“New-Gen pt 1”: When two scientists discover and then perfect a new type of nanotechnology, you just know that one of them is bound to get a god complex and start to screw things up. That’s exactly what happens when Deadalus attempts to reshape the world no matter the cost and is confronted by his longtime friend/mentor Gabriel. Unknown to Gabriel, Deadalus had been conducting secret experiments to further his own type of research, and then set the nanobots loose on the population of New-Gen. The effects to New-Gen’s children are extreme to say the least, as it mutates them and gives them nanotech-based powers. This forces Gabriel to make a tough decision concerning his own life and the lives of others based on his belief in a prophecy and love for his family.
Ever since seeing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, I get nervous when a story has a focus (even a small one) on saving little kids. With that said, I’ll admit that I enjoyed New-Gen more than expected and actually had fun while checking out the story. New-Gen mixes a lot of familiar elements that we’ve seen before throughout its pages, and despite one particular incident it’s done quite well. The story is engaging and entertaining while it lays the ground work for the future issues. The artwork by Abdul compliments the story and helps with the fun factor, though it seems that backgrounds are lacking in the Utopian society of New-Gen. The fight scene between Deadalus and Gabriel plays out nicely and shows that Gabriel has a few tricks up his sleeve. Though it is explained how Deadalus has his abilities, we are left in the dark about Gabriel’s powers.
Writer(s): J.D. Matonti, Shaun Mclaughlin, & Andrew McDonald
Artist: Abdul H. Rashid
Cover: Alexander Cutri & Abdul H. Rashid
“New-Gen pt 2”: Time has passed and Deadalus has escaped his prison into a different time with the help of the underground creatures he now controls. And with their help he begins an assault on the primitive people above ground in hopes of conquering them. Gabriel has been watching him all this time and decides of send the oldest of the A.P.N.G. to put a stop to the attack, and that’s when all hell breaks loose. Minotaur, or “Mini” for short, goes in and for a while he’s got the upper hand. However, the numbers game catches up to him and Gabriel is forced to send in reinforcements to make sure Mini doesn’t get killed by the vast number of creatures at Deadalus’s command.
Most of this issue is just one long fight with a few light moments thrown in to keep it from getting boring. Like when Gabriel realizes that Minotaur’s nanopowers are spiking on his first mission and he’s doing more damage to the natives’ town/homes than he is to the enemy. Now I’m going to assume that several years have passed, since Minotaur looks a lot older in this issue than he does on the cover of the first issue. We’re never given an exact window of time that has passed within the story, but Deadalus also has gone through a physical change as illustrated by Rashid. Again the artwork fits this type of story very well and it looks like something you would see on a Saturday morning cartoon. The change of location also helped with the visuals, since in the first issue the Utopian background of New-Gen was pretty bland.
Within this issue there were two things that were a bit off to me. The first was the scribe running around recording the events of Mini’s fight on a stone tablet because it would make a great story. Now if I’m not mistaken, paper was already invented during this time and seeing him trying to chisel the story was just silly if you ask me. Another thing was how Deadalus was trapped again in the end, because unless all of his creatures are destroyed then he’ll easily escape once again.
New-Gen is slated to become a television series, feature film, and video game, which explains the all-ages appeal of the story. Now, I don’t see anything wrong with that as long as the story given to the fans is worth it in the end. With three writers on the title, though, I would expect a bit more detail to help flesh some minor things out while adding a few more layers to the overall story. New-Gen also has the potential and story elements in place to be an exciting tale if it’s not watered down too much and made too little kid friendly. Too many times an “all ages” story really translates into “buy this for the little kids” and begins to only cater to that audience, forgetting the older crowd.
Overall, New-Gen is off to a good start with the first two issues, and let’s just hope that the Association for the Protection of New Generation (A.P.N.G.) continues to build on this and give the audience more in the coming issues.