Finale; thank the (Maxwell) Lord?
Generation Lost finishes up with its 24th issue; the questions is, was it worth that much of our time?
There's some good payoff in this issue for some long-standing story events that've evolved in these 24 issues. Blue Beetle gets a measure of revenge for his namesake, Booster gets to fight Ted Kord "like a man" and the Fire/Red Rocket flirtation that I picked up in previous issues is still hinted at [correction: and has been acted upon. You miss one issue and people start makin' out].
However, these payoffs are subtle, and don't offset the suck of the rest of the book. Pretty much the only major good to come out of this issue is that we're going to get a JLI monthly, which means more Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle. I can't complain about that.
For starters, Captain Atom blows up. Again. I think I should go back and read the entire series again, just so that I can count how many times this plot device is used. Nathan gets into a fight, absorbs some energy, then flies off into space to detonate, and we're expected to keep believing that it's some dangerous phenomena. Spoiler to Winick: if it happens at least once a fight, it kind of loses its edge.
Maxwell Lord getting off relatively scott-free just makes me feel like this entire series was just a waste of paper. From the outset, it was clear that the JLI was going to be able to put a bookend on this issue because they were the only team that could solve it. They had the experience with Max from their past team and were left unaffected by the whole mind-control that kicked off the series.
Instead of getting a resolution to the story, we see that Max lost nothing in the end. All he had to do was reverse the mind control.
Max is still head of Checkmate, and his crimes with the OMACs are absolved; we get to see each member of the JLI stewing over a YouTube video that Lord has released explaining "his side" of the story. Booster and Batman make some biting cultural commentary about how he looks like a "common, humble man" uploading it online instead of co-opting a news broadcast, like we're supposed to take a good long look at ourselves and think "Man, we can never control the freedom of the Internet, man..."
And after a conversation with a friend, I just realized: where the f^*^& was Oracle on that one? Isn't that... her thing?
My point is, all of that should not take twenty-goddamn-four issues to do. At best, that should have been a six (or twelve, if we're being generous) issue arc.
Next time Keith Giffen wants to start a book, he should be contracted to finish it; handing it off to Judd Winick (who has ruined much better series' than this) seems like a cop-out, especially when the characters are heavily associated with him. I have a strong hunch that this series would never have gotten printed without Giffen's involvement: it never should have finished without it, either.