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GENERATION ZERO #9

by Thegreatmagnet on April 26, 2017

The underdog psiot series wraps things up in its final issue.
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Diego Bernard with Fred Benes, Juan Castro, and Alisson Rodriguez
Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse
Publisher: Valiant Comics

Generation Zero is a title that has generally had a rough time. It is different in tone from the majority of Valiant books, and has struggled to find support among the company's hardcore fans. The final issue does an admirable job tying up the various narrative threads while also including a climactic fight with Black Sheep, a villain introduced in the series. I would assume that certain elements of the story needed to be rushed or omitted once they realized that the series was ending, but as a conclusion it was fairly satisfying.

Fred Van Lente's previous series for Valiant were excellent, characterized by mind-bending concepts and intricate storytelling that rewards repeat readings. This series introduced the concept of the Heroescape, a kind of shared psychic plane that may be powered by Rasa, a psiot whose dreams manifest themselves in the real world. It's tough to explain, and I can easily imagine Fred doing some very interesting things with that character if the series had continued. The supervillain is fairly unrelatable and somewhat stereotypical, a spoiled rich child who is driven by petty, teenage emotions. However, there is a hint of moral ambiguity, when it's revealed that she believes herself (albeit delusionally) to be a hero, defending the town against Gen Zero. Meanwhile, Adele's father serves as a different type of villain, having exploited Rasa in gruesome fashion for corporate greed. This was an unexpectedly dark twist and it's an interesting juxtaposition with his generally vapid and bafoonish characterization.

The art by Diego Bernad and crew is great. The pencil work is very clean and detailed, and the characters have a dynamic, attractive look. The facial expressions are also beautifully rendered and convey the characters' emotions masterfully. Some of the backgrounds were a bit less detailed (lots of speed lines), but they did a good job capturing the kinetic moments in the action scenes. Bringing in this team for the big fight in the final arc was a good move.

Overall this issue is a pretty decent conclusion for the series, given it may have ended prematurely. The series definitely had some interesting elements, and one can only wonder what else Van Lente may have intended for the story. Ultimately it sets up a new status quo for the Gen Zero characters in the lead up to Harbinger Wars 2. I intend to re-read the entire series, and I'm hopeful that it will reveal additional insights, as with Fred Van Lente's other brilliant Valiant work. 

Our Score:

7/10

A Look Inside