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REVIEW: 'Generation Zero' #5 by Fred Van Lente, Francis Portela, and Diego Bernard


★★★★☆ (4/5)

In the series' most explosive issue yet, Generation Zero has had about enough being pushed around and pushes back. Unfortunately, the push-back comes against Keisha's Sherriff father and his super-suited deputies. It's a tense, action-packed standoff with some major consequences for our heroes. 

The town of Rook won't be the same again after this showdown as Cronus decides he's going to squash the sheriff's attempt to arrest them. It's an all-out brawl as Cronus, Telic, Animalia, and Cloud square off in epic fashion with some surprising twists. Fred Van Lente mixes great cinematic fighting with genuine anxiety as Keisha pleads for the team to not hurt her dad.The stakes are high but you can't blame either side for their motivations. What emerges from the conflict is Keisha's continued growth into this group of powerful psiots. 

Revelations about her boyfriend's death begin to finally come to light and Keisha begins to find her place on the team. She's finding purpose amid her conflicting loyalties between her search for the truth, her relationship with her father and saving Kwame from the Cornermen. She's being pulled in different directions and Van Lente balances it all out without taking the easy way out. She's making tough decisions and not always the right ones. Her humanity and fragility are present but how she overcomes her fears shows her mettle.

Francis Portela and Diego Bernard do some amazing artwork here in laying out such a dramatic confrontation. The perspectives and angles taken add urgency and energy as the danger increases. Some shots seem to arrive in slow-motion giving the resulting panel even more of a sizable effect. It's a fast-paced story that doesn't let up until the end. 

Generation Zero strikes its zenith in an action-packed issue that pits the Rook Police Department versus the team with Keisha squarely in the middle of it. The series is finding its groove and with it, a protagonist that is nearing her final form. Plenty of trouble is brewing for everyone involved which makes this Valiant title the one to watch as we enter the new year. It just keeps getting better.

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