direction that works.  Winick has been able to work in a clever mix of humor, interpersonal relationships, action and intrigue all into this book, miraculously without making it feel like a retread or repeat of something we've read before.
 

By taking the core characters of Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, Captain Atom and mixing them with new characters such as the new Blue Beetle and the new Rocket Red and placing them in a situation where they're forced to work together, albeit begrudgingly, to combat the evil of Max Lord which has been hidden to the rest of the world, Winick has spun this book into pure gold.  There's something about these characters when they're thrown together and written well that just works, and somehow Winick is tapping into that.  I've been a Booster Gold/Blue Beetle fan dating way back to the old Justice League International comics, and for some reason I keep going back for more when it comes to Booster Gold and this time around, it's absolutely paid off but with big time added bonuses.  
 

These bonuses have taken various forms.  The first of note is the new Rocket Red, which has quickly become one of my favorite aspects of this book.  I'm not sure if it's the blatant Russian accent, or the subtle humor that comes with a Russian trying to capture English idioms, or the brutally honest sincerity and desire to do good of the character, but something special is happening with this new Rocket Red and I'd like to have him around for a long time.   
 

The other bonus to this book has been, whether intentional or not and somewhat obvious given the Max Lord connection, that Justice Generation Lost seems to be carrying the torch for Checkmate.  After getting hooked on the world of Checkmate in the ill fated ongoing series a few years ago (helmed by Greg Rucka), it seems as if the story of Checkmate has been strung along in the background of the greater DC Universe.  So much so that I couldn't even tell you what the latest state of the organization is.  But here in Justice League Generation Lost, we see the current Black King joined by the new White King and I'm instantly back to a point of giggling and wishing for more Checkmate.  And what makes this even more well done by Winick is that he gives us just a taste, not too much is revealed, but enough to pique my curiosity and get excited for the prospect for more.
 

Over on the art side of things, Aaron Lopresti delivers exactly the right tone and look for this book.  I think Lopresti is one of those artists who gets taken for granted.  You've heard his name and you have an idea of what to expect, but if you look really closely at exactly what he's doing with each panel and each page, you can see that he really is one of the better super hero artists around.  A balanced approach of cartoony action paced with dynamic and solid pacing and storytelling.  Somehow he's able to handle having our main characters all in Rocket Red costumes for the better part of the book and not have that become a point of confusion, which is clearly the sign of a solid approach and execution on the story.  
 

Now, I'm not even really a "DC" guy.  I do read some DC titles, and I have read the old Justice League International comics, but I don't want that to scare anyone off here.  I really think that anyone who wants to try something new could give this book a shot and find enjoyment out of it and that's no small feat when you're dealing with characters with such a rich history as these.  But Winick has somehow been able to tell a story that is totally accessible to new readers as well as old fans alike. 
 

When thinking about Justice League Generation Lost, I can't help but to revel in the unexpectedness of how much I like this series.  I find myself recommending it to people, saying that if you want solid, excellent DC style super hero stories with a touch of humor (but not too much) and a touch of intrigue, then you can absolutely not go wrong with Justice League Generation Lost.  

 

Ron Richards
I'm telling ya, this is the "it" book right now
ron@ifanboy.com

Comments

  1. I’m finding it harder and harder to wait for the trade on this one.

    My pick was Fantastic Four where Hickman delivered the WOW. We have an end point, now it’s a brutal ride to get there. Also Edwards totally stepped it up this issue, sucks for him to leave right when his art has gotten up to par. Oh well, Epting next issue! 

     

  2. Ron, great review of a great book. I really hope that this continues even after Brightest day is over. I like the sound of JLI written by Winick and pencilled by Lopresti. 

     

    My pick was Superman Secret Origins. Johns and Frank have done a fantastic job on retelling the way superman is.  I think it was Josh that said that this is going to be the perfect gift in trade. I couldnt agree more.

  3. Very nice review, Ron. To be honest when I was skimming through twitter and saw that this was the POTW I thought Connor must have had the pick. Nice to see some DC love coming from Ron! And The Flash isn’t even in this book! (I kid I kid). I’m getting this book digitaly from the DC app once the price drops, so I’m always 2 issues behind but the book is just awesome. I have read mostly DC for a long while but I haven’t spent to much time with these particular characters untill now. But I love it! This book is reminiscent of 52 in that way. I can’t wait till two weeks from now so I can read the one from two week ago! (?!)

  4. Rocket Red, Ron.  Rocket Red. 

     Great review.  I’m really enjoying this series, too.  I really hope Jaime gets a few more moments to shine so people will go back and read his book.  So much hate seems to have come from people because he’s not Ted despite the fact he’s a great character and his series was one of the most fun things put out in the past few years.

  5. Do we know when the first trade for this comes out?  Is there any way to read this digitally other than the DC app on the iPad/Phone?

  6. They got a guy named “Red Rocket?”. That’s funny.

  7. Been picking this up digitally, and loving it. I think it is my POTW even though this week was heavy with great books.

  8. I’m glad to hear that this title is good, I’ll have to give it a try.  My DC books, along with most of my superhero book, have really been getting whittled to none lately.

  9. Been loving the book since issue 1! What’s also great about this book is the day and date release on the DC Comics/Comixology app on the Ipad.

     What’s really struck me about this book is that Winnick has made me care about characters that I really know nothing about. I really didn’t have any expectations going into this book, but it seemed like a nice follow-up to Brightest Day so I decided to jump on. I read a couple of Booster Gold books here, and there, and have heard of Blue Beetle, but I knew nothing of any of the characters before this.

     The Captain-Atom centric issue was awesome as well.

  10. The POW was Superman Secret Origin #6.

    anything else is just 2nd place.

     

    Matthew

     

  11. This book has become one of my most anticipated titles, right along side with X-Factor. This takes a few characters I like and even more who I didn’t know or are new, and weaves an interesting and engaging story that translates extremely well into issue form. I feel bad for those who refuse to get this because Winick’s name is attached to this, since he’s easily writing one of the best comic series on the stands today.

  12. Must admit, I fell into the iFanboy stereotyping trap and assumed this was Conor’s pick. Shame on me.

  13. I’ve been picking this up for $1.99 on the DC iPhone app.  It’s great reading on the plane and I’m having fun reading it.  I don’t know anything about the JLI, but really having fun and the price ain’t bad if you can wait a few weeks.

  14. I have to agree with mguy77, I stopped buying this around 4 or 5. I feel that Winick isn’t that good of a writer.

  15. Ditto.  I thought this must have been Conor’s pick too.

  16. This book has more of my POTW’s than any other book.  I think i’m in love.  It also makes me happy that Winick is getting some praise.  I think people wrote him off as "the dude from the real world with Pedro" or "that guy who brought back Jason Todd" and didn’t give him a chance.  Eat it naysayers.

  17. I’m not done with my comics for the week but this is my front runner as well.

  18. Argh! You’re making me hate my decision for trade on this Richards!……But great review none the less.

    My POTW was the The Goon #1 reprint for being hilarious and beautiful at the same time…..plus for the exploding Orangutans as well.

  19. Good review, Ron – you’ve made me sorry that I opted for Brightest Day and to pick this up in trade (though I’m enjoying BD a whole lot).

  20. This series is the best thing going in comics right now.

  21. this must be one the two dozen "it" books Ron is reading at the moment

  22. Ron is the man.

    He might throw some zealot-level love towards a lot of books, but when I hear him talk about books on the podcast I want to buy them.

    Even X-Men Forever.

    That’s some oratorical power.

  23. Yep! If it wasn’t for Batman coming out this would of been my PoW. I agree with this being the best thing happening in Comics right now. The people above that say Winick isn’t a good writer are just wrong.

  24. I kinda regret not picking it up from the start. Dropped Brightest Day so I might get the back issues of this.

  25. I’m not a big DC guy either but decided to check this out. Ron’s right. I don’t have all the back story on these characters but I’ve enjoyed and look forward to it every couple weeks.

  26. yea this book is rad, way better than brightest day.

  27. Nice review Ron and I agree that this series has been awesome but this issue didn’t exactly strike me as a standout. Not that there was anything wrong with it but it did feel like just another issue of a great series.

    My POtW was Superman/ Batman #75, which has a perfectly good lead story with amazing Jerry Ordway art but the real star of the book was the other half of the issue. Basically a collection of two page strips, it felt a lot like a sequel of sorts to Wednesday Comics – with equally great talent and everything. THIS is how you do an anniversay issue and it was simply miles better than Superman 700 from a little while back. 

  28. JLI – Back on Top????:::: BWAH-HA-HA !!!

  29. went back and picked up the first few issues based on all the positive comments. Seems really promising so far. 

  30. Picking this up day and date on iPad and loving it. Excellent series.

  31. Rocket Red? *snort*

  32. AMEN! This is easily the best team book in shelves right now. If you’re not reading it, you’re really missing out.

     

     

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