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ADAM HUGHES & LEE BERMIJO Ė SUPERMAN- GEN THIRTEEN 2001 D C Comics.† 

 

Graphic novel Superman adventures. A group of rather dull teenage superheroes known collectively as Gen 13, though undoubtedly modelled on Marvel Comics X-Men, take a field trip to Metropolis. They are studying the ways of humans. They seem remarkably ignorant of how to get by in the human dimension one minute, and very hip to popular culture the next. They are also drawn looking rather older than their apparent ages. This is presumably in keeping with the Buffy The Vampire Slayer audience they are created to appeal to, as the TV show has a similar discrepancy in character / actor ages. Gen 13 makes little use of their super-powers, and travel in ordinary civilian attire. In Metropolis, they inevitably see Superman in action. He is fighting a giant King Kong sized ape that is controlled y a brain from outer space (a story that would be more fun if not relegated to a sub-plot as it is). Gen 13 members Fairchild, who is built with extreme strength and density, gets too close to the action, and Superman accidentally knocks her unconscious, and gives her amnesia. He realizes that she is alive and gives her his cape to keep her warm while he disposes of the ape monster.Before he or the rest of Gen 13 can get to her, Fairchild has wandered off. Wrapped in the cape, she jumps to the conclusion that she is Supergirl. Though she has red hair (as opposed to Supergirlís blond looks) and cannot fly, (which she attributes to red kryptonite) Fairchild heads off to save the World. Gen X and Superman give chase. So, as she learns that she has an impostor, does a very angry Supergirl.Fairchild means no harm. She just wants to help people, but she has no idea how to control her strength. She causes a train to derail instead of just stopping it in its tracks when its brakes fail. She tries to save a cat from a tree, but in shaking the tree, she creates a firestorm that takes out a building block. Superman, assisted by one of Gen 13 who is fireproof (as if Superman needed help anyway) rescues people from the fire. Fairchild goes on to further chaos until Superman and Gen X. Just confront her as they calm her down, Supergirl arrives and punches her. The effect is the immediate cure of her amnesia.Gen X go home, and their leader, who did not go on the expedition, presents Fairchild with a souvenir, - a Superman cape.A fun idea badly executed, with irritating teenagers who are just frightful, and who get to use little super-power at al, apart from Fairchild. The logic by which she keeps up her Supergirl delusion is fun, especially when she rides to the rescue on bicycles apologizing to passers by for not being able to fly. There are good cameos by Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, Superman / Clark Kentís own friends too, but on the whole this one takes up a lot of first-class artwork for a very superficial plot. Definitely not one of the Man Of Steelís best. http://www.dccomics.com/

 

Arthur Chappell

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