Justice League: Generation Lost #23

Standard Cover

Solicitation Blurb

In issue #23, WONDER WOMAN and the JLI find themselves face-to-face with the ultimate weapon Maxwell Lord has been planning since the beginning of GENERATION LOST. The world seems to be revolting against the human race. Can our heroes defeat Lord’s machinations?

Quotes

Max: Ivo, we have got to improve the security on this @#$% ship.

Max: Geez, Michael, did you think threatening me was actually going to end this?
Booster Gold: No. I was hoping I’d have to beat you like a damn dog first.
Max: Now you’re talking.

Synopsis "Caught"

Previously: It has all come down to this – the final confrontation between the manipulative Maxwell Lord and his former allies in the Justice League International. Via the Blue Beetle the JLI have learnt that Max has been building an android powerful enough to destroy Wonder Woman (despite most of the world not remembering who she is, who Max is, or that she ever killed Max). The last-minute assistance of Power Girl and Batman (Bruce Wayne) leads them to Wonder Woman moments before hundreds of OMACs fill the skies.

Maxwell Lord is racked with pain as the signal awakening the OMACs is channelled through his mind. Ivo had warned him about the pain, but their plan appears to be working. Millions of OMACs appear in the skies all over the world and begin searching for Wonder Woman. They have no record of her DNA or appearance, but they don’t need that as they zero in on a known signal – Skeet’s scanners. The JLI and Wonder Woman turn and try to fight, but Skeets flees as he detects one of Max’s teleportation portals. The heroes try to get out of its way, but it sucks them and Wonder Woman through. Most of the OMACs follow leaving the JLI’s heavy hitters – Power Girl, Batman, and Captain Atom – behind in New York.

Fire, Ice, Beetle, Booster, Rocket Red and Wonder Woman are transported to Los Angeles where they see New Checkmate decloak in the skies above them. They don’t have time to react before Max drops his big surprise. A super-powerful OMAC variant calling itself “OMAC Prime”. It speaks with Max’s voice, but is autonomous and tells them that Max thought his voice would “creep you all out a bit.” It refuses to take the fight to a non-populated area and gleefully tells them that “I’m going to kill Wonder Woman right here!!” They throw their energy beams and super-strength at OMAC Prime with little effect. Booster breaks away from the battle and blows a hole in New Checkmate. He then challenges Max to a fight. Meanwhile, as OMAC Prime starts replicating the JLI’s powers as it beats them.

Opinion

We’ve had two quite-wordy, character heavy issues and now its time for some arse-kicking. That isn’t to say we don’t get some great character moments – Skeets turning into a coward (kinda explains why he isn’t always around) and Booster starts his confrontation with Max. However, the rest of the issue is a running fire-fight with the OMACs and the newly arrived OMAC Prime. IGN’s Jesse Schedeen complains that the “humor and banter are subdued”, but that fits the severity of the situation.

Lets start with OMAC Prime. This entire storyline — all Max’s plans, stolen technologies, alliances, and whatnot — has been building towards the biggest badass android of all time. That’s a massive sell and a very hard one to live up to. CBR’s Doug Zawisza and Heretical Jargon’s Heretic calls it a “cheap [..] knockoff ” of Amazo (ouch). This OMAC looks like a tooled up version of the CRASH android from Power Girl. Certainly it’s sense of humour would appear to be the same. OMACs are usually shells built over innocent people so I wonder who, if anyone, is inside of OMAC Prime.

There are a lot of very positive reviews for this series, but I find CBR’s Doug Zawisza’s review of this penultimate issue interesting. He says:

I know there are fans of this series, and I have tried to dig into this series more than a few times over the twenty-some issues to this point, but it just doesn’t offer much substance to the story for me. All of the characters here have moved on to other places, become different characters, but here they keep hitting the same beats over and over again.

That isn’t the series I’ve been reading as these characters have been shown to have moved on. The former reunions (Formerly Known as the Justice League, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League) were indeed like that, but Judd Winick has taken care to integrate Booster’s maturity, Fire’s Checkmate work, and Ice’s post-death trauma into the book.

I also don’t think this is a series you can really dip into and out of. Brightest Day has been far more episodic than Generation Lost. It has needed to tell very distinct, encapsulated stories in order to keep its different threads compartmentalised. Generation Lost hasn’t needed to do this and that makes it feel more coherent as a whole. I think the entire series benefits, but it also means that when individual issues are read in isolation they aren’t necessarily as interesting as they could have been. Its just my opinion, but I think reading Justice League: Generation Lost has to be an all or nothing affair.

Wonder Woman’s addition to the group seems appreciated. Inside Pulse’s Grey Scherl says that

Diana is a nice visual addition to this title, [Fernando] Dagnino does a a really nice job with her new costume, and again with the fighting, her style comes across uniquely.

While the Heretical Jardon’s Heretic added that

Finally, the new Wonder Woman felt like…well…Wonder Woman!  She had all of that gusto and power behind her character while still retaining a lot of the new characteristics given to her by Straczynski.

One issue left to wrap this all up. Should be interesting.

The Verdict

Stars
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TypeSiteReviewerRatingEquivalent
Grand Average 70.5%
Reviews Portal Comic Book Resources Doug Zawisza 2/5
Reviews Portal IGN Jesse Schedeen 6.5/10
Community Site Comics Vine 3 Reviews 5 & 3.5 & 3/5
Community Site iFanboy 500 pulls 3.9/5
Reviews Blog Heretical Jargon Heretic 8/10
Reviews Blog Inside Pulse Grey Scherl 8.5/10
Reviews Blog Comics Per Day Reviews Timbotron Average
Reviews Blog Boosterrific Boosterrific 5/5
Character Site The Captain's JLA Homepage Jason Kirk 3.5/5

Annotations

Page 1 – Max makes a mistake – he calls Professor Ivo “Dr Ivo” a couple of time in this issue – academics tend to be pissy about such things. We also learn that Max has been using his mind control on Ivo.

Page 2 – OMACs are people. The OMAC virus is based on technology from a future incarnation of Brainiac (B13) and will remain dormant within a carriers cells until activated by a control signal. Originally that signal came from the Brother Eye satellite, but that was destroyed and Max is now using his own Mind Control power as the signal. Upon activation the OMAC virus takes control of the carriers body and encases them within a super-strong armoured shell – an OMAC. It’s the perfect weapon for fighting superheroes as it can match their abilities, but the innocent person trapped inside stops the heroes from using lethal force in retaliation.

Mart Gray points out that there is not letter listed for this issue.

Page 5 – Ice seems to have acquired a shirt or jacket from somewhere – I can’t imagine an ice goddess would need such a thing.

Page 10 – The ball-like delivery method parallels the CRASH android’s containment vessel seen in Power Girl.

Page 20 – An Ivo built android that replicates other meta-humans powers — OMAC Prime contains Amazo technology, which I suppose shouldn’t be too much of a surprise given its maker.