Justice League: Generation Lost #5 (2010)

Justice League: Generation Lost #5 (Early September, 2010)
“The Gang’s All Here”
Script – Judd Winick
Breakdowns – Keith Giffen
Penciller – Aaron Lopresti
Inker – Matt Ryan
Colors – Hi-Fi
Letterer – Steve Wands
Editors – Rex Ogle & Michael Siglain
Cover Price: $2.99

The power of a great cliffhanger… wasn’t planning on doing two issues of Generation Lost in a row, but after the way last issue ended, I just couldn’t help myself!

The Day… and May are still Bright.  Now that we’re just a couple days shy of the halfway point of the month, I’m wondering if it’s time that we started skipping around the “crossovent”… or just stick it out with these early issues.  If anyone has any thoughts… or is even still reading, lemme know!

We open with a flashback… to the future?!  We meet up with a “just threw the big game” Michael Jon Carter as he’s being persuaded to help the authorities track down the big bad bookie.  They promise him immunity if he hands over some names… and, of course once he does, they renege.  This is a “once bitten, twice shy” moment for Booster in the ol’ getting screwed over arena… and takes us to the present… in the past… relatively speaking, where the Gen Lost League is chatting up a holographic Maxwell Lord.

Max shares with them that… yeah, he’s been working in the background in hopes that the Justice League International would reform, because he thinks the world needs them now more than ever.

He describes his own mission as one with a “saving the world” sort of scale.  He’d like the JLI to work together… but more “alongside” him than “with” him, if that makes any sense.  They’re all going to be working to the same ends, just not “together”… ya dig?  This baffles and annoys Booster, who just a few days ago was nearly beaten to death with a pipe by this very man.  Max figures since he didn’t actually kill him, it’s “no harm, no foul”.

They argue a bit, with Max talking to them kind of like they were children.  Like he knows what’s best for them.  He tells them not to pursue him anymore… not like they could.  After all, Max is so much “better at this” than any of them.  He turns his attention to Skeets and tells the little bot to stop trying to trace his signal… then, just as he triggers the Rocket Red armor he’s emanating from to self-destruct… he ends the transmission.

The Gen Lost League frantically attempt to figure out how to disarm the bomb… since, ya know… there’s an innocent human inside that Rocket Red armor.  It gets to the point where the “big boom” is eminent… and so, Captain Atom takes the Red into his arms and flies him a safe distance away from the League.

On the ground, the Gen Lost League look on at the, err… Rocket’s Red Glare.  Then… Jaime informs Booster that he, ya know… managed to trace Max’s signal.

We jump ahead to the New York Branch of the Justice League International where Booster and Beetle run the coordinates through the computer system.  Gotta imagine that Max might still be tapped into these computers since they are, ya know… his.  Maybe we’re thinking too hard.

Off to the side Captain Atom and Ice have a fairly contentious and uncomfortable conversation about death and dying.  They compare their circumstances… and both seem to come to the conclusion that… death kinda sucks.

Off to another side, Gavril and Bea are having an awkward… and only sorta contentious chat about hypocrisy.  Gavril espouses all of these Communist beliefs… hates everything western… but still thinks it’s awfully cool to be a part of the Justice League.

Booster and Beetle are finally able to triangulate Max’s location… and wouldn’tcha know it… he’s at Checkmate!  Weren’t we like just there?

Booster has another flashback… and this one’s really from the past.  He’s remembering the first time he ever met Maxwell Lord… how arrogant and cocky he… well, they were.  Max offers him membership into the Justice League… because, well Max can do whatever he wants.

We wrap up with the Gen Lost League vowing to go after Max.

Okay, maybe not exactly the follow-up I was hoping for… but still a good time.

Let’s get Max out of the way.  There’s this weird charismatic charm about him here… not unlike the way Lex Luthor was depicted in the early parts of The Final Night.  It’s almost like there’s part of me that… wants him to win!  I swear, all Max needed to do was call Booster “kemo sabe”, and I’d have been done!

What I don’t really get is the purpose of exploding the Rocket Red armor.  I mean, he reassembled the Gen Lost League because he feels like they’re the “right heroes” for the time, right?  So, why would he trigger a bomb around them?  He’d have to assume that these heroes might risk their own lives in order to save the innocent Russian inside the armor, no?  Wouldn’t that just undo all of his prior machinations?  Am I thinking too hard?  Probably.

Feel like a better way to do it would just have Skeets try and trace the signal… and short-circuit, with Max all “Tsk, tsk, tsk… that’s what you get for trying to track me.”  I feel like that would’ve made more sense.

Outside of that one bit though… really dug this.  There was some very strong characterization… and we get the feeling that we’re actually “working through this” with the members of the team.  The scene between Captain Atom and Ice was definitely an unexpected treat.

Aaron Lopresti provides pencils this time around, and he’s just as great as ever.  I wanna say that it was with this series that I finally started to notice when his name would pop up in the credits.  Super clean, super dynamic work.  Really like it!

Overall… sort of a “roundabout” issue.  Ends exactly where we knew it would.  We open with the League wanting to track down Max… and we end the very same way.  Still, there were some fun character interactions… and some neat “motivational” flashbacks.  Worth a look.

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