Earth 2: James Robinson, Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott, Alex Sinclair, Dezi Sienty, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Rod Reis
So my disappointment with Robinson’s Earth 2 story wanes a little with this issue. I actually did have a good time reading this one. The problem still exists, though, with the cheesy dialog. I mean it’s REALLY cheesy. And it just doesn’t make sense. These characters must be moving in slow-motion in order to say everything they’re saying while performing the actions they perform.
That’s honestly, though, the only frustrating part about this issue. Everything else I can pretty much get behind. These may be Golden Age characters, but this isn’t the Golden Age anymore. We don’t need comics that behave like Golden Age comics, and we definitely don’t need the explanatory, expository, overdone, cheesy, quip-a-minute dialog that came with them. I almost ate this issue because it smelled so much like cheese.
Anyway, we get a couple of really cool treats this time with the introduction and teasing of a few new characters working with the World Army. First, is a man named “Dodds,” who has a small strike force called “Sandmen” who all wear gas masks. Who else could this be but Wesley Dodds, the Sandman? That’s pretty awesome right there. Terry Sloan makes his return in this issue as a consultant for the World Council - a pretty sketchy development, I do think. There’s also mention of Ted Grant (aka Wildcat), Red Tornado, and Captain Steel (who I’m guessing is supposed to be Nathan Heywood, Citizen Steel, or one of the other Heywoods).
All of that…has me pretty damn excited. I really can’t wait to see these JSA heroes back in action and fighting together. So far, we have most of the major hitters with Atom, Flash, Hawkgirl, and Green Lantern…but I just can’t wait to see Dr. Mid-Nite, Dr. Fate, and our own Mr. Terrific back in action.
It was cool seeing Jay more “in it” than he has been, deciding to take on the giant sized Al Pratt, and his whole gung-ho attitude that Atom jokes about later. These were great moments, and I can’t help but think I’d be just like Jay if I suddenly discovered I was a “Wonder,” as this world calls superheroes. I’d be running around, yelling, “Yeah! I’m a hero! I’m gonna do all the good things!” I’m so lame.
The appearance of Terry Sloan was interesting, and I liked his disintegration gas. It seems a lot of what happens in this book reminds me of a Bond movie, what with all the crazy spy stuff with the World Army, and the gadgets and heroics. I dunno. Maybe I’m crazy, and creating weird parallels. I just like the feeling this issue gives, with the introduction of Commander KAAAAAAHN! and the rest of the World Army overwatch program. Sloan, though, is a madman, and I can’t imagine why the World Council would turn to him, even if Grundy, God of the Dead, is attacking Washington DC.
We’re left with a crazy cliffhanger that’s reminding me a lot of the two big superhero blockbusters that came out this year: Avengers, and Dark Knight Rises. Each of them had a nuclear weapon during the climax. That seems to be the go-to these days in terms of creating tension and edge-of-your-seat thrills. I’d like to see people come up with something else next time. Like I said in the Suicide Squad #0 review: there’s no real high stakes. Is James Robinson really going to write in the nuclear destruction of our nation’s capitol? Well…he did kill off Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman in his first issue…so maybe I should be worried here.
Earth 2 #5, the verdict: I have to say it’s coming back for me. This ish was a huge improvement over the last couple, in which I was disappointed. The dialog is still a crazy mess, but it was less so. There are several elements at play now, and they’re all coming to a head, which is exciting. Terry Sloan coming in is interesting, and I’m sure that’s going to lead to places that we won’t like, which is good, mind you. I LOVED the teasing of the other JSA heroes in this issue…and I think it’s awesome that they’re still around. Can’t wait to see them come back. Scott’s artwork is, as usual, really fantastic here…with less crazy facial expressions this time around. Even better is Sinclair’s color work. Everything is so distinct and perfect, and it makes for a very pretty-looking book. The main problem remains that everyone talks too much, and it’s all corny.
(Photo Source: Newsarama)