Cover to Gen¹³ vol. 4, #1 (2006) by Talent Caldwell.
|Group publication information|
|Publisher||WildStorm (DC Comics)|
WildCats Trilogy #1 (June 1993)
Deathmate: Black (September 1993)
|Created by|| Jim Lee |
J. Scott Campbell
|Base(s)||La Jolla, California|
|Member(s)|| Caitlin Fairchild |
|Cover to Gen¹³ vol. 2, #6 (1995). Art by Jim Lee and Scott Williams.|
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||(vol. 1)|
Feb. – Sept. 1994
March 1995 – July 2002
Sept. 2002 – Feb. 2004
Oct. 2006 – Feb. 2011
|Number of issues||(vol. 1)|
5 (plus #½)
80 (plus #-1, three Annuals)
|Creator(s)|| Jim Lee |
J. Scott Campbell
Gen¹³ is a fictional superhero team and comic book series originally written by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi and illustrated by J. Scott Campbell. It was published by WildStorm under the Image Comics banner, which went on to become an imprint for DC Comics, who continued publishing the Gen¹³ title. The comic features a loosely organized team of super-powered beings composed of five teens and their mentor.
The series takes place in Jim Lee's Wildstorm Universe, and Gen¹³'s stories and history intertwine with those from his own works, such as Wildcats and Team 7 (in fact, each of the main characters in Gen¹³ is the child of a Team 7 member).
The setup of the series is that a group of teens are invited to take part in a government project, which is in actuality a prison-like testing ground on "gen-active" teens. The teens make their escape, but not before they manifest superhuman powers, and are labelled dangerous fugitives. They rely on each other to fight their foes and unveil the personal secrets that linked them to Team 7 and International Operations.
After a very successful run ending with issue #20, co-creator and illustrator J. Scott Campbell handed the reins of Gen¹³ over to other creative teams, saying that leaving freed him up to work on both the Gen¹³/Batman crossover and his own new series ( Danger Girl ).
Following the run of Choi and Campbell were John Arcudi and Gary Frank. Their realistic style, both in writing and art, was a drastic change from the title's more fantastic elements. Following their run, Scott Lobdell returned the title to its less-serious, more-sexual roots, but still the title was not received well by fans.
After Lobdell's run, Adam Warren was assigned to the title. He had previously proven himself writing two stories using Gen¹³ characters ("Grunge: The Movie," published in Gen¹³ Bootleg, and the standalone mini-series Magical Drama Queen Roxy), as well as a two-issue fill-in piece featuring a pop idol who threatened to take over the world with a catchy song. Warren's run was well received by fans and critics, but sales did not support the title.
Despite outrageous story arcs and many artist collaborations, the popularity of the book dwindled to the point where Wildstorm decided to blow up the entire team with a 6-megaton bomb (Gen¹³ vol. 2, #76, June 2002). This served as the catalyst to revamp the series with a new first issue written by Chris Claremont with pencils by Ale Garza. This title featured an all new team mentored by Caitlin Fairchild, and spawned a spin-off series titled 21 Down. However, this title was cancelled after barely a year. The final issue of the series revealed that the original team was, in fact, still alive, and that the new series had taken place in an alternate dimension which had in some fashion crossed over with the known continuity.
During the height of its popularity, Gen¹³ spawned two spin-off books, DV8 and Gen¹³ Bootleg, as well as a number of specials and mini-series. The team also starred in crossovers with other comic book characters such as Superman, Spider-Man, the Maxx, Monkeyman and O'Brien, two crossovers with the Marvel Comics teen hero team Generation X, and a crossover with the Fantastic Four. At one point in the early years, Wildstorm and DC were planning a teamup between the team and Batman. However, due to creative differences between creator Brandon Choi and DC, the crossover never happened, although J. Scott Campbell did create artwork showing Fairchild, Grunge, Roxy, and Batman in a promotional image.[ citation needed ]
The title was "rebooted" in October 2006, initially written by Gail Simonewith art from Talent Caldwell. At first, the title had no continuity with earlier series. The series was involved in the "Armageddon" crossover event and then taken over in 2008 with a new creative team, Scott Beatty and Mike Huddleston, as part of "World's End".
The new series was canceled along with the rest of the Wildstorm titles published at the time when the line folded. [ citation needed ]When the Wildstorm universe was subsequently folded into the DC Universe following Flashpoint , several of the members of Gen 13 began appearing in other titles. Caitlin Fairchild played a supporting role in Superboy and eventually began starring in the spin-off title, The Ravagers.
International Operations started "government internship" for gifted youths, taking place in an isolated training facility. Following the manifestation of Caitlin Fairchild's powers, she fled the complex with Roxy Spaulding, Grunge, Burnout, and Threshold in disguise. They were later joined by Sarah Rainmaker. The project was revealed to be a gathering of the gen-active progeny of Team 7.
Threshold tricked the group, sans Fairchild, to return to base to help free the other kids, but upon their return they were apprehended for further testing. With the help of Pitt and John Lynch, the kids finally escaped. The group retreated to La Jolla, California, and officially formed as the group Gen¹³. They opposed I.O. and their violent counterpart, DV8. ("Gen¹³" loosely refers to the 13th generation of Americans. Team 7 had been part of a project called Gen12.)
The team spent a lot of time delving into the past of Team 7 to learn more about themselves. Fairchild and Freefall learned they were half-sisters and Lynch was revealed to be Burnout's father. Also during this time, Freefall and Grunge began to date, while Rainmaker revealed herself to be bisexual.
The team was caught in an explosion of a six-megaton bomb and believed to be dead. Fairchild was the only survivor and mentored a new Gen¹³ team, effectively taking Lynch's role. However, this team existed in what is later revealed to be an alternate reality which was similar to the mainstream Wildstorm universe except for its point of divergence, the last issue of Gen¹³ volume 2. At the end of volume 3, the rest of the original Gen¹³ team was revealed to be alive and, after a little time-travel to avoid the detonation that "killed" them, the reunited group returned to the mainstream Wildstorm universe.
In early 2006, Wildstorm brought all its in-continuity comics since WildC.A.T.s #1 to an end. The universe's finale came in the form of the crossover miniseries Captain Atom: Armageddon. Following the conclusion of this limited series, the entire Wildstorm line was relaunched with "Worldstorm." A new Gen¹³ series began. The entire world had a "soft reset"; the surroundings were mostly familiar, but there were changes throughout.
In the first arc, the future Gen¹³ are taken away from their home lives. It is revealed that their parents have been assigned to raise the children to encourage the emergence of specific personality-traits. In different areas of the country, Caitlin Fairchild, Roxy Spaulding, Eddie Chang, Bobby Lane, and Sarah Rainmaker wake up, each wearing a uniform recognized by their parents. Strike teams immediately attempt to capture the kids; many of their foster parents are terminated.
In the course of the series, it is eventually revealed that (in contrast to the previous iterations) these Gen¹³s were manipulated and formulated from birth by an unscrupulous biogenetics firm from I.O., called Tabula Rasa. Furthermore, the "souls" of the previous iterations of the Gen¹³s, previously collected by the Authority's Doctor, have settled into these bodies, and when the five of them are together, they cause people to forget their previous history, even those who knew them.
As a result of these new origins, the personalities, histories, and abilities of each character have displayed mild-to-massive differences from the previous canon. For instance, Burnout is now a former juvenile hall-resident-turned-reggae-loving pacifist, and John Lynch is a young grunt in I.O.'s employ. Rainmaker is retconned into being a lesbian rather than bisexual, Fairchild is suspicious and unhappy about her excessive beauty, and Grunge is portrayed as being secretly more-intelligent than even Caitlin. Outside of her newfound origins, the character of Freefall remains mostly consistent to previous iterations, save for a slightly greater level of confidence and self-reliance.
The series resumes following Number of the Beast as part of the "World's End" storyline, with the group coming out of a teleportation system in which they had been held (due to power loss) into a devastated New York approximately six months following the events of Number of the Beast.
Once they reach the surface from the underground lair, the group is shocked to see what has happened in New York (aside from Burnout, who is blind at this point). While Grunge is quick to claim that an asteroid, global warming, and other natural disasters were responsible for the destruction, Rainmaker blames terrorists. After a confrontation with several crazed metahuman-hunters, the group finally manages to escape New York.
Once outside of New York, the group finds themselves trapped in a mall with several mutated monsters, one of which seemingly infects Fairchild. While the group is holding together, tensions have begun to rise between Fairchild and Rainmaker, with the latter being attracted to the first. Burnout, while still blind, gains some semblance of vision with the ability to sense heat patterns.
During their stay at a skater park run by teens, Grunge is crowned king. He is originally thrilled about it but later finds out that his predecessor is to be eaten in a soup. Rainmaker, having witnessed Caitlin and Bobby kiss in a tent, grabs her gear and leaves the group without saying goodbye to anyone.
The other teens are confronted by the cloned scientist Dr. Cross, who created them after their original deaths; however, he and his assistant Megan are both stuck at ages five and nine, respectively, due to the loss of electricity caused by the cataclysm, while retaining their memories and intellects. They manage to save Grunge and to overpower the heavily-armed children-scientists due to the intervention of Goo, a Gen14. As they flee, it is revealed that Caitlin's power has failed, most probably due to the infection, and she suffers a serious knife injury.
Having nowhere else to go, they join the children-scientists, who promise to heal Caitlin. They arrive in a small town that is under the "protection" of a World War II supervillain team, the Fearsmiths (the imprisoned villains from Number of the Beast). The two groups clash, with Gen¹³ being easily beaten. Following another defeat, they are separated from Fairchild and the scientists as they are abducted by the Paladins, who offer to train them.
Unknown to any them, Goo was sent by the remnants of the U.S. military—specifically a branch who specialized in fighting metahumans. The squad was designed to apprehend Gen¹³ and have accordingly been practicing on a small group of Gen14s, of which Goo is a member. Naturally, their practice sessions ended with the Gen14s being killed, cloned, and their minds transferred and later modified so that they do not remember their ordeal. Oddly enough, Goo seems to be regaining some of her memories.
Currently on orders from the general in charge of the military squad, Gen14 has invaded the Paladins' headquarters and are ready to confront Gen¹³, which currently consists only of Burnout, Grunge, and Freefall.
The fight between the gen-actives and the military branch is over quickly with the Gen14 and military winning. Once they have been captured, Gen¹³ are offered an ultimatum: either join the military and serve them or be executed. In order to prove his point, the general shoots and kills Gen14's Windsprint. His plans, however, are crossed by Roxy, who levitates the Paladin base into space, knocking them all out due to oxygen deprivation.
In the meantime, Caitlin has fully mutated due to the Warhol virus to which she was exposed and is rampaging across town in a Hulk-like fashion. Her rampage is cut short as the Paladin base crash-lands next to her. The gen-actives band together and take on Caitlin, hoping to calm her down, but they do not succeed. Seeing no alternative, Goo sacrifices herself in order to short-circuit the virus, thus reverting Caitlin to her former self.
Three weeks later, Bobby, Roxy, Grunge, Caitlin, and the surviving Gen14s Runt and Ditto arrive at Tranquility (a town of retired super-heroes), only to find a crater where the town had been. The group decides not to despair and to go on even if it means that are heading into trouble.
Gen¹³ briefly debuts in the epilogue of Supergirl issue #33; membership consists of the original lineup.
The original lineup of Gen¹³ was:
The team recently added newcomers:
This section possibly contains original research . (November 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Gen¹³'s most obvious influence is Marvel Comics’ X-Men, which originally featured five young friends who were trained in secret by an older man, who tried to protect them from a dangerous world. Many of the more social aspects of the team were inspired by the second generation X-Men spin-off series: New Mutants . In fact, the original title of the book was to be Gen X, as seen in an early advertisement for the series in the second issue of StormWatch , but was later changed due to Marvel having an X-Men spin-off titled Generation X in development.
The character of Rainmaker highly resembled the X-Men's Storm in that both characters had weather controlling powers. Marvel's Spider-Man notes this similarity in a crossover issue, to the point of briefly mistaking her for Storm in their first encounter.
Also, the character of Freefall had her direct parallel in the character of Jubilee, both of whom had similar attitudes and physical attributes, including being the youngest in their respective teams. Freefall also had an unearthly pet, Qeelocke, which parallels the baby dragon Lockheed belonging to Kitty Pryde of the X-Men. Conceptual similarities among the pyrokinetic Burnout and the Fantastic Four's Human Torch are also quite evident.
John Lynch was inspired by Clint Eastwood, both in appearance and personality. Another influence is Marvel's character Nick Fury, who is also a one-eyed secret agent.
Many of the early Gen¹³ adventures also paralleled the X-Men. In issue #2 of the ongoing series, the team fought Helmut, a practically unbeatable armored opponent with a vendetta against the team's mentor, similar to the X-Men's Juggernaut. In the next five issues, the team went on an inadvertent world tour, similar to early adventures of the "All-New, All Different" X-Men of the 1970s. After their mansion was destroyed (a recurring element of the X-Men comics), the team went to a prehistoric island (similar to the X-Men's Savage Land), before going into outer space (X-Men's "The Dark Phoenix Saga"), and returning to a dark future (X-Men's "Days of Future Past"). Most of the X-Men parallels faded after this point when Brandon Choi was replaced by John Arcudi as writer on the series. However, it is worth noting that when WildStorm decided to revamp the series, they hired perennial X-Men writer Chris Claremont to do the job.
Another similar comic series that preceded Gen¹³ is the Valiant Comics title Harbinger , written by Valiant mastermind Jim Shooter. In the Harbinger series, a group of teenage superhumans rebel against the largest and most powerful organization of superhumans. The premise of the series resembles Gen¹³ in both the age and temperament of the main characters, with villain Toyo Harada's Harbinger Institute taking the place of WildStorm's I.O.
Gen¹³ also highly embraced the MTV Generation and built its sense of style on what was the contemporary fashion at the time, including the name Grunge (which was a quickly dated reference), references to popular bands such as Soundgarden, and a youthful drama inspired by MTV’s The Real World . Not coincidentally, Gen¹³'s editor was Sarah Becker, a cast member on The Real World: Miami .
There have been a number of trade paperbacks collecting the Gen¹³ comic books, spin-off series, limited series, and specials.
|Title||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
Gen¹³ vol. 2, #1–13C
|Collected Edition||Gen¹³ #1–5||March 1996||1-56389-496-3|
|Who They Are and How They Came to Be||Gen¹³ #1–5||September 2006||1-4012-1149-6|
|Starting Over||Gen¹³ vol. 2, #1–7||August 1999||1-56389-544-7|
|#13 A, B & C Collected Edition||Gen¹³ vol. 2, #13A–13C||November 1997||978-1887279666|
|I Love New York||Gen¹³ vol. 2, #25–29||September 1999||1-56389-543-9|
|We'll Take Manhattan||Gen¹³ vol. 2, #45–50||October 2000||1-56389-662-1|
|Meanwhile…||Gen¹³ vol. 2, #43–44, 66–70||2003||1-4012-0062-1|
|Superhuman Like You||Gen¹³ vol. 2, #60–65||March 2002||1-56389-877-2|
|September Song||Gen¹³ vol. 3, #0–6||August 2003||1-4012-0122-9|
|Best of a Bad Lot||Gen¹³ vol. 4, #1–6||July 2007||1-4012-1323-5|
|Road Trip||Gen¹³ vol. 4, #7–13||February 2008||1-4012-1649-8|
|15 Minutes||Gen¹³ vol. 4, #14–20||November 2008||1-4012-2002-9|
|World's End||Gen¹³ vol. 4, #21–26||October 2009||1-4012-2488-1|
|Gen¹³ Backlist||Gen¹³ #½, 0|
Gen¹³ vol. 2, #1
"Now Departing from Gate 37" short story from WildStorm! #1
Covers of Gen¹³ vol. 2, #1A-1N
Gen¹³: The Unreal World
|Gen¹³ Interactive Plus!||Gen¹³ Interactive #1–3|
Gen¹³ 3-D Special
|Gen¹³: Ordinary Heroes||Gen¹³: Ordinary Heroes #1–2|
Gen¹³ Bootleg #1–2
"Wham" short story from The Wildstorm Thunderbook
Kevin Altieri ( Batman: Mask of the Phantasm ) directed a Gen¹³ animated feature for Buena Vista Pictures. It was shelved by the studio soon after Wildstorm was bought by DC Comics and never released in the United States, but it has seen a limited video release in Europe and Australia in 2000. Grunge was voiced by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lynch was voiced by John de Lancie, and Threshold was voiced by Mark Hamill.
Three Gen¹³ paperback novels were released:
WildStorm Productions, or simply WildStorm, is an American comic book imprint. Originally founded as an independent company established by Jim Lee under the name "Aegis Entertainment" and expanded in subsequent years by other creators, WildStorm became a publishing imprint of DC Comics in 1999. Until it was shut down, the WildStorm imprint remained editorially separate from DC Comics, with its main studio located in California. The imprint took its name from the combining of the titles of the Jim Lee comic series WildC.A.T.S. and Stormwatch.
Wildcats, sometimes rendered WildCats or WildC.A.T.s, is a superhero team created by the American comic book artist Jim Lee and writer Brandon Choi.
The Authority is a superhero comic book series published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint. It was created in 1999 by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, and follows the adventures of the Authority, a superhero team mainly composed of Ellis-created characters from Stormwatch.
Generation X is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. A spin-off of the X-Men, the team was created by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Chris Bachalo. Generation X debuted during the 1994 "Phalanx Covenant" storyline, and appeared in their own monthly series in September 1994 with Generation X #1.
Grifter is a fictional comic book superhero who has appeared in books published by Wildstorm Productions and DC Comics. Created by artist Jim Lee and writer Brandon Choi, he first appeared in WildC.A.T.s #1, as a member of that titular superhero team, during the period when Wildstorm and its properties were owned by Jim Lee. In that incarnation, Grifter is a former government operative and member of the military unit Team 7 and the espionage agency International Operations.
DV8 is a comic book published by Wildstorm. The series revolves around the lives of a group of Gen-Active people, initially living in New York City under the supervision of Ivana Baiul, who sends them on life-threatening black ops assignments.
Apollo is a fictional character, a comic book superhero who first appeared in the Stormwatch series, but is best known for his role in The Authority. While visually distinct, Apollo is cast in the mould of the Superman archetype.
Deathblow is a fictional character in the Wildstorm Universe. He first appears in Darker Image #1 was created by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi.
Jo Chen is an American comic book artist and writer best known for her highly detailed painted comic book covers. In the Japanese comic industry she is also known by the pen name TogaQ and is known as Jun Togai.
In comic books, an intercompany crossover is a comic or series of comics where characters that at the time of publication are the property of one company meet those owned by another company. These usually occur in "one-shot" issues or miniseries.
Team 7 is a comic book superhero team that appeared in titles published by Wildstorm Productions. The team has appeared in 3 self-titled miniseries: Team 7, Team 7: Objective Hell and Team 7: Dead Reckoning. The first 5-issue Gen¹³ limited series also involved members of Team 7. The team's members have played a major role throughout the Wildstorm Universe. In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity, bringing in Wildstorm characters, including Team 7.
"Fire From Heaven" was a company-wide comics crossover event story arc published by American company WildStorm in 1996. The story ran across at least one issue of most WildStorm titles at the time and several independent one-shots. The story tied into many events happening in the WildStorm universe and, unlike many major crossovers of the time, Fire From Heaven had a lasting impact on many of the characters involved.
New Men was a comic book series published during the 1990s by Image Comics. It was one of the many titles co-created by Rob Liefeld, and released as part of his Extreme Studios imprint. Like many of Liefeld's creations for this and his Maximum Comics line the New Men bore striking similarities to characters from mainstream comic companies; in this case New Men was very similar to Marvel Comics' X-Men franchise. After an initial launch the series underwent a re-design and revamp by writer Eric Stephenson and Penciler Chris Sprouse with Inks by Al Gordon.
Wildstorm Rising was a crossover event published by Image Comics/WildStorm that involved the entire line of titles published by WildStorm in 1995.
The Wildstorm Universe is a fictional shared universe where the comic books published by Wildstorm take place. It represents an alternate history of the real world where ideas such as interstellar travel and superhuman abilities are commonplace. It is also the name of one of three brands launched by Wildstorm to help differentiate their titles set in the same universe from other, separate titles. Originally launched as part of the Image Universe, it broke off as its own separate universe during the "Shattered Image" storyline.
Spawn/WildC.A.T.S. is an American comic book mini-series published by Image Comics, crossing over Todd McFarlane's Spawn and Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.S.
The Image Universe is a fictional shared universe wherein many of the comic books published by Image Comics take place.
Gen¹³ is a 1998 American animated superhero film based on the Gen¹³ comic book series published by WildStorm Productions which is a part of DC Comics. The film, released in 2000, was directed by Kevin Altieri and produced by WildStorm. The film was distributed by Buena Vista Pictures under the Touchstone Pictures banner and first screened for the general public at the Wizard World Chicago convention July 17–19, 1998.
The Movement is a 2013-2014 comic book series published by DC Comics that ran for 12 issues, written by Gail Simone and illustrated by Freddie Williams II. The series took place within the DC Universe as part of The New 52. It focused on a group of teenagers, known as The Movement or Channel M, who use their superpowers to fight the corruption in Coral City.