Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: David Messina
Colors: Rex Lokus
Letters: ALW’s Troy Peteri
Covers: V. Ken Marion; Sandu Florea; Rex Lokus; Phillip Tan
Editor: Jamie S Rich; Harvey Richards; Rob Levin
Publisher: DC Comics
There is a scene in this issue that absolutely made me cry. It’s a moment that has slowly been built up over the course of the last three issues. In it two of Generation Outlaw had a wonderful conversation about love. More importantly, about loving yourself as you are, however you – and only you – define that. In a year where so many comics have stumbled addressing what it means to be a member of the LGBTQA community or non-binary this scene manages to do what most have failed at and does it beautifully. This is what comics are about: making people feel seen and accepted and I can honestly say I cannot thank Scott Lobdell enough for including it. I am literally crying as I type this because it moved me so much. Thank you sir.
Now, onto the plot: Jason and the kids head off to figure out what is going on at The Block after Shay’s distress call. They immediately fall right into the deep end: Shay’s clones are going berserk with Shay nowhere to be found, there are children present who absolutely have no business being there and also some unexpected, probably brainwashed, guests. It’s a hot mess and Jason, who is just rolling with the literal and figurative punches at this point, gets the emotional rug pulled out from under him leaving him physically incapacitated and the kids in danger.
I have no idea what is going on and frankly? I love that. There’s so many ways the next few issues could go down that it really is up in the air. Lobdell is doing a great job of tying Jason and Generation Outlaw to the overall Year of the Villain plot without bogging the book down in crossover messiness which was a real concern for me and I’m glad it was unfounded.
Dave Messina takes over artwork duties and his work is fantastic, from showing Cloud 9’s powers to Devour’s desperation to be both ‘cool’ and have friends, he articulates each characters emotional states so well that it really is a joy to look at. As always Rex Lokus and ALW’s Troy Peteri bring the finishing touches perfectly with their top notch colors and letters respectively.
How will things stand when Jason recovers from his injuries? Will his students be able to work together to rescue the teacher who keeps putting his life on the line to keep them safe? I don’t know but I want to…
Five Chambers out of Five