When I sat down to re-read "Generation Hope" #3, two things struck me almost instantly. First, I didn't need to look back at the "Previously..." page or the first two issues to refresh my memory. And second, while I wasn't great on all of the new characters' names, I still remembered all of their personalities and relationships to date.
That's the sign that Kieron Gillen is doing something right; so many team books in comics have a mishmash of characters that start to blend together after a while. In "Generation Hope," we've got five (possibly six) main characters who all stand out from one another. That's a rare thing, especially considering that they all debuted in "Uncanny X-Men" just a few months ago. And that's also how I know we've got a winner on our hands, here.
Gillen continues to let the characters interact and grow here; I like watching Hope's team of new mutants work with one another and show their different personality traits. It's nice to get a reminder that these are kids who've just been dropped into the deep end, not seasoned heroes. They're still figuring out where they stand, and who they are, and what the heck they're doing. As they try and stop Kenji, Gillen also reminds us that had Hope not gotten to the other four of the "Five Lights" as quickly, this could have just as easily been their own situation. It's a smooth way to keep up in the air if Kenji will stick around after this story is done, or if when the dust settles he'll play another role. But watching them team up to try and neutralize Kenji (with both failure and success) is fun, and it's a satisfying read.
Salvador Espin is assisted this month with Scott Koblish, although both artists have a similar enough style that the two mesh together well. The best scenes are the ones between Hope and Kenji as the two finally confront one another, from the rage on Kenji's face to the determination on Hope's. The pages of "Generation Hope" in general have a youthful, fun look to them, and I'm glad they found an artist like Espen to draw the book because it adds that extra layer of energy to the comic.
It's rare to see a comic of brand new characters come together so quickly, and refreshing that it has. I'm already looking forward to "Generation Hope" #4, and you can't ask for much more than that.