Earth 2 is a big book.
Like “too much for a single issue a month”-type book. It is telling the story of an entire universe within roughly twenty pages a month. There are so many plotlines and characters that it feels like it moves at a glacial pace, in spite of this issue having a great deal of action. This is a book that needs not only needs extra pages but a recap page as well. In fact, of all the things DC will mimic of Marvel, why would they not create recap pages?
I guess I will start with the two things that really bugged me about this issue before I get to the good aspects. The first is Red Arrow a.k.a. Connor Hawke. Yes, they made a person of color into a white guy, but what really annoys me is that… well… look at the guy. Red hair, gimmick cyborg-arm, a bit of a hot-head, has the codename “Red Arrow.” We know who this guy is supposed to be. It just feels unnecessary.
Speaking of gimmick cyborg-arm, let’s talk about the Atom having his arm cut off by Bruutal’s heat vision. No, this isn’t a spoiler because that whole scene is the preview that DC released days prior. This marks the third person in Earth 2 alone who has lost an arm (including gimmick cyborg arm Red Arrow and Captain Steel, who we have not seen nor heard from for a while). Top this with the gruesome arm removal from Power Ring in Forever Evil, this trend makes me wonder if the creators are taking advice from Kubo Tite. I get it: War is Hell. I understand that. But this grim and gruesomeness is almost reaching parody levels.
One final bad note: the cover and solicit for this issue are a bunch of lies. However I’m the only one who seems to give a damn, so we will see how the reactions play out.
All right, now the good things. First and foremost, Tom Taylor is continuing the world building that made this series such a treat. We get a glimpse into Atlantis as well as Amazonia, which serves as the last refuge of the incredibly depleted World Army. We also see the return of a character that had been missing for a bit… but considering how we left off with that character, I am curious as to how he is here to begin with.
Nicola Scott is back on the book fully after a few issues. While I liked Kitson and Rocha just fine, they simply do not compare to Nicola, Trevor Scott’s inks and Pete Pantazis’s colors all working together. I cannot imagine this book without Scott’s art, even if that day is inevitable.
At the end of the day, I still continue to enjoy Earth 2, even though I do have problems with it. It feels both too fast and too slow at the same time. The final elephant in the room is, well, I’m waiting for this group to officially call themselves the Justice Society already. I am hoping that is what this arc is leading up to. My patience is just starting to wear a little too thin on that front. Still, there is enough to enjoy in this to recommend, even if you wait for it in a collected format.