Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Generation Hope: Five Lights TPB

Now this is a title that no one demanded. I mean no insult to the creative team, but did anyone really want this book? It’s basically a new New Mutants title, but in the climate of Utopia and the imminent AvX, Hope’s little band seems like it doesn’t really belong anywhere. In this trade they are basically acting like a X-Men field team, when they really don’t belong in that role. It’s odd. Kieron Gillen does a lot with what he’s got, but still, an odd choice.

I must be getting old. I can barely remember the codenames for these new characters. The speedster (Gabriel) seems like a lot of fun and it has been awhile since we saw such a horndog on one of these teen teams. Someone needs to fill out that Beast Boy role! Teon is fun too, as a feral mutant who is Wolverine’d to the max. Now that he’s lost all his higher brain functions, he has an animalistic response for everything. Playing him off Wolverine is an obvious, but rewarding exercise.

The flying gal and the temperature gal don’t have as much to their personalities so far. Hope is clearly the child of Cable, and its fun seeing her demand her place at the X-Men’s table. But this book wouldn’t work without Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, and Emma Frost making this feel like an X-book.

The choice of antagonist doesn’t play out as expected, but I am amused that we can basically have a character from Akira join the X-Men. Kenji sprouts tentacles and flesh-tech merged limbs like they are going out of style. Not really a crowd-pleasing power, the guy clearly is going to turn bad. I didn’t like seeing Hope channeling his powers either. I think I can plainly state that flesh-warping powers are always gross, no matter who’s using them.

Salva Espin does a nice job with the youthful faces. His X-Men look a tad young, but he does a great job with Kenji’s gross-out power set. I’m also a tad unclear on exactly how young Idie is supposed to be. Is she really just 14? And Hope is 17 or 18? Those are some important years of teenager-hood!


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