Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Unfinished Business: Justice League--Generation Lost

If you've been reading this blog for some while, you may remember that a couple of years ago I was buying the bi-weekly limited series Justice League: Generation Lost and, for awhile, reading and reviewing each issue as it came out.  Eventually, I decided to set the issues aside until the series was completed, then read it all at once and review it for you at that time.  While I did read the whole series upon publication of the final issue, I failed to get around to reviewing it here.  Until now.  While I make no promises that it was in any way worth the wait, here is my long delayed review/overview of Justice League: Generation Lost.
In retrospect, the point at which I decided to put off reading the series is really the point at which I just should have stopped buying it.  Ultimately, Gen Lost turned out to be a year long waste of time and money.  Some of the individual issues were enjoyable on their own, but taken as a whole the story was a massive disappointment.
I feel like I've been the victim of a bait-and-switch scam.  I began buying  the comic because Keith Giffen was co-writing it, returning once again to the characters he'd done such great work with back in 1980's.  However, by the eighth issue, Giffen was gone, leaving co-author Judd Winick to alone to write the bulk of the series. 
I do not hate Judd Winick's writing, at least not all of it.  I really like The Adventures of Barry Ween Ween, Boy Genius, which established Winick as one of the best humor writers of the 90's.  However, when he turned his attention to super-heroes the results have been, at best, bland, and, at worst, stupid and offensive.  
One of the big problems with the story is the pacing.  While the early issues, which, not coincidentally perhaps, were the once Giffen was involved in, moved at a pleasing pace, once on his own Winick seemed to realize that he just didn't have enough plot to fill the allotted number of issues.  Thus, the series fell into a pattern of issue long huge fight scenes followed by an entire issue of the cast sitting around talking followed by another issue long fight scene, and so on.  Occasionally, he'd throw in an issue where Captain Atom would be thrown into the future, there to witness the dire consequences if Maxwell Lord should succeed in his evil scheme.
Speaking of said evil scheme---and here is where the consensus rules of blogging require that I insert the words "Spoiler Warning", though I feel no compunction about revealing the ending of a story I'm trying to dissuade you from reading anyway---that's where the story really fell down.   After an entire year of chasing Max Lord around the globe and building him up as the greatest evil since Lucifer fell, the former JLI organizer's big top secret evil master plan turns out to be building a giant robot to beat up on Wonder Woman.  My reaction to that revelation was something like, "Are you serious? That's IT?"  It was, as I said above, a massive disappointment.  Compounding the feeling of being let down was the fact that the evil giant robot was rather easily defeated. 
Overall, Justice League: Generation Lost was not worth the money I spent on it, or the time I spent reading it, or really even the time I've spent thinking about it while writing this review.

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