Tag Archives: phil hester

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 #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!)