08th Jan2021

‘Generations Shattered #1’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, Robert Venditti | Art by Various | Published by DC Comics

Ever since Crisis on Infinite Earths back in the 1980’s, I’ve always been a sucker for those big DC events featuring dozens of heroes and villains. Legends, Zero Hour, Convergence, Countdown, Infinite Crisis, and many others have come and gone before. Being honest, the story hasn’t always lived up to expectations with these events, but the novelty of throwing all these characters together usually makes up for that. I’m especially a sucker for using obscure or third banana level characters, or teaming up characters from different time periods. Hey, don’t judge me, I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Generations Shattered has had something of an odd history, coming out several months later than originally planned, due to Dan Didio’s firing and its original endpoint having to be changed to accommodate all the other things happening, like Future State and Death Metal books. The suspicious part of me feels as though this is like when film studios put out a film quietly because they’ve lost faith in it. I hope not, as I love the concept, I love the writers and artists involved, and at 80 pages it’s a chunky old book. Let’s take a look.

We start in the future after the Great Disaster, with Kamandi in an opening deliberately reminiscent of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Kamandi is saved from a nothingness cloud (actually a chronal storm but he doesn’t know that) seemingly eating up existence itself. Saved by none other than Booster Gold himself, albeit a very old Booster and not long after a nearly dead Booster. Kamandi has been told a team is being put together, and it might just be like a Dirty Dozen of time related heroes and villains. Hourman (of the future), Per Degaton, The Reverse-Flash, The Linear Men, The Time Trapper, Rip Hunter, Abra Kadabra, and Waverider. Now that’s my kind of semi-obscure team. It seems someone is again messing with time, and messing yet again with DC continuity. No, the villain isn’t Marv Wolfman. The villain, though, is dangerous. He defeats and makes over The Linear Men to be his agents. Not good.

Over to the 31st Century, where the classic version of Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes have also discovered the existence of the chronal energy wave. one that unleashes on them beasts from all planets and all eras. Before the era falls Kamandi manages to save Superboy, which is good, though he was meant to save Brainiac 5, which is bad. On to 1993, and the battle between Steel and the Cyborg Superman, just after Cyborg Superman has destroyed Coast City. Steel, jump in the time bubble. On to 1987, and Hector Hammond warning the female Dr. Light that something bad is coming. Kamandi takes Dr. Light for his team. On to modern day Metropolis, an encounter with Superman and a young Booster Gold. Kamandi wants Superman but he gets swallowed up by the annihilation wave, so settles for Booster. You can tell Dan Jurgens is writing some of this, right?

1983, and the New Teen Titans are taking on Deathstroke. Kamandi takes Starfire for his team. Good pick. Off to Rann, and Adam Strange and Alanna, with Green Lantern Sinestro, are fighting off a threat. Kamandi gets Sinestro, and adds him to the team. Throw in the Batman from 1939 (that story was told in Detective Comics 1027) and the team is fully assembled in Vanishing Point, the inter-time Linear Men HQ, a kind of nexus of all times and realities. These teams of course are very volatile, especially as all are from different eras, and just as disagreements are turning physical a threat arrives. It’s another team, but one seemingly formed to fight Kamandi’s team. Ultra-Humanite, Artemis, Matthew Ryder, Liri Lee, Rayak the Ravager,Eradicator, Nemesis Kid, Major Force, Knockout, and O.M.A.C. it’s a throw down.

Fun as all this is, it gets better. What’s Cave Carson doing here? The 1940’s Justice Society. One minute we are outside Arkham Asylum, then on Krypton. Then, the puppet master appears. Dominus. He’s creating a new primary timeline by deleting the old ones, and most of the people currently here fighting are not wanted in this brave new world. He throws them into time itself, embedding them into dying times and eras. Batman 1939, for example, ends up in O.M.A.C’s era, everyone else no doubt in similarly odd situations. Those are stories yet to come, as are what happened to all those time related characters earlier (where’s my team?!) and just why is Dominus living a second life as a 1950’s married father of two. I’m intrigued.

Well that was a breathless romp through DC history. The brief glimpses at each era were great fun, the oddball team ups a nice touch, and the set up pretty much perfect. Perhaps more could have happened, considering this is a 80 page book, but beyond a quick skirmish this more about finding and forming the teams. I loved it, though, a deliberately affectionate take on those DC events I mentioned earlier, and loved the choice of characters and eras. The writing was solid throughout, and the use of many different artists worked well, split as the story was between different times and eras. There wasn’t much here I didn’t like. Then again, when you have Ivan Reis, Aaron Lopresti, Dan Jurgens, Rags Morales, Mike Perkins and many more it’s hard to feel short changed. It was a lot of fun to read, and I bet a lot of fun to write and draw. Great stuff.

Once again in the DC Universe, time ain’t what it used to be.

****½. 4.5/5

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