I’ve had this half-finished since just after I posted up that Gen 13 Trading Card Theatre post but my attention span is sometimes short.
Gen 13 was Jim Lee’s surprise success for his Image Comics imprint Wildstorm Entertainment. Originally it was advertised as Gen X but Marvel got involved, this was around the time Marvel was going to debut their own Generation X so that could have been a factor. After the team debuted in the much maligned Deathmate the series launched with a mini-series drawn by Wildstorm’s new sensation J. Scott Campbell (Danger Girl) and then had its own ongoing shortly thereafter, again drawn by Campbell until he went off to form another Image Comics imprint – Cliffhanger. Eventually the book was relaunched and all but one of the team members was killed (spoilers) to make way for Chris Claremont to write the third volume, this wasn’t a very well received idea. Gen13 had A LOT of mini-series and 1-shots as well as a second ongoing called Gen 13: Bootleg which did the same job as the mini’s and specials and allowed other creators to work on the characters – and apparently they were queuing up to do so.
So who are Gen 13? Well they’re a group of Gen-Active teens who were rescued from a secret government operation called I.O. by a former I.O. employee and fellow Gen-Active John Lynch. Gen-Actives are just Wildstorm’s version of Marvel’s Mutants. After escaping and hiding out in L.A. Jolla (where the company that published them also just so happened to be' based) they get themselves a dimension hopping teleporting green rat-monkey called Queelocke who is so adorable, and Anna, a robot housekeeper who kicks so much arse. The team soon learn that most of them are the decedents of Team 7, a government team that linked the Wildstorm universe and included Lynch, Grifter, Backlash and Deathblow. The rescued kids are: Fairchild, a dorky redhead who became a super strong and indestructible amazon; Freefall – Caitlin’s spunky and rebellious half-sister (as it turns out) who control’s gravity and is Queelocke’s ‘owner’; her boyfriend Grunge who’s a well-meaning idiot who can take on the properties of whatever material he touches (rock, sand, water, bubblegum, lint onetime if I recall); Native American lesbian Rainmaker who’s very pro-social justice and is just Storm in terms of powers and Burnout, Lynch’s son who’s a guitarist with a crush on Rainmaker and is just the Human Torch in terms of powers. Fairchild was kind-of the main character, at one point Wildstorm bragged that more dorm rooms had their life-size Fairchild poster on their doors than Pamela Anderson’s; I doubt this is true but I kind of hope it was.
Anyway I’ve been fond of Gen13 since I was about 13 so I’ve decided to tell you my top 10 Gen 13 stories in the hope that you will read at least one and like it more than you thought you would, so are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin: