Since I’ve been on The Geek Initiative, I’ve reviewed a Marvel comic and a comic from an independent, so that just leaves DC, and hey, the latest issue of Earth 2 came out recently so let’s take a look at that.
So, What’s Earth 2? Well, what started as an experiment by veteran comic book writer James Robinson to re-imagine golden age DC heroes with a modern twist has since become DC’s dumping ground for interesting ideas that DC probably wouldn’t be able to do in the main universe. As such, we have a Green Lantern who’s gay, a Superman who’s black, another Superman who’s evil, a Lois Lane who’s now Red Tornado, a Jimmy Olsen who’s a genius child hacker a la Wade from Kim Possible and a Batman who’s Thomas Wayne… again. Anywho, we’re actually coming in at the conclusion of the first major story arc post-James Robinson so there’s a lot going on and if I recapped the whole thing we’d never get around to reviewing this turkey so let’s just stick with the need-to-knows and take the rest as it comes.
Earth is under attack by the forces of Apokolips and the bad guys have a secret weapon, a mind-controlled Superman. Our only hope of salvation is Batman and the rag tag group of heroes he’s assembled including several of the heroes mentioned above, as well as The Flash, Hawkgirl and Aqua Woman. In the last issue, Superman’s already unstable mind completely snapped after his father expressed his disgust for him and he destroyed his old family home in smallville, killing his father in the process. We open properly with Lois and Martha Kent in the ruins of the Kent house with Lois promising to stop Clark at any cost.
Back on the frontlines, Batman has a plan, but it’s going to require distracting a massive army of parademons.
Meanwhile, evil Superman is in the middle of a fight with good Superman. (story-wise, his adoptive brother who also survived the destruction of Krypton) Good Supes says he doesn’t want to fight but he refuses to let evil Supes hurt anyone else. The fight moves to the frontline of the battle and inadvertently provides the distraction necessary for Flash to get Aqua Woman into the Bedlam’s compound as per Batman’s plan. Oh, Bedlam is one of Darkseids generals who has several of Earth’s most brilliant minds under his control and has them working on a Boom Tube so the bad guys can call in reinforcements. After apologizing for the undignified manner in which he needs to carry Aqua Woman, they speed inside the compound and she uses her powers to give Bedlam a stroke… somehow, the comic explains it better. With Bedlam out of commission the parademons are easily dispatched by Green Lantern and the others, leaving only Superman to be sorted out. Soon however, evil Superman’s arm begins crumbling into dust. Evil Supes begins losing it and smashing his head against good Superman repeatedly, causing the same crumbling and eventually revealing himself to be a Bizarro, having been made to believe it was Superman. Lois arrives and destroys it using her tornado powers.
And thus, our comic ends with our heroes posing together, proclaiming that they will take back they’re planet and the revelation that Bedlam is still alive.
While it’s brief, the battle between the two Supermen is pretty cool and I love good Superman’s costume. It’s god a red white and blue color scheme, but it’s not overtly patriotic as one might assume and the white cape provides a nice contrast with his evil counterpart’s black one.
I take issue with the reveal of evil Superman as a Bizarro. While at first I thought it was a good twist and I was genuinely happy to see it, especially since I don’t much care for the revamped version of bizarro from the main universe. However, when I took a second to think about it, I realized that this was a really stupid idea. Earlier I mentioned that Earth 2 had a lot of ideas in it that wouldn’t fly in the main universe, and making Superman evil was part of that, and since this was an alternate reality and they were in fact introducing a new Superman, they could have made this a permanent and legitimate change. Saying that this was never actually Superman cheapens all the destruction done by Superman and thus all the impact caused by those actions has been undone.
Also, this is something that’s been bugging me since issue 3. I have never liked Green Lantern’s costume. Admittedly, a lot of that is my personal bias towards the gloriously silly yet still incredibly awesome golden age costume what with the big ridiculous purple cape and such. I think the reason the costume bugs me so is because, as odd as this may sound, it’s too green. Now I know you’re probably all thinking, “No sh*t dude, his name is Green Lantern.” I’m not saying he shouldn’t be wearing Green, that’s just silly, but take a look at Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern costume. Sure, the primary color is Green, but it’s accented by black and white. Alan Scott’s costume is just all green, which, from an aesthetic standpoint, makes it uninteresting and unpleasant to look at. The costume could really benefit from an accent color, be it black or white, perhaps red or purple to match his classic costume, or even a different shade of green, anything to offset the one color that dominates the costume.
Other than the cop out with Bizarro, there’s nothing particularly wrong with this issue, but ultimately it’s just very mediocre. I still enjoyed it, but this series has always floundered without James Robinson at the helm and it shows here.