The Universe is filling up! A lot has happened in Earth 2 since the end of the inaugural arch. You may recall the Green Lantern was fighting Solomon Grundy along side The Flash and Hawk-Girl and the whole of the World Army. We were introduced to The Atom and got just a glimpse of the broader picture when Hawk-Girl and The Atom exchanged words followed by blows. With Grundy’s defeat at the hands of Green Lantern, the world that had withered and died by powers of the Grey was rejuvenated and blossomed anew by the Green.
This book hints at a Legacy like no other, and it has to. Unlike the rest of the DC line up Earth 2 is a one-title universe. The Justice League has four affiliations and many of the characters therein have one or more titles all their own. Earth 2, a familiar yet amazingly fresh and new take on the Justice Society is excellently executed and makes a reader shout, “When does the next issue drop?” “What happened to Mr. Terrific?” “Does this universe have a Star spangled Kid?” I have never been so excited for a title that wasn’t Batman or Justice League. James Robinson has taken powerful prestige of heroes and made them stronger and more human than ever before.
After the Battle in Washington DC with our heroes and Grundy we learn more about Steppenwolf the invader from Apokolips who ended the lives of all of Earth 2’s previous heroes and his plans to take over world. We get introduced to the Sand-Men, a group of special ops soldiers working for the World Army, and we get introduced to Khalid Ben-Hassen a man who is drawn to The Flash just as the World Army attempt to capture The Flash and his mother. Khalid magically transports The Flash, The Flash’s mother and himself to a Magic place where they will be safe, but here the evil Wotan waits for the return of Fate.
The Flash and Khalid must climb to the top of the sanctuary where Khalid has hidden the Helmet of Naboo to keep it from draining his sanity, otherwise Wotan will kill The Flash’s mother. Once Khalid and helmet are united he becomes Dr. Fate and battles Wotan.
This kind of cultivation is a love letter to the Golden Age. It calls on principles that have been lost in modern comic reading. Histories have changed and backstories have merged and the New 52 with its promise of “your favorite heroes in a whole new light” has absolutely delivered with this book.
In the latest issue of Earth 2 the Fight continues between Dr. Fate and The Flash against Wotan fist in the Magical Realm then spilling onto the streets of Boston after Dr. Fate transports them all back to Earth. Meanwhile, Green Lantern is investigating the death of his lost love with Hawk-Girl. Green Lantern is called back to help Dr. Fate and The Flash by the Green energy he is connected to.
Issue 12 brings us back to world-building portion of this title. By the last few pages of this issue we see a team forming and it feels good. Unlike Justice League (where our heroes are standing on a stage saying “You’re Welcome” to this world) this Earth may not be ready for these heroes to take the stage. It may not be ready for them to fight the fight. Everything is leading up to another Great War that will test our new heroes and the world still reeling from the last Great War.
Once again we are treated to great writing by James Robinson. The story leaps off the page with little in the way of “Last time on Earth 2” We know who is good, who is evil and with in moments we are drawn into these events. The pacing is done very well evening out the excitement and the intrigue with Hawk-Girl and Green Lantern investigating a murder. This is a book you cannot put down.
With every issue of this book more questions get raised than answered, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I sincerely hope that some questions do get answered soon though. We are slowly getting more and more of the history of this world and how it works, but we are also getting drops of history that may never be explored like “Cyborg dead-zones” and the “Living Thunderbolt”. I know the pay off will be good, here is just hoping they are writing a cheque that they can cash.
Once again this issue is not one to be missed, and as the end of the Tower of Fate arch it plays a big part in the story so far. The next arch is rumored to be James Robinson’s last and with it I am expecting great things. This is a shining gem in the New 52 and it is only getting better.
I will be eagerly waiting for the next installment.
Earth 2 Annual hits shelves on May 29th Vol. 1 is already on shelves.