Friday, January 14, 2011

‘Generator Rex’: Mighty machines, menacing monsters

(Published Jan. 9, PDI-Entertainment)

By Oliver M. Pulumbarit


Nanites, or microscopic machines, transform an amnesiac teen into a superhero in the animated “Generator Rex,” created by the same team behind the hit cartoon series “Ben 10.”

Able to change his limbs into weaponry, communicate with machines, and sprout vehicular parts, 15-year-old Rex is the secret weapon tasked to fight or cure humans changed into mighty but mindless monsters. Nanites have been transforming people all over the globe, but the freakish EVOs (exponentially variegated organisms) are unable to control their new forms. Trained and unleashed by Providence (a well-funded organization dedicated to defending the earth against out-of-control EVOs), Rex is accompanied by martial arts expert Agent Six, smart monkey Bobo, and teen friend Noah.

Like the ongoing “Ben 10: Ultimate Alien,” “Generator Rex” is about a superpowered teen facing a variety of extraordinary threats, usually connected to the source of his special abilities. Aside from gigantic man-beasts, Rex is repeatedly confronted by a scheming foe, Van Kleiss, who claims to know the truth behind the planet-wide spread of the nanites.

The action-packed show sports nicely designed characters and introduces a simple but solid mythology. Co-created by the Man of Action team (consisting of comic book writers Joe Kelly, Joe Casey and Steven T. Seagle, and artist Duncan Rouleau), “Generator Rex” focuses on a smart teen who knows his heroic duties, but is known to enjoy his unique gifts at times, like “Ben 10’s” Ben Tennyson.

In the first episode (“The Day That Everything Changed”), Rex helps stop a rampaging creature, and later leaves the Providence base to have fun. He deliberately shows a group of teens his abilities, illustrating his need to belong and be accepted for being different.

But he’s accepted the fact that he’s far from normal and he needs to help free people from their nanite-mutated forms. In episode two (“String Theory”), Rex disobeys an order and must find a way to save a zombie-making EVO from Providence’s nuclear attack.

“Generator Rex” premieres today at 9 a.m., on Cartoon Network.

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