REVIEW: Earth 2 #6

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Earth 2 is everything readers expect from the new 52: New original storyline, a diverse group of revamped modern characters, and no interference from the big three—Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman— because… they’re dead. With a looming threat planning to destroy their world, can this new generation of heroes unite to stop it?

EARTH 2 #6
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Nicola Scott
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Editor: Pat McCallum
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 2.99

Previously in Earth 2 #6: With his primary mission of stopping Grundy in Washington D.C. Completed, the Atom turns on Green Lantern, Flash, and Hawkwoman. However, Grundy is not dead, and takes hold of the Atom. He is rescued by our heroes and together they battle the undead villain. Green Lantern devises a plan to enter the Grey, Grundy’s creator, in order to learn Grundy’s weaknesses. There, Green Lantern is confronted by his dead lover, Sam. Meanwhile, Terry Sloan, undermining Commander Khan, coerces the World Council to launch a nuclear strike on America’s capital.

NEW BIG HERO IN TOWN

James Robinson’s first story arc of Earth 2 comes to a close with issue six. Although the Atom, Hawkwoman, and the Flash are there to assist, the story focuses mostly on Green Lantern, a.k.a. Alan Scott. His heroism and mettle is tested with the temptation of his lost love, Sam, seemingly resurrected by the Grey. It is a pivotal scene as Alan Scott powers through the illusion and devises a way to stop his nemesis. With the defeat of Grundy, Earth 2’s Green Lantern takes a big step forward, even though he is still adjusting to his new found powers. Unfortunately, given the ending, I found many similarities with the ending of the Avengers movie—different heroes uniting against a common enemy, a secret council taking drastic nuclear action, and a hero that simultaneously stops a nuclear attack and saves the world. It is hard not to draw parallels. Also, I was reading through this title, I began to see an interesting development. The characters are not filling in the roles left vacant by the Big Three; they are becoming them. An example is Green Lantern, whose unlimited powers and entrepreneurial civilian life is a mix between a Superman and a Batman persona. Terry Sloan reminds me of Lex Luther, but with a full head of hair. I hope the comic is not going in this direction since the theme is to have new, original characters rather than rehashing the same heroes, but in different colors. Overall, the ending is satisfying. Earth 2 is saved, the bad guy is thwarted, and a looming threat of greater evil keeps the plot moving forward.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Nicola Scott’s art remains steady over the course of these initial six issues. Unlike issue five, where there was the introduction of the Sandman and Commander Khan, there are no new characters; so no new revamps or redesigns. A key element in Scott’s pencilings are their subtleties. The action scenes are meticulously well designed, keeping the reader drawn to each turned page. Each character’s emotional expressions convey disappointment, shock, and anger without having to read the dialogue. Much like DC’s Flash series, I hope the artist remains with the series to maintain the title’s consistency and balance.

BOTTOM LINE: THE START OF SOMETHING GOOD

James Robinson and company have taken full advantage of Earth 2’s revamp of Golden Age characters. Although I am a little disappointed in how this first arc ended, it is still a worthwhile read. With the main villain Steppenwolf still out there and a bigger threat of evil over the horizon, Earth 2 will sustain its readership for a long time.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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