To all intents and purposes Rook is a perfect town. Conformity is key, and everyone happy with that is happy with their quality of life, but Rook isn’t an inclusive community, and that’s why Keisha Sherman called in Generation Zero after her boyfriend died. We are the Future revealed what’s being hidden, Fred Van Lente introducing group of troubled superheroes who’ve revealed the existence of a futuristic tower and its protectors unseen by all locals.

Key to concealing what’s going on is a complex set of psychic protections, collectively referred to as the Heroscape, applied to the teenage population. The Heroscape is somewhere the cast can access, but as seen before, doing so transforms them into cartoon avatars, versions of themselves as projected by whoever’s mind is used to enter the Heroscape, nicely envisaged here by Javier Pulido. Otherwise Diego Bernard is cover credited as the primary artist, but is helped out by five others, leading to a considerable variation in quality. Bernard himself (sample page) is imaginative, but other pages feature sloppy figures, no backgrounds and rudimentary layouts.

Van Lente continues to be inventive with a novel cast of characters, but the surprises are fewer this time, primarily concerned with the tower’s purpose. Adele, one of the more self-obsessed and entitled Rook teenagers, looked to have served her purpose, but she’s back here and able to take revenge for the indignities she endured last time. While having a place in the plot, she was more interesting previously, as what she’s become isn’t original, and that’s out of place in Generation Zero. In a cast where there’s some competition it’s the youngest members who again steal the show. “Do not let our youth deceive you”, a villain is told, “we are exceptionally ruthless outlaws”.

While still fun and with some good ideas, this doesn’t match the wonder of We are the Future, but Van Lente has shown the way for an interesting cast with great potential.