Series: Generation Zero
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Francis Portela
Colors by Andrew Dalhouse
Publiher: Valiant Comics
If you have a problem… If your parents won’t help… And if your cause is worthy… Log onto network #ZERO…because Generation Zero is listening._ Years ago, the children of the experimental strike team known as Generation Zero were taken from their families by Project Rising Spirit, a private weapons contractor, and raised to be psychic soldiers. After years of taking orders, they have fought for and won their freedom. Now, the world’s most wanted teenagers have pledged to protect each other tooth and claw, while using their extraordinary abilities to right wrongs for a generation without a future… To fight for kids, just like them. One of those kids is Keisha Sherman, whose boyfriend just turned up dead after a suspicious car crash in Rook, Michigan – a newly booming tech town that sprang from rags to super-riches seemingly overnight. When Keisha makes a desperate plea into her webcam, the local high school suddenly finds itself with several unusual new students… But as word of Generation Zero’s presence spreads rapidly through the halls, this volatile band of teenage upstarts is about to discover that they’re far from the most extraordinary thing lurking behind Rook’s stainless-steel facade…
This book has been on my radar since the Valiant Summit 2016 for multiple reasons. Probably the most prominent reason is that it is written by one of my favorite writers, and all around nice guy, Fred Van Lente (you can check out our interview with him here). Previously, Van Lente wrote ARCHER & ARMSTRONG (one of my favorite Valiant titles), IVAR, TIMEWALKER, and the fantastic one-shot 4001 A.D. WAR MOTHER.
GENERATION ZERO focuses on a group of young psiots who first appeared in Valiant’s lauded ARMOR HUNTERS event. If you haven’t read HARBINGER, or the ARMOR HUNTERS event, you might want to go back and check them out after you read this – mainly because they are great – but they aren’t required reading to be able to understand what’s happening thus far. They are teenagers with crazy mind powers, and that is all you really need to know to follow along.
As you can see in the summary above, GENERATION ZERO starts off in the small but suddenly booming city of Rook, Michigan. But not everything is hunky-dory. Keisha Sherman’s boyfriend has been killed in a suspicious car crash, and the town of Rook has a decidedly “Silicon Valley’s version of Stepford Wives” vibe. Keisha calls the only people she thinks can help – Generation Zero. And, if I may say so myself, the make quite the entrance. Portela’s art is fun, and there are some creeeepy baddies that pop up near the end.
I was really impressed with the story and overall tone of the book. Maybe it’s that I binged Stranger Things, reading through Brian K. Vaughan’s PAPER GIRLS and old Stephen King novels, and watching movies like Firestarter and Predator, but I felt like there was a tinge of 80’s sci-fi interwoven throughout the first issue. Again, it could be that I have been steeped in that sort of thing for the last few weeks. Either way, I loved the kind of nostalgic feel in this title. Like I said earlier, this is a fantastic jumping on point from a fantastic creative team.
GENERATION ZERO hits the shelves on August 24, 2016, make sure to go grab one!