The new Batman of Earth 2 tries to turn the tide in the war against the forces of Darkseid and Apokolips, but even as new allies reveal themselves the planet trembles before its new rulers.
Alternate universes like this one can make anything happen.
The storytelling continues to fascinate, both script and art.
It helps to have read the previous issues, but it isn’t completely necessary.
A different Earth will always turn some readers off. If that’s you, I’d say read another book.
EARTH 2 #18
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott
Cover: Ethan Van Sciver
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Previously in EARTH 2: “Batman fights to keep Brutal and the forces of Darkseid from taking complete control of Earth!”
EARTH 2 IS AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE WHERE ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN
I know that some comics readers don’t like other universes. “I don’t know what’s going to take place in Earth 2,” one friend told me. “In the ‘regular’ universe, I know!”
See, that’s what I LIKE about Earth 2 and other universes. The rules don’t necessarily apply. Things happen that would NEVER take place in “our” world.
One such thing takes place later in this issue to resolve the “Joker” problem, but I’m not going to say what it is.
TOM TAYLOR TAKES OVER, AND IS MAKING THINGS HAPPEN
Tom Taylor has become one of the new breed of writers who can tackle both comics and video games. His Injustice: Gods Among Us has been popular among fans of comics, but it has also drawn some gamers into reading comics. That’s always a good thing!
Some folks have complained that we shouldn’t see Superman and Batman on Earth 2, instead focusing on The Flash, Green Lantern and the other Justice Society heroes. That never bothers me because we don’t quite know what’s happening. For instance, it’s pretty clear that Superman is the original one, but he’s been taken over by Darkseid’s minion Bedlam, a telepath. In “our” universe, that’s something Kal-El dreads.
But who is the new Batman? He could be all the usual suspects, including Dick Grayson, Tim Drake or Damien Wayne. But this go-round shows us that he seems to be nearly invulnerable. Is it the armor, or is he a super-powered fan of Bruce Wayne? I want to know that! But not too soon!
I also like that Lois Lane is the Red Tornado. I’m anxious to see more of her as a super hero! Could be fun!
Taylor does a great job of keeping the pacing strong and moving. This is actually a case of something having the “feel” of a video game that works for me!
THE ART WORKS WELL WITH TAYLOR’S SCRIPT
Nicola Scott’s pencils and Trevor Scott’s inks visually keep pace with Taylor’s script. I also like that the costumes of Superman and Batman are darker, just as the character’s have become that way.
I enjoy that a lot. It’s close enough to “our” universe but different enough to make it obviously not the main DCU.
It’s a great way to make Earth 2 something special, in my opinion.
BOTTOM LINE: EARTH 2 WAS A BREAK-OUT COMIC WHEN IT STARTED IN THE NEW 52, AND IT’S STILL WORTH THE MONEY
Like Animal Man, I found Earth 2 to be one of the comics that pleasantly surprised me by how great it was. Variety is always worth supporting, and I’ve continued to enjoy both books as the New 52 has moved forward.
I was concerned when James Robinson left the title. After all, he’d done an excellent job of setting up this world. Could Tom Taylor continue to make it stand out? From my perspective, the answer clearly is yes.
Of course, some folks will never like an alternate Earth. But if you thought Earth 2 would be a book worth giving up on, I would encourage you to keep at it or return to this title! It’s still great!