Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Late Review- Earth 2 #2

Earth 2 #2
Written by James Robinson
Penciled by Nicola Scott

If you haven’t read issue 1 of Earth 2, you should go do it. It was an excellent book, although it did have a lot of build up to get us to where James Robinson wanted us to be. This review will reference prior events, so it will be placed after the jump to avoid spoilers.

Earth 2 #2 kicks off with Mister Terrific being dumped into Manhattan after the events of his own series. He is confronted by Terry Sloan who claims he is the smartest man on Earth, and was anticipating Mr. Terrific’s arrival.  The two scuffle and we’re flashed over to Lansing Michigan where Jay Garrick is trying to help a fallen Mercury. The world is still in a state of uncertainty after the deaths of the “Trinity of Wonders.” Mercury delivers a warning message to Jay before passing along his powers to the young man. The government arrives and the new Flash puts his powers to the test.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, Alan Scott is leaving his plane only to be met by his boyfriend. The scene(which is supposed to be the most offensive thing to children EVER) lasts for all of a page and three quarters before switching back over to Jay Garrick. Jay experiments with his powers some more before playing hero, fighting off a group of Apokorats. Jay tests his powers’ limits before ending up in Poland where he is introduced to the new Hawkgirl.

Back in China, Alan and his boyfriend Sam are on a train heading to a lodge for a romantic getaway. Their trip is derailed so to speak, and we are left with a doozy of a cliffhanger.

We finally get to spend much more time with our two central characters as the last issue only gave us a glimpse into their lives. Jay is written as a man of uncertainty who looks like he will find a purpose through helping others while Alan seems to already be doing that. It’s only a matter of time before he gets his powers, but so far, his journey is off to a slow start. Both of the central characters are likeable, but a lot of Alan and Sam’s dialog is pretty terrible. It seems forced and cheesy.

In case you hadn’t heard, there was a pretty big to do about Alan Scott being gay. There is less to offend in this issue than there is within five minutes of watching anything on television. Again, the dialogue between the two men seems so forced. Sam sounds more like he’s trying to convince someone to buy a new phone rather than take his boyfriend to a lodge for a romantic getaway. Maybe others didn’t get that vibe, but for me, something just didn’t seem natural about it. I feel like there have been better written gay couples. Granted we only get a few pages with the characters, but it’s like this awkward emphasis that these are two men. They don’t let them just flow together.

Terry Sloan. Is he the greater threat that Mercury was warning Jay about? How does he know about the other Earth? Is he in league with Steppenwolf who is now M.I.A.? Will he end up being a version of Mister Terrific, as he shares the name with a former one.  Plus, what’s the deal with the new Hawkgirl? Is she from another planet or a government agent? Was her power given to her by the Gods? She seems to be expecting Jay Garrick’s arrival. When and how will Alan Scott become a Green Lantern? Will he still have magic based powers or will they bring in the sci-fi origin instead? Questions, questions, questions.

The art is here is gorgeous, as expected. Nicola Scott has proven she belongs in the upper echelon of artists and should be working on high profile projects. I’d like to see a little more dynamics from her layouts, though, as they are all pretty standard. She really shines when Jay is trying his powers out.

I know some people don’t like the new suit design for Jay Garrick, but I actually dig it. It works really well on the pages and distinguishes him from the old-man Mercury look of the old DCU.

All in all, this was a fun read and one of the series I’m still looking forward to picking up every month.

PROS: Gorgeous art, likeable characters, intriguing backdrop.

CONS: Static layouts, cheesy dialogue at points, needs more pages.

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