Marvel: The Lost Generation #12-1 (Marvel, cover dates March, 2000- February, 2001)
Writers: Roger Stern and John Byrne (co-plotter)
Artists: John Byrne with Al Milgrom (Inker)
Two of my all-time favorite creators, Roger Stern and John Byrne, teamed up for a twelve issue mini (maxi?) series while I was on sabbatical from the hobby. For reasons unknown, this series has remained uncollected in a trade paperback. Marvel has brought most of Byrne's work back into print over the past decade, and the fact that this series wasn't a part of that gnawed at me. There was only one way to find out, and that was to dig through dollar boxes on and off for a year until I pieced together the entire run. And here we are.
Dr. Cassandra Locke is a historian from the late 22nd century with a nagging question. Why is so much information about the Skrulls' early interaction with humans missing? She travels back in time and uncovers the story of a team called The First Line who predate the Fantastic Four. This a precursor to Agents Of Atlas as well as Secret Invasion, the latter of which was a bloated retread of this concept.
This series began with issue 12 and then counted down to #1, seven full years before DC's 52 did it You see the end at the beginning of the first/last issue, and learn more about what is going on as Dr. Cassandra Locke time jumps further back in each issue. Lots of Easter egg moments and nods to Marvel Universe continuity and Atlas Comics of the 1950s.
Byrne's artwork during this era was solid, as he made a return to form after making a turn for the worse in the late '90s. He remains one of my all time favorite artists and Roger Stern remains the Avengers writer in my mind.
I still have no idea why Marvel hasn't collected this in a trade paperback yet. They seem to have an unofficial policy to collect every single comic that they ever published, so I would guess that it is a given that this will be reprinted sooner than later. Time will tell. I know that I'll buy it if or when it comes out.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.