This marks my third GENERATIONS issue that I’ve read, and it continues the trends of its predecessors quite well– eh, I guess well is the right word, but not giving accurate meaning. This issue highlights the problems I’ve had with GENERATIONS: IRON MAN AND IRONHEART #1 and GENERATIONS: CAPTAIN MARVEL AND CAPTAIN MAR-VELL #1 in spades. Not only did it not learn from those errors, but it also introduced another factor that I’ve noticed readers dislike and consider an offense of the highest degree, which made reading that much more difficult.
I’m a firm believer that a reader can tell how an issue is going to be overall from the first page or so. You can tend to pick up on what the pace will be like, the writing capability of the writer as well as if you like the art or not. And honestly, and sadly, I don’t think I’ve ever really been turned off faster to an issue than GENERATIONS: MS. MARVEL AND MS. MARVEL #1. It was a combination of things, too. I’m not a fan of Paolo Villanelli’s (artist) art, not that it’s bad, but it’s just not my cup of tea. Then there’s the writing, and it left me quite confused.
Now it might just be a taste thing, but for me, when a writer uses the phrase, “Record scratch, freeze frame,” it throws any seriousness of what’s going on out the window. It’s an instant comedic relief tool, in my opinion. There’s plenty of stories that could’ve worked for, but here it completely contradicts what G. Willow Wilson (writer) was obviously going for. See, through the entire issue she made political stand after stand about women’s rights and how strong and independent they are. Now, that’s not a bad thing– not at all, if done properly, but to contradict that with a huge scoop of comedy right off the bat, it didn’t work.
And lets take a moment to confirm something at this point– that being ripping the characters from their place in time is absolutely a plot device. A weak and poorly executed one at this point along these GENERATIONS one-shots. Even in this issue, Wilson didn’t capitalize on it, and instead took the first nine pages to explain how Karina Kahn got at the beginning of the issue.
There was many missed opportunities throughout this issue for me, like how those nine pages could’ve been used to actually explain what happened and caused Karina to end up wherever in time she was instead of giving a run of the mill “throwaway” explanation followed by belittling the reader by telling us, “That’s all you really need to know.” I take issue with comics that instead of making an interesting story for the reader, take an easy way out. And that is definitely what I felt occurred in this instance.
Now, allow me to raise my hand here and admit I don’t read a whole lot of Ms. Marvel to know whether or not if “breaking the fourth wall” is apart of her character or not, but if it is, forgive me because I felt that it hurt the message Wilson was trying to convey. Again, it comes back to the extensive attempts at inserting comedy in serious issues, as well as cheesy dialogue. This actually felt like it was trying to be a “light core” Deadpool issue to me.
My final point… the lack of a real villain, which continued this feeling of these GENERATIONS being fillers with absolutely no consequences. And it’s a shame because where this issue could’ve pulled through and been at least a decent one is with a great villain that made it interesting. Instead we were given NIGHTSCREAM who literally was defeated twice with utter ease, and that being after Carol declares they’re “evenly matched” with absolutely no real display of this than just a few panels. I’m drawn back to those opening nine pages and how they also could’ve built a formidable threat instead of allowing PIS — plot induced stupidity — to cover it.
This was my least favorite thus far, as it put a solid plot and a substantial villain backseat to a political message. Choosing to stay in the Liberal trench Marvel writers had been digging for quite some time, and ultimately one of the reasons their sales have been down in combination with bad stories and writing.