What would it be like to be the first person to fly?
One of the strongest moments in the television show Heroes was when Nathan Patrelli first took off into the air. He could fly! In most superhero comics, flight is old hat. Everyone can fly. But, in Generation Gone, we get that moment of exhilaration when Elena soars into the stratosphere, tears streaming from her face, pure joy exuding from every pore. How high would you go? Would you come back?
The second issue of Generation Gone gets into the second act of the story of three suddenly super-powered millennials quickly. In issue one, the trio was attempting to electronically rob a bank when their DNA was hijacked by a government scientist and black goo sprung out of every available orifice. Well, the kids aren’t just alright, they’re super.
At the heart of this issue is motivation. Why did Akio defy orders and infect/alter these kids in particular? Why is the General so over-protective when his job is to literally build weapons of mass destruction? What kind of people are Elena, Nick, and Baldwin? How will having super powers affect them?
Akio and the General both have deep loss in their lives surrounding their children. Akio saw his children swallowed up in an earthquake, while the General pulled his daughter from the fiery wreck that left her without legs and killed his wife. After using their shared experience as an attempt at leverage, Akio shows his true colors both by warning the supers about their impending capture and by recalling the horror of watching his children slip away from his grasp.
As was true from issue one, the best moments of the book are when the art is allowed to speak for itself. The image of Elena burning through the atmosphere, having her clothes and connection to Earth stripped away in literal fire and hovering, naked and silhouetted in front of the sun tells a great deal about her as a person without saying a word.
We leave the trio in the middle of a political demonstration gone wrong as footage of Baldwin, the invulnerable Nick, and the flying Elena makes its way across the air. Akio has made his choice, swearing to leave no child powerless again. Where that open threat leads is anyone’s guess.