The majority of Exit Generation #1 is set up for the continuing story of Jack and Mo’s quest to save Earth/their family from alien invaders. It provides the backstory of how Earth reached its state in 2055 and why Jack’s mother left him with Mo’s family. The first volume also helps to set up the relationship between Jack, Mo, and the rest of the cast so far to give readers insight for why these boys (Yes, they’re 19/20, but they seem very young in some ways.) care when the aliens want to eat their family, friends, and neighbors!
One of my favorite pieces of Exit Generation is the diverse cast: Jack is mixed race with a punk look; his friend, Mo, and Mo’s family are African Muslims; and the other neighbors come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. I especially liked the touch that while Jack was mostly raised by Mo’s parents, they never required that he convert to or follow their faith. They just loved him and tried to do the best they could for a friend’s child. On the other hand, Jack never comments on Mo’s religious observances and treats them like something normal he just doesn’t participate in regularly. In fact, tolerance is a major theme in Mo’s household, whether consciously or not, looking at how they support Jack’s love of punk music and violent movies without censure (that we see, mind you . . . they may have been other discussions readers are not privy to outside of Jack’s birthday).
The artwork in Exit Generation isn’t photograph perfect, but the sheer amount of detail crammed into each panel is impressive. I spent several minutes examining the downtown scene on the opening page and appreciating how the ads, traffic, and people truly brought the feel of a somewhere like Tokyo or New York City to life. I especially enjoyed the careful changes made to brand names in the advertisements to avoid copyright issues; it’s harder than you’d think to create a name that is close enough to the brand for recognition but won’t trigger a lawsuit!
Overall, Exit Generation #1 is a good, if a little slow, start to what promises to be a fun series. I look forward to seeing how Jack and Mo find a way to take on the aliens and save the world without money, hardcore science, or even a real vehicle. I suppose I can just hope that Jack proves to be his father’s son in more ways than one and can channel his passion for explosions and rock & roll into a way to the stars!
4 John Woo Movie Marathons out of 5