Generation Gone #2

Storytellers: Aleš Kot & André Lima Araújo
Writer: Aleš Kot
Artist: André Lima Araújo
Colorist: Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller
Editor: Lizzie Kaye

A Review by Christoph Staffl

At the end of Generation Gone #1, Elena, Nick and Baldwin saw the three parts of Akio’s code – all at once. And when those parts are put together something remarkable happens: the full potential of the human DNA is brought to light. In a brutal way the forces of this evolutionary step were set free and we didn’t quite know if they survived the procedure.

The story continues in Generation Gone #2, a few minutes after the incident. We see Elena as she flies through the sky, passing planes and testing the limits of her newly gained power. In the meantime, Nick and Baldwin are on the ground, near a barn – how they get there is still unclear – and figuring out what they can do.

Over the next 20-something pages, we get to see what conflicts arise from those powers. What is Akios’ endgame? Does he even have one? And as some side characters get more and more attention, we learn that every choice has a consequence. Not just from a moral point of view, but what those consequences are for friendships and family members.

There is one particular theme in this second issue, which has me very intrigued: powers, or better even, abilities. I always ask myself similar questions in relation to the X-Men. If you have one power (you obviously cannot choose which one), you obviously encounter a lot of other people with all kinds of powers. However, there never seems to be a hint of jealousy. Say someone can fly, but the only power you have is to make yourself invisible – aren’t you gonna be jealous? Be the ability itself or the freedom of said character?

Similar questions are discussed in Generation Gone, but in addition to that, the three friends have to figure out what their powers are in the first place. Elena can fly, Nick is indestructible, and the power of Baldwin, well, that is a topic for another day.

It is especially interesting to follow along because I am not that sure of the relationship between those three. Elena and Nick are a couple, but they’re not that much in love – at least it doesn’t appear that way. Is Baldwin their best friend? Or do they know each other since school and just stayed together because it’s comfortable? They have similar interests, of course, but how well do they know each other? This takes the conflicts they have throughout the issue to various levels. Are they just messing with their friends or do they really argue?

Other questions include: What about the situation with Elenas mom? As I mentioned before, the side characters from the last issue of Generation Gone get more and more attention as the story goes forward and I want to see where this is headed. It definitely has the potential for some typical government-involving-tropes, but I am optimistic that the creators will find a more creative way to handle the inevitable confrontation between Akio, his General, and the kids.

And speaking of the General, even he gets some more depth. With just a few sentences and a picture Aleš Kot and André Lima Araújo humanize him. Suddenly I care about him and what happens to the people close to him.

The artwork is as strong as before. The fine lines in combination with the muted colors work well with the story. The facial expressions can sometimes be a bit too much. Maybe a little exaggerated, but it’s far from bothersome. The panel design is simple, but effective, and creates a nice flow. With the bigger panels, you can appreciate the artwork and enjoy the dialogues. I just wished there were silent scenes like in the last issue. Although I acknowledge that this part of the story wouldn’t really work with silent pages. Maybe next time.

One last thing I have to mention is the hashtag at the end of the issue. With this hashtag (#generationgone), the words “REFUSE. DREAM. RISE” written in bold letters, and the things happening in within the story, Generation Gone also seems to take a political stand. Which one that is, you can figure out on your own, but I think it’s a nice addition to the story. Also, it is not one of those in-your-face kinds of messages. It’s just there, underneath the surface, shimmering through.

The Verdict
Buy it! Generation Gone continues to fascinate. It feels fresh and brings something new to the table regarding abilities and human evolution. A Sci-Fi story put into our current time is something you don’t see very often. And with a personal touch to every character, you don’t really know, who to root for. At the end, you also get some additional artwork and sketches from the first issue.

Christoph Staffl
christoph.staffl@gmail.com

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