Earth 2 #1 (July, 2012)
“The Price of Victory”
Writer – James Robinson
Penciller – Nicola Scott
Inker – Trevor Scott
Colorist – Alex Sinclair
Letterer – Dezi Sienty
Special Thanks – Andy Kubert
Assistant Editor – Sean Mackiewicz
Editor – Pat McCallum
Cover Price: $3.99
Here’s a book I remember being kind of excited for. The name “Earth 2” stirs up a lot of images for me… and I’d bet many a classic DC Comics fan. I guess I wasn’t all that excited, because I actually forgot to preorder it!
I headed to the store and “Byrne-stole” it… ya know, flipped through it before buying it… and realized that it really wasn’t what I was looking for. Especially not for $4!
Found it in a fifty-cent bin not too long ago… and figured for that price, it might be worth a read.
It’s Earth 2, five years ago. Just like we saw in the first New-52! arc of Justice League, Apokolips is on the warpath. Parademons have invaded, and it’s up to Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman to save their world.
While they battle the baddies we get a bit of internal monologue from each. Superman laments the fact that this is all going down in Metropolis… his city, that fell under his watch. Also, Lois is dead. Diana thinks about Amazon Island also having fallen. Bruce, however, is tunnel-visioned on the task at hand. He approaches a tower, while checking in with his daughter, Helena Wayne… Robin!
Robin, in turn reaches out to Supergirl who is flying over Papua New Guinea.
On the ground below, a squad of soldiers being led by Al Pratt are guarding a nuclear device.
As the Earth 2 Trinity continues battling the Parademons, we flashback to their pre-fight strategy session in the Batcave. Bruce suggests introducing a virus program these strange Apokoliptan towers that have popped up. He volunteers to do the deed so long as his superfriends can buy him enough time to do so.
Back on the battlefield, Diana is visited by the Roman “messenger” God Mercury. The Gods themselves have suffered losses in this war. He comments that man no longer believes in Gods… and it’s time that the Gods believed in man.
Mercury vanishes into the horizon, and Superman finds himself swarmed by Parademons. In the confusion, Steppenwolf is able to sneak up on Wonder Woman, and… kill her!
Upon seeing this, Superman goes super-nova… and explodes! Unlike the late New-52! “new” Superman-superpower, this nova blast doesn’t just leave him nude and depowered for 24-hours… this seems to actually kill him.
Back in Papua New Guinea, the Parademons descend on the nuke. At the very same time, Batman arrives at the tower in Metropolis and prepares to inject the virus. Helena informs him that she’ll swing by to pick him up… she doesn’t seem to realize this was intended to be a suicide mission. Batman infects the tower… and it goes boom.
Despite the casualties, the mission was a success! Parademons fall from the sky. Robin and Supergirl reconnoiter and, catching a glimpse of a figure inside the boom tube, fly into it… directly into their Worlds’ Finest ongoing series.
Back in the “present”… remember, all’at came before happened at the beginning of that “five-year timeline”… GBC owner, Alan Scott watches the documentary of the event we just read… complete with his own narration! How ’bout that? I hate listening to my own voice. We see that the Earth (2) still smolders even a half-decade hence.
We shift scenes to Lansing, Michigan where Jay Garrick has an argument with his ex-girlfriend Joan. They’ve broken up, and she has decided to head west to work for Tyler-Chem (likely an Hourman/Miraclo reference?).
We wrap up with Jay drinking his troubles away later that night. On a hill overlooking the city, he is visited by… Mercury!
This was… okay. Not what I wanted from an “Earth 2” book… but, at the same time, I can’t be mad at it.
If I’m going to read about Earth 2, I’d prefer to read about the classic Justice Society or All-Star Squadron… not sure the world necessarily needed younger versions of Alan, Jay, Al and the gang. Well, I guess it’s not like a writer these days is going to create new characters, right?
While I still think the “five year rule” is kinda dumb, I appreciate the adherence to it for this issue. Apokolips attacking different Earths at the same time is interesting… and it’s cool to consider that multiple Justice Leagues were all embroiled in these wars.
Not sure how I feel about the (presumably) God-given powers for the Flash. Not that breathing in “hard-water fumes” makes a heckuva lot of sense… but, there’s a charm to it. I got a bit of an Abin Sur meeting Hal Jordan vibe here, but still… I prefer this Society not be comprised of “chosen one” heroes.
It wasn’t the best… but a decent enough way to launch “Wave Two” of The New-52! Also… it’s gorgeous! Nicola Scott is one of the most talented artists to pop up this past decade… her work is almost always jaw-droppingly amazing. It definitely does a lot of the “heavy lifting” here… raising a decent-but-skippable affair to something I’d recommend checking out.