Earth 2 re-envisions classic Golden Age superheroes into the modern era. More importantly, the comic explores a DC universe without the Trinity (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman). With the Big Three dead, which new superheroes will rise from the ashes of war?
Previously in Earth 2: An evil zombie called Grundy has taken over Washington DC, and he’s looking for the new Green Lantern. But Alan Scott is not alone. With the help of Hawkgirl, Jay Garrick (the Flash) and last minute arrival of the Al Pratt (the Atom), the new superheroes of Earth 2 defeat the rotting super villain. Their victory is short lived as the Atom places the group under the custody of the World Counsel Army.
TERRIFIC NO LONGER
With the new #0 issues coming out this month, DC Comic fans will get to read some background information on their revamped superheroes. With Earth 2 #0, you get more of an autobiography than then a prequel issue. The narrator is not even Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman. It is Terry Sloan, the mysterious Mr. 8 (better known as the Golden Age Mister Terrific, the smartest man in the world), who was first introduced briefly in the second issue of this series. The character recounts his final mission with the team during their war against Apokolips. Although it is Terry’s perspective, it is not overly opinionated.
James Robinson allows the reader to judge for themselves if Terry Sloan is a hero or villain. There is frustration in Terry Sloane’s voice as he tries desperately to end the stalemate and turn the tide of the war. Terry believes saving the world meant winning the war, and he would do anything to achieve victory. Robinson demonstrates that there is no such thing as right and wrong through Terry’s transformation from tragic hero to antagonist. He reminds me of another “world’s smartest man” who deduced an equally destructive solution to saving the world. If you do not know what I mean, go pick up Watchman. Like his previous issues, James Robinson draws out his character’s personalities and flaws. Terry Sloan is a brooding, calculating character that the readers of Earth 2 will enjoy seeing in future issues.
NO MORE “FAIR PLAY”
Like many annuals and issue #0s, the Earth 2 #0 forgoes its usual artist.. The newcomer, Tomas Giorello, does a good job filling in for Nicola Scott. The visuals are stunning and violent. The interiors also have a pulp fantasy influence to them with its gory colors and decapitating realism. I particularly like the design of Mr. 8. Instead of the Christmas colors of the original Mr. Terrific, his new red and black costume looks more militaristic with his armor and tech gear. It reminds me of Iron Man. This design change follows the theme of modernization that comes with the new 52.
BOTTOM LINE: THE BIRTH OF AN ADVERSARY
Earth 2 #0 give us background on the man secretly in control of its world. Even though the issue is not a “required” read for the Earth 2 series, it is a must read. James Robinson’s depiction of Terry Sloan and his motivations sets up his introduction to our heroes. Earth 2 is developing into a great storyline and this issue contributes to it.