Gen 13: Meanwhile...
by Adam Warren, various artists (WildStorm, 2003)

Despite all my criticism over the years, I was feeling a little nostalgic when I stumbled upon a Gen 13 collection I'd somehow overlooked in the past. Say what you will, but these scantily clad, superpowered teens are a pretty reliable source of fun in an often grim comics world.

Meanwhile... did nothing to change my assessment. The stories are shallow, but fun. And the Gen 13 girls, bless 'em, are about as naked as they can be without earning themselves an adults-only label on the book.

This book includes a few crossover stories with other WildStorm titles. The most disturbing of them, to me, centers on Grunge's ongoing secret affair with a member of the superhero team, the Authority. Freefall, who has been jonesing for Grunge since the Gen 13 series began, finally discovers his duplicity, but instead of allowing for any growth or consequences for these characters, writer Adam Warren adds a convenient hitch that ends with everyone forgetting it ever happened, allowing the affair to continue with Freefall blissfully unaware and Grunge untouched by nasty guilt. Shame, Adam!

A chapter providing insight to Rainmaker's wild uncle is the strongest story in the batch. Another about a teenybopper pop star who infects the world with her giddy hit is -- well, it's really right on par for the level of intelligence you expect with Gen 13.

Yeah, OK, sometimes I feel a guilty need to dip myself into mindless fluff. Meanwhile... satisfied that yen for a while, I hope. I don't want to put myself through this more often than necessary.

review by
Tom Knapp

1 September 2007

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