24th Feb2021

‘Generations Forged #1’ Review (DC Comics)

by Dean Fuller

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

A little while ago I reviewed Generations: Shattered, which was also by Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, and Robert Venditti. It was a fun ride, with a very odd bunch of heroes assembled from throughout time by Kamandi to try and help stop the collapse of the Multiverse (yes, again). It was derivative, it did have echoes of DC Universe greatest hits, but it was a lot of fun and threw in a lot of characters it was nice to see again. As I said then, I’m a sucker for stuff like this, so this new book following on – Generations Forged – is probably going to be more of the same but that’s fine by me. Has Dominus won? can the heroes, dispersed through time, get back to save reality? It’s a bumper 80 pages, and a cool $10 price tag, so is it worth your time and money? Let’s take a look.

Dominus is a weird one. Obviously possessed of a galaxy destroying level of power, he’s crafted a reality where he’s a 1950’s era husband, with a wife, two kids and a dog. He literally rewrites time from his basement, his ‘work’, then plays with the kids in the garden. So, what about the heroes lost in time? Our first group to catch up with are Starfire, Kamandi, and the female Dr. Light. They have found themselves imprisoned on Krypton, the Silver Age version where a dastardly General Zod is butting heads with a dashing Jor-El over these strange visitors. Jor-El is intrigued by this unknown world, Earth, that they come from… wonder how that turns out.

Superboy and Steel have found themselves in prehistoric Thanagar, where they seem to have been for months. To make things worse, Thanagar is not near a yellow Sun so Superboy has no powers. It’s all the weirder of course as the grown up Superman dying inspired John Henry Irons to become a hero himself, now the younger Superboy is looking up to him. They are getting by, so I guess it’s time for the Eradicator and Nemesis Kid, sent by Dominus, to attack them. As that fight starts, we check in on Sinestro, flung into the Electric City future of O.M.A.C, where the Ultra-Humanite has been sent to take him out. Booster Gold is also there, as is the wave of chronal energy destroying all before it. Oh, and Major Force. It’s all kicking off for sure.

Back on Krypton, Dr. Light is breaking it to Jor-El and a heavily pregnant Lara that his planet is doomed, as Kamandi and Starfire try and stay one step ahead of O.M.A.C and Artemis on the streets of Krypton’s cities. Dr. Light manages to use her powers to delay Krypton’s demise by a few months, meaning Jor-El and Lara’s child will now be born before the end. Wonder what became of him? The Goneness is sweeping through time, hitting Krypton as our heroes continue to try and get back to Vanishing Point, and our villains realise that Dominus has sacrificed them with no intention to save them at all. The Eradicator and Nemesis Kid pay the ultimate price on Thanagar, but have Steel and Superboy made it?

The frantic running from group to group continues as we check in on the Batman of the 1930’s, running amok on the streets of Electric City, as Booster Gold catches up with him. The heroes and villains stranded here have banded together, realising Dominus wants them all gone. One thing they do have is the Brother Eye satellite, and some fancy gadgeting later, all the heroes and villains are returned to Vanishing Point. A little quick and convenient for me but hey, a lot of ball’s are being juggled in the air story-wise I guess. So, how can they beat a fallen Lord of Order like Dominus? Hit him where he is most vulnerable, in his fake reality? The gung ho heroes like Starfire and Sinestro say yes. The more conscientious, like Superboy and Steel, say no. What’s a desperate band of heroes and villains to do? Take him down of course.

The final showdown is both epic and overblown, full of nice touches but also overlong and just messy. There is literally too much going on, too many players involved. One or two nice touches, such as Sinestro intrigued by a yellow power beam and Superboy using Steel’s hammer, are drowned out by the mass of characters throwing punches and taking them. I’m guessing it was supposed to be reminiscent of the final assault on the Anti-Monitor in Crisis on Infinite Earths, but just doesn’t impress like that. Dominus is not nearly as impressive a foe. We also get a bit of a cop out at the end, as it turns out the Goneness wasn’t deleting times and places after all, it was putting them into stasis, from which it all returns after Dominus is defeated. You knew he would be. Still, the Linearverse is now a thing. What’s that you say? Keep watching.

I’m in a nit-picky mood, so first off let’s say that overall it was an entertaining read. The story was ok, if a little light, and the art throughout was excellent. Having said that, it did feel like a story with three writers and eleven artists involved (though all individually are excellent of course). This felt like a mini-series folded down into a Special, which is a shame, because left to breathe it could have been even better. The artists too often were having to squeeze in a lot of panels per page layout, or draw very crowded panels and and accommodate a lot of text. The first half felt okay, but the second half was all too hectic and wrapped up too easily for what had been such an epic start. If, however, DC use this storyline and build on it in the future all will be forgiven.

Although I’m not sure the ten dollar price tag is justified, I would recommend this. Just.

Silver Age Krypton got it over the line for me. Works every time.

**** 4/5

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