Valiant has a new series kicking off this week called Generation Zero. It's the psiots from Harbinger Renegades striking out on their own as a problem solving group that works more as an urban legend. The first issue from the creative team of Fran Van Lente and Francis Portela takes us into the town of Rook, Michigan. The town has been completely rebuilt, gaining the nickname of the Redneck Dubai. But there is a secret in the town, one that a young man named Stephen Seo discovers only to die in a traffic accident. His girlfriend, Keisha Sherman, doesn't believe how he died and wants Generation Zero's help.
If you just do a cursory glance at this series, it feels a bit like something you would've found in the 80's on network TV. The mysterious hero that goes from town to town helping those who need it. Even some of the taglines read like promos for the A-Team or Stingray. It even reminded me of Psi-Force from Marvel's New Universe.
But if you sit down and read it, the story crafted by Van Lente is classic science fiction. The heroes have little to do in this issue until the end. They're almost a MacGuffin, making Keisha the star. We feel that she loved Stephen and misses him. We feel her connection to her brother who appears to be autistic or something similar. We can respect her desire to find out why Stephen died and her belief in him to know that it wasn't an accident like her father the sheriff told her.
And even though Generation Zero are characters who have appeared in other series, this issue stands on it's own because of it's focus on Keisha and not the team. After one issue, I want to know what is going on in the town and want to see Keisha uncover it. I could almost skip the team all together.
If you haven't jumped into the Valiant Universe already and need a good starting point. Here it is. Generation Zero is a strong mystery with good art and a hook that makes you want more.