Category Archives: Gen 13

Gen 13 #35 – Cover

Gen 13 #35

“Pocatello: Part 1 – Pathcutter” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Phil Hester
Pencils: Cruddie Torian
Inks: Saleem Crawford
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Wes Abbott
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: Pete Woods

Finally, we get a good jumping on point with the Gen 13 kids. Originally, issue 33 was supposed to be writer Phil Hester’s first but the story running through Wildcats and The Authority required writer Adam Beechen to take Gen 13 for issues 33 & 34 before we could get here. I can see why this was done but it has been hard to sell Gen 13 with a good jumping on point because of this. Thankfully, they finally accomplish that here.

I was impressed with the latest issue of The Darkness which Hester wrote so I was eagerly anticipating him coming onto this book. We get the standard “Status Report…” at the beginning of the issue which lays out what’s happened so far in a very simple and direct way. But Hester takes it further by having a new character narrate the majority of the issue. Plus, the roster for Gen 13 is finalized. Not all the original members are here. Some have ended up on The Carrier which is currently out in space while others apparently stayed behind with the remnants of the Wildcats.

The rosters across all the Wildstorm Universe books have been mixed up. It’s a move that has fans split but I personally like it. It makes sense that all the chaos we’ve seen in the WSU lately would make it very hard for the teams to stay in their original incarnations. Likewise, these changes have had negative effects on some of the characters and that’s good to see. Some of these characters have been together for years and suddenly they’re gone. It truly is like a family breaking up.

A new reader jumping on here will get the basic idea that the world has ended and it’s been that way for a while but they really don’t need to know much more than that to appreciate the story Hester has presented here. It’s got some Mad Max stuff going on and even a little bit of Resident Evil: Extinction (I think Fairchild kind of had a Milla Jovovich thing going on). Plus, Hester slows down in certain places and gives us some good character moments. A mix of quiet moments and action is what a good comic should be in my opinion.

Finally, I must mention artist Cruddie Torian. This is his third issue and it’s amazing how his art improves each issue. It is so clean and crisp here compared to two issues ago. I’m really enjoying his art on this book and watching him grow as an artist.

Overall, a really good first issue for Hester. I’m still frustrated that this is bi-monthly. I hope this creative team will bring some readers in so we can get this back on a monthly schedule. If you’ve been curious about Gen 13, give this issue a try.

Rating: 8 out of 10 (On Its Way to Greatness!)

Gen 13 #34 - Cover

Gen 13 #34

“A Runt’s Eye View” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Adam Beechen
Pencils: Cruddie Torian
Inks: Saleem Crawford
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb & Randy Mayor
Letters: Wes Abbott
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Spotter: Scott Peterson
Cover: Amanda Conner

During the past month, the Wildstorm Universe has been thrown into chaos throughout all the World’s End titles. And it has been a great read! The Authority #18 set up the dilemma: The Carrier is leaving Earth. Which heroes are going and which are staying? Wildcats #19 showed the war being waged by the heroes who stayed on Earth against the lost Kheran force known as The Red Blade. This issue acts as an addendum to Wildcats #19 as we see the same battle but from the perspective of Runt from Gen 14.

Gen 14, you ask? No, it’s not a typo. If you haven’t been following World’s End then you don’t know about Wildstorm’s newest Gen group. But where Gen 13 were created to serve the purposes of the secret organization Tabula Rasa (introduced in Gail Simone’s run), Gen 14 were created as breeding stock for Gen 13. Early in World’s End, Gen 14 was discovered by the remnants of the U.S. government and used against Gen 13. Thankfully though, the kids realized they were being used, turned against the U.S. military and joined Gen 13 (jokingly referring to themselves as Gen 13.5).

So now that you’re up to speed, back to Runt. He can increase his mass and size pretty much the same way Maul of the Wildcats can. Well, Adam Beechen decided to tell us about this battle from his point of view and it was a great way to tell this story. What’s great about it is that it allows first-time readers to pick up the issue and understand what’s going on by following Runt’s narration. Beechen is currently writing Wildcats (he’s only on Gen 13 for #33 & #34, Phil Hester takes over with #35). So basically Beechen wrote both issues which dealt with this huge battle. So for those following both titles, it was cool to see things crossover between the two. Even though Runt is a clone, he’s only 16 years old. So he’s still young and inexperienced and he’s suddenly thrust into these extraordinary events. But on top of that, he feels that the veteran heroes are ordering him and the other Gen’s around because they are clones and thus are expendable. So basically we’re seeing this battle through the eyes of a teenage who’s scared out of his wits!

This is the most exposure this character has gotten since his first appearance. It was great to get into his head and really feel what he was during this whole ordeal. I think this type of internal monologue is a lost art now-a-days in comics. I think a lot of people consider it old-fashioned but if done right it is a tried and true story-telling technique. And much like Christos Gage did during his Wildcats run, Beechen pulls out a few long-lost Wildstorm characters and throws them into the mix. There were some nice guest appearances in this issue.

Finally, there’s Cruddie Torian’s art. He’s new to the industry and this is only his second issue. People say that his style is very much like J. Scott Campbell and I think that’s a great compliment. His version of the characters gives them a youthful appearance which is appropriate for the title. I thought his art in the last issue was a little shaky but I saw a vast improvement here. I think he’s going to be a sought-after artist in the future and then people will be talking about how he got his start here on Gen 13.

Overall, this was a huge improvement from the last issue! I liked the story and how it tied in with the events of the other World’s End books without necessarily having to read the others (but why wouldn’t you?). Next issue Phil Hester comes onboard as regular writer and I look forward to his take on Wildstorm’s teen-team.

Overall Rating: 7 out of 10 (Slightly Above Average)