GENERATIONS SHATTERED #1/ Script by DAN JURGENS, ANDY SCHMIDT & ROBERT VENDITTI/ Pencils by IVAN REIS, FERNANDO PARSARIN, AARON LOPRETSI, EMANUELA LUPACCHINO, BERNARD CHANG, YANICK PAQUETTE, KEVIN NOWLAN, DAN JURGENS, PAUL PELLETIER, JOHN ROMITA JR., DOUG BRAITHWAITE, RAGS MORALES & MIKE PERKINS/ Inks by JOE PRADO, SCOTT HANNA, OCLAIR ALBERT, MATT RYAN, WADE VON GRAWBADGER, BERNARD CHANG, YANICK PAQUETTE, KEVIN NOWLAN, KLAUS JANSON, SANDRA HOPE, DANNY MIKI, DOUG BRAITHWAITE, RAGS MORALES & MIKE PERKINS Colors by HI-FI/ Letters by TOM NAPOLITANO/ Cover by IVAN REIS, JOE PRADO & HI-FI/ Published by DC COMICS
I must confess I nearly overlooked Generations Shattered this week. But can you blame me? Between the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal and the first few Future State series, it’s been a big week for DC Comics. And yet between the end of the latest storyline to change the nature of DC Comics’ multiverse and the start of a potential future lies this mini-series, in which a rag-tag group of survivors are thrown together to save their respective worlds from a villain who seeks to remake reality as he sees fit.
Sound familiar? Sounds like generally like every major DC Comics crisis event since Crisis on Infinite Earths. It specifically sounds a lot like Zero Hour: Crisis In Time – the 1994 storyline in which Hal Jordan, using the name Parallax, attempted to use the power he’d stolen from the Guardians of the Universe to reset the timeline and reform the Multiverse so that everyone could have their own paradise world where their Earth and their timeline played out. (The fact that this is essentially the end result of this week’s Dark Knights: Death Metal #7 is somewhat ironic.)
Okay. So Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt and Robert Venditti aren’t exactly breaking any new ground here. Come to think of it, Dan Jurgens wrote Zero Hour and created Booster Gold, who has a rather prominent role in this story given it contains two versions of Booster Gold – one older and wiser and the other young and as vainglorious as ever. And yet, while the story here isn’t original, the execution is top-notch.
The action of the issue finds Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth and the Skeet Gauntlet (Skeetlet?) worn by a now-dead Booster Gold from the far future hurriedly search a rapidly disintegrating timeline in search of allies that might be able to stop whoever is responsible. Said team includes heroes from a number of defunct-until-recently timelines, including Starfire from the pre-Crisis New Teen Titans, Superboy from the 1950’s Legion of Superheroes, Sinestro before he was expelled from the Green Lantern Corps and the 1939 Batman who packed a pistol.
The artwork is all over the place, with each time period represented by a different art team. None of it is terrible, but the visual consistency is off in enough panels to make me wonder if the decision to have this many artists working on a single issue was due to deadline pressures and not by design. There are a few sections of the book that seem rushed and while the constant change in styles does fit the rapid-fire nature of the story, I do think it could have been better executed. The colors by Hi-Fi and lettering by Tom Napolitano, however, are continually excellent.
In the end, your enjoyment of Generations Shattered may come down to how much you like the creators involved and how willing you are to read yet another Crisis comic. This series is unlikely to be essential reading, but it is a ripping yarn on its own terms and that’s more than some comics can manage.