This entry covers the story from “Gen13: Series 1 Trading Card Base Set cards 73 – 81” by Brandon Choi, Ryan Odagawa, Joe Phillips, Eric Shanower, John Lowe, either Jason or Gary Martin, Wendy Fouts, and Martin Jimenez, and also covers “Gen13 : Interactive” issues 1 – 3 by Mike Heisler, Jason Johnson, Edwin Rosell, and JD.
The trading card story is pretty inconsequential but, it’s always fun to see if we can work in these side stories. The Gen13 kids, Lynch, and Anna go on a trip to the mall to unwind. They wind up at a virtual reality game arcade named Virtual Valley. The man running it, known as the Psimaster has the VR create whatever reality the player wants, but also records and sells the footage. Eventually Anna saves the day, because as a robot, she’s not generating the fantasy environment in the VR. She also wrecks Psimaster’s equipment, so he won’t be able to pull this little scam again!
Now, “Gen13: Interactive” is a proper book… but no less inconsequential, but man is this some pretty pretty art! The kids and Lynch go to the zoo, they all get separated from each other and then all the kids get captured by a being known as Panic. What Panic wants is a sample of Gen-Factor, and he thinks the kids are the way to get it.
While the capture of the kids is usually fantastical and silly, the VR situations that Panic puts the abducted kids into is about the same. They are all a means to test the kids and their powers, but it’s, well, silly as hell. Bobby is a member of DV8 with Bliss and it’s being lead by Lynch, Caitlin is working at a phone sex line, Sarah is in the Puritan days and set to marry John Rolfe, Roxy is a Hooters waitress, and Grunge… well Grunge is the Maxx. The kids get free and find a way to transport away from Panic, but the location of the transport is random and again, silliness ensues! Roxy is inside of a “stripper cake” at a bachelor party in Kansas, Sarah is in Rio at Carnival, Grunge is in Hell, Bobby is hidden in a dressing room of a Vegas cabaret, and Caitlin is being harassed by the staff of a certain Southern California based comic book company.
Why all the silliness? Well the hook of this book was that the readers voted on what was going on in the book. Were all the suggestions to vote on wacky as hell? Some were, but others really weren’t. Like for our first situation with the VR, all of Caitlin’s options were silly asking if she should be turned into Snow White, a housewife with a sitcom, a nun, or a phone sex operator, while Roxy had the options to be a SEAL Team member, old maid, or Caitlin herself along with the winner of her becoming a Hooters waitress. So in some ways the ultimate silliness was up to those reading and voting, but there was enough craziness already built in.
Back to the story, we, through Lynch, find that Panic was an invention of Dr. Weir Dangle, a being made of nano-tech. Lynch contacts Dr. Dangle and they meet up and find Panic and the kids. What Panic wants is a mate, and while he can create duplicates of himself, problem that, is that they’re just duplicates, exact copies, no variations, just more of himself, not a mate. Panic was hoping that introducing some extracted Gen-Factor into the nano-tech one of his copies would introduce enough variance that a mate for him could be possible. Panic unfortunately found that the Gen-Factor of the kids was altered enough through the generational hand down, it was no good for his purposes. Seems only a pure Gen-Factor sample will do, and Lynch steps up to donates some of his, mostly just so we can get this whole debacle over with. Poor John Lynch, starts out in the WildStorm Universe as a single guy w/ a lost son, ends up being the dad to Bobby, TAO, and now apparently Panic’s partner.
- I figure the kids have a little down time after getting back from Cray’s funeral, and that Lynch wants to keep it a little light for right now. A trip to the mall, a trip to the zoo, who thought everything would go so wrong?
- The card story has to happen after “Fire from Heaven” because Lynch calls Bobby “son” in his VR fantasy. And in “Gen13: Interactive” issue 1 we have Grunge and Bobby talking about Lynch being his father as if it is still new info the group is dealing with.
- Both stories have to occur before the events of “Gen13” v2 issue 18, as the team is in La Jolla with Lynch and Anna.
- I place the card story before the story in “Gen13: Interactive” because I don’t think the kids would willing do VR for fun after being forced to by Panic in “Gen13: Interactive” issue 2.
- Panic would return in “Gen13: Wired” a call back that no one was expecting!
NEXT: “DV8” issues 1/2 & 5 by Warren Ellis, JJ Kirby, Humberto Ramos, Randy Elliot, Dexter Vines, Saleem Crawford, Sal Reglas, and Wendy Fouts
Where to Find These Stories
- The “Gen13: Interactive Plus” trade