Generation Hope #15 opens with the reaction of Cyclops and the White Queen when Hope and her team bring Sebastian Shaw back to Utopia — which goes about as well as could be expected. Cyclops is unsure of Hope’s claims that Shaw is a total amnesiac, and has him immediately captured and taken into custody to be examined. Hope, believing Shaw to be innocent by way of not remembering any of his crimes, is infuriated by Scott’s treatment of him and asserts her authority, making it clear that she expects to be on even footing with Cyclops where her own team is concerned.
In the meantime, the rest of Hope’s team finds themselves confronting the Mutant Liberation Front, who have appeared in all their ’90s-created glory. I couldn’t help but get the feeling reading that scene, amusing as it was, that the author has a bone to pick with the comics of the Liefeldian Era, and was taking out some of his frustration on the MLF. (For example, Laurie’s line that they’re “wallowing at exactly the right level of obscurity.” Ouch.) Although there was later some level of payoff with Hope’s demonstration of her abilities, the MLF’s decision to come out of “obscurity” just to pick a fight with the Lights seemed a bit distracting from the Shaw storyline. However, I suppose, for those still feeling the pain of ’90s comics, it could be cathartic.
As this book is — as the title suggests — centered on Hope, it’s good to see her placing herself firmly in her leadership role. Although she’s young, she’s still trained and experienced, and she shows no desire to simply rest on her laurels as the “mutant messiah.” She’s confident and trusts in her own abilities, and while there’s signs that she may end up being a little too confident in how much control she has over her team, it’s good to see her given that sort of power. Even in the wake of the “Schism,” she’s willing to stand up to Cyclops and tell him no when she feels like she’s right. She’s been told since childhood that she was born to be a leader, and Hope continues to demonstrate that belief was right.
For the most part, Generation Hope #15 is an enjoyable read that, while having a few moments that seemed to falter a bit, mostly goes along smoothly and continues to develop the complex and fragile relationship of Hope and her “Lights.” The art was, at times, distracting — especially with some of the impossible contortions Green seems to like to put his female characters in — but it had stronger moments as well. Overall, it was another good issue in this series, and one that left me wondering at the end where it will go from here.
Sara McDonald started reading comics in the third grade, and now puts her English degree to good use talking about them on the Internet. She currently resides in Western Massachusetts with a roommate, three cats, and an action figure collection and spends the time she isn’t reading comics working for a non-profit. You can visit her blog at Ms. Snarky’s Awesometastic Comics Blog.