By Fred Van Lente, Diego Bernard with Alisson Rodriguez, Fred Benes, Glauber Madds, Juan Castro, Andrew Dalhouse
The heroes of Generation Zero find themselves navigating a dreamscape reminiscent of Inception in Generation Zero #7, the best offering yet from the series.
“Have you seen me?” Part Two provides some much needed answers to the riddles surrounding the town of Rook. The Generation Zero series has spent the totality of its run on the mystery of Rook, slowly revealing clues through Van Lente’s sly writing. The team is still exploring the “heroscape” – a plane of existence that is partially fixed in the real world, allowing the team to discover what is hidden in plain sight.
There’s plenty of action, and longtime fans of the team will be glad to see them pull the kid gloves off. While some of the oddities of the town are explained, everything points back to one source, a main enigma that is just being explored. With threats from the physical world impeding the investigation, the team is under attack in both realms. Much of the story is surreal, even the parts that occur in the natural world, since it is being shaped by the heroscape.
With only two issues left in the series, this book does feel like it’s working towards the climax, with both the action and the reveals coming at a faster pace. Fans are likely wondering how this will play out – will the team continue on in Rook as their base of operations? Will their actions put them back on the PRS radar? How will Rook be affected? Hopefully Van Lente will address these.
This book is focused on their current task – retrieving their kidnapped family, but Van Lente gives us more than just a mission. Readers are given a bit of perspective on the characters, learning about the psychic bond between the twins, and the team’s time in PRS captivity is given a nod. The main instigator behind Rook, Jason Poole, has a small part that reveals plenty about his personality and motivations. A key new character is introduced. And Adele shows up in a scenario that harkens back to Princess Morbucks in the ‘90s Powerpuff Girls. Her role adds to the surrealism of the situation, serving as both a distraction to the team’s objective and a reminder that the boundaries between what is/should be real and not are rapidly deteriorating.
Artist Diego Bernard along with Alisson Rodriguez, Fred Benes, Glauber Madds, and Juan Castro are credited with illustrating and inking the book. The panels flow well, making reading easy. Bernard’s work should be familiar to Valiant fans, having worked on X-O Manowar and Unity among others. The credits aren’t clear as to the role of the other contributors, but the majority are inkers, so it can be assumed that was the role here as well. Some of the panels are highly detailed while others are softer with more generalized character features. This doesn’t disrupt reading, but it is noticeable and not what readers may expect from a Bernard-helmed book. Andrew Dalhouse keeps the continuity with his stellar coloring talents. Dalhouse has become a staple of Valiant comics and for good reason. His work here is excellent, whether dealing with the more sci-fi elements or the natural world.
The audience for the series skews younger, which is a different approach for this cast than in their previous appearances in Harbinger Wars. Their story was grim, and this take might not resonate with fans of the earlier works. Regardless, it’s still an entertaining and unexpected series in the Valiant universe, making it worthwhile for even crusty fans to check out.
Generation Zero #7 is paving the way to the conclusion of this adventure. This book breaks the mystery barrier and gives readers interesting new twists along with some needed answers. This book is a necessity for readers of the series.