Category Archives: Gen 13

Gen 13 #39

“Pocatello: Part 5-Heroes” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Phil Hester
Pencils: Cruddie Torian
Inks: Andy Smith
Colors: Wildstorm FX
Letters: Wes Abbott
Assistant Editor: Chynna Clugston Flores
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: Dustin Nguyen

Next up out the door, everyone’s favorite teen team: Gen 13. I have to say I was hoping for a fonder farewell to my favorite teens but I think the circumstances didn’t allow it as much.

When Phil Hester came onboard, I’m sure he had this specific story in mind to tell and it was in no way supposed to be a story that ended the Gen 13 title. It seems that they may have told him in time about Wildstorm’s closing and he tried to adjust what he could but so much change had occurred in the title, most of the original characters were not around for the finale.

Now I’m only a little torn with that because when you have a finale for a book, you’d like to have the main players involved. But like I said, Hester had already been moving the title in a totally different direction. However, in the end it may have worked out in favor of a more realistic ending. With the world in the chaos it’s been in during World’s End, it’s a wonder most of the Wildstorm teams were able to stay together as much as they did. The Gen 13 kids lucked out the most because they actually missed the event that ended the world and came into it after the fact. Since then, they’ve been through enormous changes as a team and that included some of them moving to other books.

As much as I would’ve loved to have seen the originals in the finale, it made more sense for it to happen this way. I guess it’s easier to believe that the kids wouldn’t all be together after everything that’s happened. Plus it was obvious Hester was setting up this new team for more adventures beyond this story. I am glad that we at least had Fairchild and Burnout here at the end. Fairchild was always my favorite Gen 13 member so I was glad to see her in action one last time in the pages of her own team title. The story did have an epic conclusion but it was all a little predictable and it seemed a little rushed. I wish they had not made this title bi-monthly like they did. It would’ve allowed Hester more time to flesh out what happened.

Ultimately, it was just an ok ending for the team. It was a hopeful ending and I do like that the last page contains two of the originals characters in the final panels. The final shot of Fairchild looking into the sky was a little sad because I know it’s the last I’ll see of her for a while. Because of all the characters that’ll make the transition to the DCU, I know she’ll be one of the first. Until then, take it easy kids!

Gen 13 #38

“Pocatello: Part 4: Hide and Seek” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Phil Hester
Pencils: Cruddie Torian
Inks: Andy Smith
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Wes Abbott
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: Ivan Reis

As somber as some of the Wildstorm issues have seemed lately because of the imprint’s eminent closure, this issue was the first to warrant such a feeling. Hester is drawing his Gen 13 run to a close with some great emotional moments mixed with some epic action.

I thought Hester’s and Torian’s run began strong but then began to dwindle a little the last couple of issues. But the build-up was certainly worth the climax we’re building towards. Hester has especially taken the character of Fairchild through an emotional rollercoaster in such a short time frame. There are two scenes that really pulled at my heart-strings but I’d have to say the one between her and Burnout choked me up a little. Only longtime Wildstorm fans could appreciate the weight of their exchange.

Cruddie Torian also does a great job of capturing these emotional moments especially when we get some close-ups of Fairchild’s reaction to the situation. And with all the action sandwiched in this issue between those moments Torian gets a chance to draw lots of fights and battle scenes throughout the issue. I find it ironically appropriate that an artist who emulates J. Scott Campbell’s style be the one to end Gen 13.

Hester has done a great job with this story. It makes me wish he could’ve worked his magic at reviving the Wildstorm Universe like he’s done over in Top Cow. But I’m glad he at least got to play in the Wildstorm sandbox before it’s done. I eagerly anticipate the “Soul-Searing Climax” as Hester states in the cliffhanger.

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)

Gen 13 #37

“Pocatello-Part 3: We’re the Good Guys” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Phil Hester
Pencils: Cruddie Torian
Inks: Saleem Crawford
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Wes Abbott
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: J.G. Jones

This is definitely turning out to be one of the most interesting and unique Gen 13 stories ever told.

Phil Hester I think is doing a good job of using the Armageddon environment. Plus, he moves the story along rather nicely in this issue which works well since there’s only two issues left in his arc. We get to find out some interesting info about the new character Hester introduced in this run, Pathcutter. As for the other characters, even though the ones that constitute this Gen 13 are not all the originals, Hester continues to allow them to evolve and really begin to mesh well with each other in ways that don’t just mirror the old team members.

Cruddie Torian’s art continues to strengthen with each issue. If you pay attention to his work, you’ll pick up on little visual references he plants here and there (see if you can identify which movie the guns the guards are holding on page one are from). I haven’t seen someone who I think nails Fairchild’s look (my personal favorite Gen 13 character) in a long time. Speaking of Fairchild, I find it funny that with Gen 13 we’ve been getting guest cover artists just like over in Wildcats and The Authority (we get a gorgeous J.G. Jones cover here) and while they’ve all drawn her in that one-piece sleeveless variation of her old costume on the cover, in the interior she hasn’t donned it since the war with The Red Blade. Honestly, I’m liking the simple black costume Torian has given her. I think it’s appropriate to what she’s dealing with as a character.

Every time I write a Gen 13 review lately, I try my best to refrain from complaining about this title not being monthly. But Hester and Torian make it that much harder when they keep putting out such solid issues. The cliffhanger to this issue is crazy and I wonder if it’s an event that will send Fairchild over the edge. Hester has already done a great job of showing us how Fairchild is not dealing well with all the changes in her life lately.

This Gen 13 run is the most unique I’ve seen it in a while. Hester does well to make sure we don’t know where he’s taking the team next and has done well to bring life to some of these characters which are still relatively new. The cliffhanger just leaves me wishing it were October already.

7 out of 10 (Slightly above average)

Gen 13 #36 – Cover

Gen 13 #36

“Pocatello: Part 2-Machines & Messiahs” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Phil Hester
Pencils: Cruddie Torian & Saleem Crawford
Inks: Saleem Crawford
Colours: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Wes Abbott
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: Phil Noto

This issue seemed to have a lot more setup than the last, which is ironic since we ended on a cliffhanger.  The thing is the first 5 pages help introduce a new villain (or old?  Still trying get clarification on that one).  Don’t get me wrong, it’s an interesting set-up for sure but it just made the rest of the issue feel short.  And I don’t like when a bi-monthly book feels short.

Cruddie Torian’s art is at its best in this issue.  I’ve said it before but it bears repeating; I love that he has a J. Scott Campbell thing going on with his art style.  Gen 13 should be a fun book and that includes the art.  I think Torian’s art is really appropriate for the title.  He’s also got some really cool designs (wait until you see a design he does for Hardbody).

I will say that Hester is doing a good job with giving the characters of Gen 14 some life.  When they debuted in Gen 13 #26, only their leader at the time (Breakdown) was given any development.  So it’s good to see how they’re dealing with difficult situations like the one that arose as the solution to their current dilemma.  It’s a solution that really seemed to affect Fairchild and her journey could be an interesting one to follow.  She’s lost her friends (except for Burnout) and she seems to be really taking it hard.  There’s even a part towards the end where she gets a little bold.  While it was cool to see her step up, it’s obviously she’s in pain and feeling some guilt.

I still liked the issue but not as much as Hester’s debut issue.  But it’s ok because I like what was setup here and I look forward to seeing where he takes us next.

7 out of 10 (Slightly above average)