Gen-Active is the name of a comic book anthology-series from Wildstorm. It was published from 2000 to 2001 and ran for six issues. It is also the term used to describe a form of superhuman beings in the Wildstorm Universe, those who possess the Gen-Factor.
Gen-Active, the comic
The storylines often converged, but basically there were a three main storylines, each with their own writer:
- Writer Ben Raab with the help of various artists revealed what happened to Evo and Bliss after they left DV8. The two join up and go to New York, where Bliss tries to form her own crime-syndicate. Bliss sacrifices Evo, who is arrested by the police and sent to Purgatory Max, a special prison. A group of Nazi supervillains break into the prison and cause a riot and superhero-group Wildcore is sent to end the riot. This mission would mean the end for most of Wildcore, but Evo redeems himself by saving Wildcore-leader Backlash. Bliss meanwhile increases her power within New York. (Issues #1-4 and 6)
- Writer Jay Faerber with the help of various artists told various stories about Frostbite, Copycat and Sublime, former members of DV8. They meet and fight with their old enemies Gen¹³, mostly due to misunderstandings. At the end of issue 2 the two groups sit down, talk and decide that they no longer have any reasons to be enemies. In issue #3 Faeber interrupts DV8's storyline for a story about Deathblow, but this story connects to DV8 by revealing that Deathblow is Sublime's father. In the following 3 issues, Sublime finds out about her father, meets with Genevieve Cray and with the help of Genevieve Cray the group fights Trance. (Issues #1-6)
- Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (writers) and Dustin Nguyen (artist)) told two solo-stories about Jet in issues #1 and 2. In issue #6 Jet goes to avenge her father, Backlash, by trying to arrest all the escaped Purgatory Max criminals (with a little help of the Midnighter). This storyline followed up on Ben Raab's story about the Purgatory Max-riot.
There also were a few short stories:
- In issue #3, Eric DeSantis and Brian Stelfreeze told what happened to Freestyle after the end of DV8: she went back to Las Vegas where she ran into Threshold who was building his own army of Gen-Actives.
- Jai Nitz and Jim Mahfood created dark comical story about Ladytron and Sideways Bob in issue #5.
- Eric DeSantis and Trevor Scott connected Ben Raab's storyline about the Purgatory Max prison break to Jay Faeber's DV8 storyline by having the criminal Trance escape from Purgatory Max and rebuild his group of Freaks in issue #5.
In the Wildstorm Universe, one of the sources of superhuman powers is the Gen-factor. The Gen-factor was discovered by Dr. Simon Tsung, who found it in the body of young Ethan McCain, a reincarnation of the extradimensional hero, Sigma. Tsung worked for Project: Genesis, a project run by International Operations for national defense purposes, but Tsung left when he found out that I.O.-leader Miles Craven had his own plans for the use of the Gen-factor. Tsung's work was continued by his protege Gabriel Newman and after many failures, the first truly successful application of the Gen-factor was the exposure of Team 7 to the substance.
Miles Craven later contacted Kaizen Gamorra and had him create a synthesized version of the Gen-factor. Ivana Baiul, an I.O.-operative and scientist was charged with the creation of activator and booster drugs that would activate and enhance the powers of people who had the Gen-factor, turning them Gen-Active. After Team 7, other experiments were done on humans of their generation; Team 7 and the other successful experiments were all labelled as Gen 12. Kaizen also started selling his synthesized Gen-factor to everyone who could afford it. This lead to Gen-active humans worldwide, but many of them were highly unstable and none were as powerful as Team 7.
Project: Genesis restarted 15–20 years later and the subjects this time were the children of Gen 12. Craven hoped that the younger subjects were easier to control and that being born with the Gen-factor made their powers more stable. Apart from children of Gen 12, other children exposed to the Gen-factor in various ways were recruited as well. This time the subjects were labelled as Gen¹³, though this name was taken by a small group of Gen¹³ Gen-Actives. Another group took the name DV8 (also known as the Deviants). Many other Gen-Active teenagers have been seen over the years, mostly the result of various I.O.-experiments; like Nate, Tommy, Sadie (Voodoo Doll) and Leslie (Trauma Queen), four Gen-Actives that befriended Gen¹³ and jokingly called themselves "The Mongolian Barbecue Avengers".
All Gen-Active humans have a telepathic link to each other. This link usually is very weak, even unnoticeable to most, but stronger between relatives (they sometimes can feel when a relative is in extreme pain). The link also allows sensitive Gen-Actives to notice the presence of other Gen-Actives. In case of Team 7, the link also made the sum of their powers greater than each member's individual powers.
The powers that individual Gen-Actives receive, seem to be completely random; most of Team 7 gained strong telepathic and telekinetic powers and some gained a healing factor. Their children though have displayed very different and unique abilities.
List of notable Gen-Active characters
- Copycat (Gem Antonelli)
- Threshold (Matthew Callahan)
- Bliss (Nicole Callahan)
- Stephen Callahan
- Frostbite (Leon Carver)
- Grifter (Cole Cash )
- Grunge (Percival Edmund Chang)
- Philip Chang
- Deathblow (Michael Cray)
- Jackson Dane
- Freestyle (Jocelyn Davis)
- Alexander Fairchild
- Caitlin Fairchild
- Sublime (Rachel Goldman)
- Evo (Michael Heller)
- Burnout (Bobby Lane)
- John Lynch
- Sigma (Ethan McCain)
- Powerhaus (Hector Morales)
- Jet/Crimson (Jodie Morinaka Slayton)
- Sarah Rainmaker
- Backlash (Marc Slayton)
- Freefall (Roxy Spaulding)
- Damocles (Simon Tsung)