by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray (writers), Jesus Saiz (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Paul Mounts (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Joe Jusko (cover artist), Kristy Quinn (assistant editor), Bob Harras (editor)
Wildstorm Productions, Price : $2.95
Thoughts : Well, I sat back after reading this issue and having read the first arc of this series and I’ve been blown away by the level of intense drama in this series. I’ve read several reviews of this series where people have said this would be a perfect movie. While I think that’s a great idea, why settle with just a movie that’s one story and then you’re done. This series is set so ‘real’ that it could be easily be a television series picked up by any of the major networks and it would have no trouble keeping up with any competition you put it up against.
Wildstorm has re-designed the concept of gen-actives and made it something moving and very serious because of the entity known only as HEROD. I think that the new titles like GEN 13 and 21 DOWN are seriously taking this new concept and really making some compelling stories. So far, 21 DOWN has proven that you can teach and old dog new tricks and really make a reader care about the gen-actives again like so many fans did back with Wildstorm first came on the scene. I think these two series are reinventing Wildstorm’s core concept and really making it worth reading on a mature level, especially 21 DOWN.
Palmiotti and Gray are really making this a strong series and using some very thought provoking situations and making the reader really get inside the characters. This is what really get’s the reader wanting more when there’s a mental investment in the characters and you want to know more, you want to see them win in the end, but there’s always a cost. Palmiotti and Gray have shown in this first arc that there’s a cost to Preston’s desire to stay out of things. He’s allowed his brother to be the one in that made a difference as a cop, and the end of this issue and this arc, its Preston that decides it is his turn to be the hero and to make a difference.
the Verdict : 21 DOWN is probably the best series that Wildstorm is producing and its amazing that more people are not reading this series. Forget the fact its about gen-actives and its set in the same universe as GEN 13 if you must. Palmiotti, Gray, and Saiz are producing month in and month out, the best Wildstorm series. Its worth the money and then some you’ll have to spend to buy it.