While the weekly Earth 2: World’s End continues to struggle to find it’s balance, the monthly title has been filling in some of the gaps with added character bits. Here, in an issue titled “Avatars”, we get three short vignettes that show us the origins of the remaining Avatars of the Parliament that we have yet to see: Sam Zhou of the White, Azathoth of the Blue and Yolanda Montez of the Red.
The Avatars is a neat sub-sect of DC characters, and I like seeing the idea expanded upon from what we saw in Earth 0 centered titled Animal Man and Swamp Thing. I also notice the elemental bit seems to be pulled from Brightest Day, an area that never received it’s due exploration because of the New 52 reboot that soon followed the end of that event. Different artists handle each section, and all do fine jobs.
The interesting twist of Sam’s summoning being what caused the train disaster back in the first issue of Earth 2 is an interesting one, but sort of goes against the fact that we clearly see that it is Alan Scott’s calling to become one with the Green that did it. I suppose the bit of retcon works well enough, but that lack of time given to Sam to accept this new state in which he has become makes the whole thing feel inadequately explored. And it’s a bit strange that the other Avatars have to die horrible deaths, yet Alan has always been allowed to change into and out of his Green Lantern moniker. Also, there’s bit of weak dialogue here and there.
While not a complete mess, Earth 2 continues to weaken in the absence of writer Tom Taylor. This issue fails to feel essential to the bigger picture, but I suppose it does answer some questions certain fans may have. And it leads us right into the Avatars going into battle, which I can only pray is an astounding visual and visceral return to form. Or at the very least, a satisfying issue to come out of either Earth 2 or World’s End, because as with Green Lantern: Godhead, the steam feels like it’s beginning to run out and pages are being padded to meet quotas. I believe in the concept and the characters and sincerely hope for a serious about face in quality and will continue to hold out for it, as the potential is just too good to completely let go of.