Earth 2: Society #11. Dan Abnett- Writer, Federico Dallocchio- Artist, David Calderon of Ikari Studio- Colorist.
From the beginning, Earth 2 in the “New 52” has been a mixed bag. In its original inception there were highs and lows. After Earth 2: World’s End it’s been even more of a puzzler. One thing that’s been consistent is an almost excruciating pace. Oddly enough, in Earth 2: Society #11, the concept seems to be channeling Watchmen. While that seems way off at first, upon further exploration it begins to make sense. Green Lantern, Alan Scott is perceived to be a god, much like Dr. Manhattan. Batman, Dick Grayson is a street level vigilante trying to do the best he can like Rorschach. Then there are the characters in the middle like the Flash. They are trying to do the best they can like Dan and Laurie- Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II. While this may not be an exact analogy, the Green Lantern/ Dr. Manhattan vibe was very strong in this issue. And it kind of makes sense….
Originally, under James Robinson, Earth 2 was a place that was rebuilding after a devastating war against the forces of Apokolips. Characterization came first as the world was being built. Then all of a sudden along came World’s End and it forced the title to start over with the same sort of premise but such different circumstances. Quite honestly, these characters seem to be stuck in a story that they shouldn’t be in! Blame editorial, but the Earth 2 characters have been consigned to a plot device they never made! The unevenness of this series is currently due to their situation. They are still rebuilding…. Why? In many ways this series has not progressed. There have been some engaging arcs…Thomas Wayne for example…but that played out in last Summer’s Convergence. These characters can’t get beyond the rebuilding, and that’s unfortunate, because there’s clearly a potential for something greater than the cycle they are stuck in.
Batman calls upon Red Arrow and Ted Grant for back up as he has disabled Hourman and needs help in tracking down and containing, Nimbus. His ploy works and Ted and Arrow succeed through teamwork, much to Nimbus’ surprise. Meanwhile, Alan has gathered the city leaders to try and convince them to work together. In a scene that certainly feels like it could’ve happened in Watchmen, the leaders ally more closely AGAINST Alan because of his god-like powers. Their fear of him is certainly stronger than any desire to work together. In the end they don’t come together and the whole exercise seems for naught.
Also, Fury explains to Kendra what happened to the formerly destroyed Amazons. It’s a bit of a doozy…. The souls of the Amazons had been stored…and in order to save the people on her ship…Fury replaced their souls with the Amazon souls.
Through all of it, the city leaders learn the truth of Earth 2- there are no natural resources. It’s an artificial world.
The stakes are raised this issue as the city leaders are now in the know of their plight. The tension in each of the plot lines is sufficient to keep the reader interested, but there’s a weird feeling throughout.
Something is just not right with this series. Besides moving slowly, the whole premise just feels wrong for these characters. Supposedly, based on the original Earth-Two concept, instead of exploring the differences between them and the main Earth continuity, the literal world building is a concept that detracts from the opportunity to explore alternate versions of these iconic DC characters. Lacking the history of the original Earth-Two, the concept is also watered down. It lacks the nostalgic element and instead just feels like characters in search of an exit.
A decently entertaining issue, while mired in a bad concept and an extremely slow pace. If they could only get out of this situation and get things actually moving. It’s hard to believe this series is still being published, hope is truly eternal. It’s not so much bad as just ill-suited to these characters.