Generations Shattered #1 Review - A Deliciously Old-Skool DC Adventure
Generations Shattered has a similar format, price point, and page count to the other Anniversary comics that DC has put out in the past year. The difference between those projects and this one is that Generations Shattered maintains narrative and artistic consistency throughout and provides the single best DC comics reading experiences that I've had in a long time.
I've never been the biggest DC lore guy but I've read most of the major events of the '80s and '90s. The issues tagline says that the series spins out of Dark Knights: Death Metal but It honestly feels like a spiritual successor to the original "Crisis on Infinite Earths" with flashes of the publisher's bests eras blended into something new and fun.
The elevator pitch is that various universes are being erased. In a last-ditch effort to save reality "Old Man," Booster Gold travels across time and space to recruit a team of heroes from different periods in DC history. You've seen this story before across media but it's a trope that works whether it's "Crisis" or "The Never Ending Story" so why reinvent the wheel?
The coolest aspect of the comic is seeing the menagerie of heroes interacting with each other. There's Superboy from his stint with The Legion of Superheroes. Golden Age Batman is there although I'm not sure if this is the version that packs heat and murders criminals. We get two versions of Booster Gold. Starfire is recruited shortly after the launch of the 80's Teen Titans series. Sinestro is pulled into the team prior to his fall to villainy. Steel is recruited into the mix circa "Death of Superman". Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth also gets a huge role in this issue.
Some of the interactions between the heroes are tense and become violent but it's more a consequence of not knowing each other than anything else. These dynamics are cool to see considering the long histories some of these characters will end up developing amongst each other. I also imagine you'll get more enjoyment from the issue if you are familiar with the original storylines.
There are a lot of egos and personalities forced together but the book works a lot better than you'd expect. That's a credit to the script and respect the creative team has for these characters. I haven't read Dark Knights: Death Metal yet so I'm not sure how this series spins out of that one. However, I never felt a loss or need to stop reading and get caught up on how we got here. Generations Shattered is just a story of heroes stepping up in the midst of the crisis and that's enough for me. I was also pretty excited to see Sideways, Silencer, and Damage appear in the comic if only in passing reference.
I'm generally not a fan of $9.99 comics but considering that Generations Shattered is about 80 pages vs. a standard 20-page floppy and features top-notch art and a solid script I think the book is worth supporting. If DC pared down their line of titles to about 10 or 15 books and maintained the quality of this issue I wouldn't mind subscribing to them all. I'm not sure if this is the future of DC comics but it definitely should be.