Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Fred-Van-Lente
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-08-25 15:03
Generation Zero: We Are the Future (graphic novel, vol. 1) written by Fred Van Lente, art by Francis Portela, Derek Charm, and Diego Bernard
Generation Zero Volume 1: We Are the Future - Fred Van Lente

Keisha Sherman desperately wants to find out the truth about what happened to her boyfriend, Stephen. He supposedly got drunk and died in a car crash, but she knows he wasn't the kind of guy to do that - he didn't drink, do drugs, or smoke. Since her dad, the local Sheriff, won't listen and thinks she's just in denial, Keisha turns to the only people she can think of: Generation Zero. She makes a desperate plea for their help...and they answer.

This was another graphic novel I requested via ILL after finding out about it while doing some research for a grant proposal. It was a 2017 Virginia Library Association Diversity Award Honor Book.

I can't recall the last time I read a Valiant series. Honestly, looking through their list of titles, it's possible I've never read a Valiant series. I certainly haven't read any of the Harbringer comics, which are apparently related to the Generation Zero comics somehow.

Although I could definitely tell that there was some backstory I was unaware of (I didn't realize until after I'd read the whole graphic novel that the description on the back cover included some useful info for complete newbies to this world, like me), I think I was able to follow along pretty well. The members of Generation Zero had originally been taken from their families and trained as weapons. Each of them had of them had special powers of some sort, and each of them dealt with their trauma and having their childhoods stolen from them in different ways.

Cronus (I'm not sure about his powers), who appeared to be the team's leader, wanted to do good. Telic (could see a little into the future), meanwhile, wanted Cronus to embrace the fact that they'd been trained to be weapons. Animalia (could give herself other forms, although I think it wasn't so much shapeshifting as crafting an illusion over herself), one of the group's youngest members, just wanted a life that was nice and good. Cloud (telepath) was the group's gentlest and most positive member, despite constantly being exposed to humanity's collective consciousness. The Zygos twins (super smart?) didn't seem to particularly like humans in general. I didn't really get much of a feel for Gamete, a super fetus who got around by controlling the body of her comatose mother like some sort of creepy puppet.

I wasn't really a fan of the artwork. Facial expressions were a bit stiff, and the artist(s) sometimes had trouble drawing the characters consistently. The female Zygos twin, for example, usually looked almost exactly like her brother, only with longer hair and very slightly more defined lips. In some panels, however, she was inexplicably drawn with more stereotypically feminine features: much more prominent lips and thicker eyelashes. It was weird. I did think the switch to Archie comics-style artwork during the "questioning Adele" portion was really effective, though.

This volume just scratched the surface of whatever was going on in Keisha's hometown, which involved weird faceless Cornermen, technology that shouldn't exist yet, and Momoo energy shakes. The characters were relatively interesting, but I don't know whether I'll be continuing on with this. If I do continue on: Keisha's autistic (?) brother just flat-out disappeared near the end of the volume, so here's hoping the writer doesn't forget about him and actually answers the question of where he went in the next volume.


Variant covers and a few examples of the artwork in progress (line art, and line art with some color applied but no shading).


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-08-18 00:50
Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 112 pages.
Generation Zero Volume 1: We Are the Future - Fred Van Lente

Again, I'm guessing at the page number, but I can say that all three of these images are from the same issue, #5, so I know they were all done by the same pair of artists. Here are three panels with the Zygos Twins:


This one's pretty consistent with how they've looked throughout the book.



And here's a panel from a few pages later:



Apparently the artists suddenly decided that the female twin's femaleness needed to be highlighted more and gave her prominent lips and noticeably darker and thicker eyelashes.


And here is a panel a bit later on the very same page:



What in the hell?? The female twin no longer even looks like the same character.


So basically, one of the problems I have with this graphic novel is the artwork. I feel like character appearance shouldn't vary this much in a single issue.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-08-17 15:06
Reading progress update: I've read 40 out of 112 pages.
Generation Zero Volume 1: We Are the Future - Fred Van Lente

(I'm guessing on the page number.)


The Zygos Twins, speaking to one of the football players:


Twins: "Your exceptionally measured heartbeat. It lets you excel at the sportsball, Drake Matheson."


Drake: "Wha... How'd you know my-?"


Twins: "But you are not good enough at sportsball to play professionally. No, we all know you will never play sportsball professionally, Drake Matheson. And your heartbeat, while an advantage now, also frequently leads to cardiac arrest at an early age. Alas, your odds of living past fifty are quite unlikely, Drake Matheson."


Drake: Has to go off somewhere and cry now.




There are some nice moments, but I'm still not sure how I feel about this. Based on some stuff at the beginning, I think it's probably a spinoff of something I haven't read.


Like Reblog Comment
text 2019-08-06 16:37
Halloween Bingo Preparty Covers
A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts - J. W. Ocker
Buck Me... For Halloween: Paranormal BBW Holiday Second Chance Romance (Frost Brothers' Brides) - Anya Nowlan
The Con Artist - Tom Fowler,Fred Van Lente
Deadfall Hotel - Steve Rasnic Tem
The Haunted Looking Glass - Edward Gorey,Robert Walser,Ward Gorey

Have to say Buck Me and the Con Artist I didn't enjoy as much as the other two - but the covers are cool.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-09-16 17:38
Am. sleuth square
The Con Artist - Tom Fowler,Fred Van Lente


                A mystery sent at a Comic Con, sign me up.


                The best-selling point of this novel are the inside jokes about culture – the LOTR references, Star Wars, Cosplay.  There are even some interesting points about how it is a Comic Con but most people seem to think that comics are no longer being published.  A convention to celebrate something and that thing gets pushed to the margins.


                Mike Mason is a comic artist who makes his living by going to cons.  He is currently unemployed by a publisher.  At the most recent con, he finds himself a quasi-suspect in the murder of his sort of romantic rival who also was a harasser.  Mason then sets out to solve the mystery and save the job of a friend, who as a woman artist is in danger of being replaced on the Batman like book.


                And along the way, you have rants about everything that is wrong in the comic industry.


                Which is fine.  The mystery is workable, there are some funny jokes.  But, but,


                But but.



                First the romantic lead is totally added on and feels so false.  Second, we have the stereotypical noir of good girl= blonde, bad girl = dark hair, which pisses me off because I have dark hair. 


                But the main problem for me, and one that isn’t at first obvious, is that despite being a partial critique/send up of comic cons, it still hues to some of the problems of fandom and its treatment of women.


                In this book, there are four women of note– the ex-wife Mason still has a thing for and who isn’t an angel; the Pedi-cab driver who is a nice, caring blonde, Mason’s biggest fan who has a pretty good cosplay, and Mason’s artist friend who helped get her start.


                The cosplayer is eventually revealed to have mental issues, so female fans are at risk of being crazy; the artist needs to have her job saved and only Mason can do it.  See, she’s about to give birth, and her husband has some shit going out his job.  Which, quite frankly, jerked me out of the book because the description of her husband’s adjunct life makes very little sense, and I say this as an adjunct.  For one, most adjuncts teach in at least colleges/universities.  But I digression.  The ex-wife is revealed to be a baddie and gets murdered.  So that leaves with the romantic interest of a Pedi-cab driver, who really isn’t into the whole con thing and just makes money.  She is on the margins, and she is the only woman without problems or in need of saving.


                So, women don’t belong in fandom is being showcased whether that was Van Lente’s intention or not.  And to be fair, I don’t think it was.  He doesn’t describe women by their tits.


                Perhaps I am too sensitive to it because I feel like I am always on the fringes of fandom.  I tend to prefer the books over the media.  I tend to play more attention to plot.  I have a decidedly feminist bent to how I look at sci-fi and fantasy.


                But still, especially with the treatment of the woman fan, this book just re-enforces the idea of women and fandom not mixing.

                Nice artwork, however.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?