SHOWCASE PRESENTS: Can We Talk About Earth 2 For A Minute?

(Editors Note: All editorials are solely the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect  the views or opinions of DC Comics News or its staff.)

I don’t like Earth 2. Or, at least, I didn’t like Earth 2 when I read it, so I stopped. I made it four issues in before I dropped the book. And, honestly, I really did struggle through those four issues.

We all heard the stories before the book launched. We knew how things had changed. Alan Scott went from being a guy with two kids, one of whom was gay, to being a young man who was gay. That was the big thing that all the media focused on. I was more interested in how the new Justice Society was a group of second generation heroes. And how ugly the Flash’s new costume turned out to be.

It’s like a tapestry of terrible things…

That said, I’d like to talk about Alan Scott first. Personally, I don’t think DC should’ve changed the man’s sexuality. I’m a huge advocate for gay rights (and equal rights in general). I think everyone deserves equality, safety, happiness, and all that good stuff, including equal representation, not just in a legal sense, but in all forms of media. But I would’ve preferred it if DC had created new characters as opposed to changing the sexuality of previously existing characters. The change just seems rather arbitrary, as if DC editorial one day picked a name out of a hat and said “We need to fill a diversity requirement… You! You’re gay now!”

To be fair, it was probably more like “we got this one guy who’s powerless against wood.” “Well he’s just ASKING for it.”

I think it would’ve been a far more interesting and powerful story to maintain that Alan’s son, Obsidian, was gay. That way, DC could have shown a supportive family dynamic as a model for young people coming out to their parents.

That said, I understand that making a higher-profile character like Green Lantern gay would make the change more prominent and harder to ignore (unlike Bunker, who I ignore solely on the basis that Scott Lobdell is writing him).

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about my big concern with Earth 2: Why? The biggest change to the Justice Society characters, and, in my opinion, one of the most wholly unnecessary and stupid changes of the New 52, was making the team a group of second generation heroes. One of the most fundamental aspects of the JSA characters was that they were the first. The first group of people to put on masks and fight crime. They were the first superheroes. What they were doing was something that had never been done before. Superheroism was an entirely new concept.

Making the team into second generation heroes (and by that I mean that Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Robin, and Mister Terrific were all confirmed as active heroes for years prior to any of the JSA characters coming into play) severely diminishes who these characters are.

Why even call them Alan Scott and Jay Garrick if they have nothing in common with their previous namesakes? Hell, they made Alan into a defender of the Green (think Swamp Thing but green fire instead of plants) as opposed to a wielder of the Starheart (the essence of magic in the old DCU).

Remember kids, only YOU can start green forest fires.

Rebooting characters doesn’t mean you get to alter them completely and retain the name. It means you keep the fundamentals of who those characters are and you simplify their world. Why not just create new characters?

So my big issue with Earth 2 was that the whole thing just felt… forced. With all those young rebooted heroes running around in the New 52, why couldn’t we see a few idealistic old war vets? Why couldn’t they have families and legacies? Why couldn’t Earth 2 have been an opportunity to tell new stories in new ways as opposed to the crappy place where Solomon Grundy turned into a death metal zombie?

Step 1: Find out whose terrible idea this was.
Step 2: Say “no” very sternly. 

To me, Earth 2 represents everything that went wrong in the New 52. Well, Earth 2 and every book Lobdell writes. And every time a creative team walks off a book because of editors lying and micromanaging. Earth 2 is a big one though.