Gen 13: Superhuman Like You
Adam Warren, writer,
(WildStorm, 2002)

It's possible that someone reading London • New York • Hell, the Gen 13 collection by Warren Ellis and Steve Dillon, might suspect the book of catering to readers who want an intelligent plot in their comics. Adam Warren dispels that notion with Superhuman Like You, the next collection of Gen 13 books.

There are a few stories here, of a sort. Grunge has a dream about the future of the team. The team returns to southern California, strips off most of their clothes and discovers that their former home and hot robotic nanny have reassembled themselves. The team orders a lot of fast food from a fantasy-themed eatery. Burnout flames on and sears off his swimsuit. And everyone goes to a party, which turns into a brawl and ends with two men sticking ferrets down their pants.

OK, while the stories don't sound all that riveting, full credit to Warren for returning Gen 13 to its roots: cheesecake. The girls of the team wear as little as possible, posing in underwear, swimwear and lingerie when appropriate, shredding outfits when necessary. In one frame, for instance, the majority of the picture is a silhouette of just one of Fairchild's prodigious boobs.

Don't get me wrong, Warren knows his audience. No one subscribes to Gen 13 for awesome storytelling; that thing with Ellis was an aberration. The book is about skin, and that's why readers always come away from a Gen 13 book knowing what color Fairchild's undies are. Note to Warren: Tell your various artists to be careful on that last point, because in the final brawl in this book, Fairchild splays her legs in one scene to show a black thong, but she's wearing white panties in the up-the-skirt shot just a few panels later.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 19 April 2002

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