Earth 2: Society #2. Daniel H. Wilson- Writer, Jorge Jimenez- Artist, John Rauch & Andrew Dalhaus- Colorists.
I was pondering my own reaction to the first issue of Earth 2: Society as I was reading the first Volume of The Spirit Archives recently. I marveled at how dark so many of the stories were in the early days of the Spirit. My love for Golden Age comics was manifesting itself as I processed the difference in these darkly tinged stories and my utter lack of interest in Earth 2: Society as the second issue loomed ahead. I thought perhaps that Daniel Wilson was trying to evoke that dark, film noir quality that is present in so many Golden Age Comics, especially some of the early Justice Society of America characters in their solo appearances. Going into this issue, I prepared myself for a fresh take, a new angle with perhaps some historical insight. It didn’t help.
Terry Sloan is the focus of this issue in both the present and past sequences. In the present, Sloan evades Batman and gets back to the Source Vault, a device created by Bruce Wayne and the original Wonders that has the genetic information to create the Earth 2 on this Earth they’ve landed on. In the past, it is revealed that Sloan has forced the crash landing of the escape ships in order to save them. Sonja Sato and Sandman fall in with Sloan believing that he is the only one that can save them. As we jump back to the present, Batman catches up with Sloan only to find he’s too late to stop him from his terra forming.
While the new Batman is playing a large role, the original cast of Earth 2 seems to be getting more time- Green Lantern, Terry Sloan, the Sandman and his Sandmen. There’s a definite feeling that something huge is brewing.
I just don’t understand what’s going on. Why are we seeing two different stories? Sometimes that technique works, but in this case there’s so much we don’t know about what happened at original landfall that it becomes confusing when we see the present day. The previous Earth 2 title by James Robinson and Nicola Scott spent a lot of time on world building and character development. Unfortunately, Earth 2: Society is so plot driven that unless the storyline grabs you, there’s not a lot left to like. I find it difficult to latch onto something- I feel like the book is spinning its wheels trying to set up some convoluted development. Telling the story in two different time periods is not working. It seems to be putting the reader between a rock and a hard place. We don’t yet know how we got to where we are, but we know that it’s already in trouble, and the story of the landing and initial terra forming seems to be not too dissimilar.
If you are a fan of the Earth 2 characters and you want to find out where these folks end up then you will be inclined to stick around, probably because the whole book is unsettling. If you are not in that category I cannot imagine sticking around. Earth 2 took a while grow on me the first time, and I hope it will do the same here. Hopefully, Wilson will find a way to incorporate more character moments and not get lost in the minutiae of a complex plot.