Generations Forged is a special one-shot by DC Comics out on February 23, celebrating different parts of DC’s history. With a massive creative team backing it up and DC’s more obscure elements like Dr. Light and Steel, there’s something for everyone.
Generations Forged: Carving The Niche
Generations Forged features three writers in collaboration for an epic about celebrating the past vs. living in it. The central villain Dominus is practically a stand-in for publishers and editors who are also DC fanatics. By removing nonessential elements of the current DC Universe like Ultra-Humanite and the Golden Age Batman, he lives a perfect life. One that he can change on a whim to avoid the ugliness. But doesn’t this take away the efforts and sacrifices that build character?
Dan Jurgens, one of the main writers and artists, is a DC history aficionado. The inclusion of his creation, Booster Gold, and his time travel equipment allow Jurgens to show off elements that people tend to forget. Characters like Dr. Light might have peaked in notoriety in events like Crisis On Infinite Earths, but that doesn’t mean people won’t use them again.
Robert Venditti, another writer of Generations Forged, made his career around exploring the DC Universe, hence the inclusion of Green Lantern Sinestro. Characters like him are complex enough for many depictions. Shouldn’t that mean giving creators and characters the chance to develop?
Andy Schmidt is continuing this story by building it off of Generations Shattered. After some developments in his career at DC, like Generation One coming up short for “reasons,” he and the other creatives take time to make their efforts memorable. After seeing Kamandi, OMAC, and Steel in action, I felt compelled to learn more about them.
Art In Sequence
In terms of artwork, Generations Forged features a revolving door of artists who show off their capabilities. Mike Perkins shows off Dominus’ home life in simple black and whites, a style that is easily malleable to suit the villain’s wants. Thanks in no small part to colorist Hi-Fi using sparse red and orange to demonstrate Dominus’ control of his domain.
Marco Santucci gives his pages a style evoking DC’s 70s and early 80s comics, which is larger than life and full of energy. Starfire alone steals the show with how much space her hair takes up. It’s to the point where it’s played for laughs when she uses it to leave a trail.
Paul Pelletier and Norm give an epic art style that full of thrills. Steel and Superboy face unimaginable threats on an alien world they stick out in. No amount of power will help them, with their movements signifying resourcefulness over might.
Bernard Chang gives his sections a sense of evocative emotions. One moment, the reader sees a world so flashy it’s easy to get distracted until a character’s actions pull them into one moment where the world blanks out.
Joe Prado shows off Dr. Light’s uniqueness in a gritty art style that tells a serious situation. So when Dr. Light harnesses crackling energy glowing red, she saves the moment by becoming one with the threat. This gives her more power over a situation than before.
Colleen Doran makes a double-page spread where all of the art coalesces into a style that allows all the characters to exist in the same plane.
But it’s when Bryan Hitch and Andrew Currie present these characters in action, do these eras of art become something new. The bright colors of the pre-20th century begin to show signs of layered art.
So when Jurgens and Kevin Nowlan take the pen, it completes the transition into the modern era. The art becomes more layered, more diverse in coloring, and in focus, has fine details in wrinkles and light shading.
All of Generations Forged comes wrapped together with lettering by Tom Napolitano. The word balloons practically reflect the eras each character comes from. The amount of words Booster speaks about times and Humanite quieting him practically reflect a need for less expositional storytelling. Then there are the SFX which look tailor-made for actions like roars and hits from a hammer.
Generations Forged: Eternal Fandoms
Generations Forged calls back to some of DC’s efforts for collaborative passion projects like 52. With so much of the DC Universe ready to explore, when creatives get the freedom to collaborate, they can create great things. Being able to communicate and share what you love is something that any DC fan shares.