Generation Gone’s first issue feels written specifically for me starting immediately with the cover as it depicts a starry night and word balloons with dialogue that grabs your curiosity and dares you to flip the comic open to the next page like well-placed bread crumbs. It’s a gutsy move to use your front cover to immediately kick off the story that pays off. The word bubbles belong to Elena and Nick and we’re already screaming for a very likable Elena to leave her manipulative boyfriend in just 8 panels. This being something that stood out to me the entire issue. We get an immediate sense of who the characters are from our main protagonists to the government owned scientist working on whatever future nightmares they can weaponize for hypothetical wars their superiors haven’t invented reasons for yet.
The beauty of creator-owned comics is that you can bet that the material is something that the creative team is passionate about. It’s an even special treat when it comes from a personal place where personal beliefs and bigger ideas are being shared. Just the energy this series’ 1st issue puts out has me subscribing to the cause our trio of millennial hackers have taken up. They are going to rob a Bank of America from the comforts of their friend’s living room.
The concepts that Kot are presenting in Generation Gone feel much more personal as opposed to a fun idea in which to build a comic around. Science and magic are the same thing in Generation Gone (and maybe in this world?). At the center, everything is written in code. From computer programming to the essence of the human genome. A realization that is explored/exploited by Mr. Akio. A passionate scientist who believes in his own work before his duty to the US government that is funding his projects. He believes humans can be upgraded on a cellular level if the proper code is introduced. This universally thought changing concept is so concisely presented in a way that puts Kot in the same league as the Morrisons, Ellis and Al Ewings stories that are reality shattering and simultaneously set in reality. Together, Kot and Araujo pull off the tight-rope act of concept, information, art, and pacing in a way that a 1st issue that doesn’t overwhelm the reader. These guys make it look easy.
This is attributed to a stellar creative team in Ales Kot and Andre’ Lima Araujo. Araujo’s fantastic fine-line work took me immediately back to when I fell in love with Rob G’s material in Teenagers From Mars. His art here showcasing a more delicate side than what we normally see in his Marvel projects that feel like they could naturally switch gears to a more hard manga feel at any moment. At a point in the issue, entire pages of wordless panels perfectly convey each of our character’s motivations leading up to the big day of the cyber heist. There’s an evolution in tone here in Andre’s art that is going to be fun to watch as the series progresses.
Aiko is building a better weapon. Our cyber hackers are his unknowing test subjects, culminating in a gleefully demented take on the superhuman origin story with a scene that looks like a serial killer exorcism dreamt up in a Cronenberg film. You’re young, you’re angry, and your flesh has just been techno-jacked with indestructible powers. So what’s next?
Verdict: inject this into your brain and be better for it.
**Generation Gone #1 is in shops now**