Earth 2 #3: Green Lantern Rises

This isn't the Green Lantern you're used to... unless you haven't ready any comics since the Golden Age.

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

Earth 2 #3

The retelling of the Green Lantern origin is a tricky thing. It’s kind of a cut and dried idea. Space police, one of them crashes on Earth and gives Hal Jordan a ring that allows him to create whatever his imagination can come up with. Of course, that’s Hal Jordan, not Alan Scott. He got his powers by being the third part of an ancient prophecy having to do with a green meteor. Earth 2 #3 deals with Alan Scott but not as a prophecy and not as a space cop. Wait, what? So who is he?

In Earth 2, DC’s attempt to re-boot a world that never existed by filling it with superheroes that did exist before they were re-booted, GL is so green it puts all tree-hugging hippies to shame. On Earth 2, Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Supergirl all died in a battle with Apokolips. Now there is a bigger evil heading towards Earth 2, and this new Earth needs new heroes. As of right now, the ranks are pretty thin, consisting of Hawkgirl and the Flash. Never one to front on a challenge, the Earth decides to let nature take its course.

Back to the Green Lantern. When last we left Alan Scott, he was about to propose marriage to his life partner as they rocketed towards their destination on a train. A sudden explosion destroys the bridge (a nice nod to the original GL) and kills everyone except Alan Scott. Why? Well, apparently he’s been chosen by the “power of the green” to be the next carrier of the Green Lantern ring. Yeah, I know, power of the green, it sounds a little too much like Swamp Thing doesn’t it?

Truthfully, all that’s gone wrong is how DC presents the Green Lantern. The idea is solid. All of the energy created by the Earth is, when needed, given to a man or woman who will use it as a protector. Alan Scott is chosen as the next great warrior for the Earth. If DC had left the whole “power of the green” alone, the idea might not seem so close to Swamp Thing. I was also a little dismayed at how fast Alan Scott, having lost his lover so violently, accepts the responsibility of being a Green Lantern with little to no mourning. I can’t fault writer James Robinson too much, he has to get on with it. If Earth 2 isn’t established as a kick ass property by issue 9 or 10, DC might get a little free and friendly with the cancellation axe.

Most of Earth 2 is about Green Lantern, though we do get a slice of Flash trying to show Hawkgirl he can fight and failing miserably. There has also been a weird wave of decay falling across the land. Trees die; rivers dry up, buildings crumble, all in the wake of some evil force. The end of issue #3 uncovers that force as none other than Solomon Grundy. Yep, ole’ born on a Monday, died on a Sunday, got drunk with a hooker on Thursday Solomon Grundy is back and looking surprisingly like a cross between a Cenobite and somebody hired to play bass for the black metal band Immortal.  

Which brings me to the art from Nicola Scott. Oddly, the art is both good and bad and split almost in half. Scott’s work on panels involving the Flash and Hawkgirl are solid. Good action. Nice use of motion and color, all of it executed perfectly. Scott even manages to make Flash’s horrible new outfit look kind of cool. That’s not easy and is to be commended. I also really liked the way the horror of Solomon Grundy was portrayed. The decay that followed him arriving was creepy and the final splash page of Grundy’s is pretty cool.

The problem comes with the Green Lantern pencils. Scott mostly drops the ball here, especially with Alan Scott’s face. Look at the exchange between Alan Scott and the “power of the green” on page eleven. In one panel, Alan Scott looks normal, in another, he has a chin you could kill a puma with. The face is always just a little off, which makes it hard to get into what’s happening. I do like Green Lantern’s Earth 2 suit, so it has that going for it, which is nice. Earth 2 #3 may rush the GL origin a little bit and the art may be lackluster on pages, but overall I’m still excited to see where this series goes.

7.5

(4.5 Story, 3 Art)