Approaching Earth 2 #2, there was a bit of uncertainty. I really enjoyed Earth 2’s inaugural issue, but I was afraid the second installment would be all about the media ploy of announcing that Alan Scott, aka The Green Lantern, is gay. I didn’t want Earth 2 to become a media sensation, I wanted it to stay on course to be a great series. Thankfully, that’s exactly what happened. The Alan Scott thing is just part of the story, which actually humanizes the relationship between Scott and his lover and makes the final splash page that much more upsetting.
What writer James Robinson has done here is awesome. He’s removed Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Superman and Supergirl from the hero equation and asked what would happen if the main players died and new heroes arose? It’s a great way to set up Earth 2 in the New 52 universe and give what is essentially the JSA a new playground. On Earth 2, the people live in fear of the return of Apokolips. In the earlier attack, the JLA beat the coming storm but sacrificed their lives doing it. Now, this world is preparing for the return of the Apokolips nightmare but with no heroes to defend them, or so they think.
This second issue opens with Mr. Terrific, whose own series was recently cancelled, being shot through the vortex and into this parallel Earth. Instantly, Terrific is confronted with the Earth 2 version of Mr. Terrific, only evil. Next, we jump to Jay Garrick, the original Flash, who is in his teens on this Earth. Garrick has been summoned by the dying God Mercury who tells him that an evil greater than Apokolips is headed for Earth. Before passing, Mercury touches Garrick and The Flash is born. It’s a very cool new origin for a classic character.
Cue the entrance of Alan Scott, an entrepreneur and millionaire that has come to Hong Kong for business and to meet his lover. After a quick glimpse of the couple reunited, we’re whisked back to The Flash learning how to use his power and running into what I must assume is this Earth’s Hawkwoman. The end of Earth 2 #2 is fantastic. Alan Scott and his lover are riding a super train when it explodes. The last splash page is the train exploding and flying off the tracks. It’s not only shocking but it opens up the question of whether Alan Scott is already the Green Lantern or this accident is how he gets his power.
Earth 2 works because the story is instantly compelling. Robinson knows how to pace a story and how to hook you in. I love watching a world without heroes build new ones from the ground up. I also like all the new directions that Robinson is taking the characters. Mr. Terrific being from our world, Jay Garrick being a teenager given his power by a God, etc. It makes you excited for each issue to see what he’ll do next.
The art from Nicola Scott is hit or miss. Her faces are a little too one dimensional for me, they all seem to be making the same face or have the same structure. Where Scott shines is action. It’s tough to bring the illusion of movement to a character like The Flash, but Scott does it with great style. Her lines are thinner, so it helps make The Flash feel as though he’s real moving at the speed of light and beyond. If the story continues to be this good, Earth 2 could become a premiere DC book faster than you can say The Flash.
(Story: 4, Art: 4)