Alan Scott, Apokolips War, Colonel Dodds, Commander Khan, DC Comics, Earth 2, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, James Robinson, Mr Terrfic, Terry Sloan, The Flash, The New 52, The Sandmen, Trevor Scott, Yildiray Cinar
Earth 2 Issue #7
Review by Paul Bowler
In the aftermath of Solomon Grundy’s defeat Alan Scott’s global media empire GBC is covering every aspect of recent events as news reports begin to emerge about the new wonders of Earth 2 and the heroic part they played in saving the world. Although the headlines state that Alan Scott was not one of the victims of the train crash in China, the claims that he is fine and well are far from the truth.
Alan Scott is consumed with grief over Sam’s death, smashing up his penthouse in a furious rage, before Hawkgirl arrives on the balcony with a renewed request for him to join with her and the Flash to work together as a team. When he refuses Kendra attacks him, forcing him to put on his power ring again, but before he can retaliate she vanishes.
While Alan Scott ponders his future, over in The World Army Central HQ in Tokyo, Commander Khan is summoned to a meeting before the members of The World Army Council. Khan is aghast when the Council appoint Terry Sloan to be the new Head of The World Army Science Directive. He may be forced to work with Terry Sloan for now, but having secretly uncovered one of Sloan’s secret bases in Paris, Khan has sent Colonel Dodds and his Sandmen to investigate the building where they find a lab guarded by Sloan’s brainwashed prisoner from Earth 1 – Mr Terrific. After subduing Mr Terrific and trashing the lab, Colonel Dodds reports back to Khan with his findings.
Although Khan and Dodd are uncertain why Terry Sloan captured Mr Terrific when he mysteriously appeared in Manhattan, they are sure he is the key to Sloan’s plan. Yet as they covertly decide to deprogram Mr Terrific it may already be too late, Terry Sloan has quickly gained the trust of The World Army Council, and soon all the secrets of The World Army and its facilities will be his to govern and implement as he sees fit.
James Robinson seamlessly shifts the tone of Earth 2 from the all-out-action against Solomon Grundy with a somewhat reflective 7th issue that not only deals with the global recovery in the wake of recent events, but also sees the heroes of Earth 2 gradually coming to terms with the implications their new powers will have on their lives. Robinson addresses the reasons behind Green Lantern’s arrogant dismissal of The Flash’s idea of banding together to form a new team of wonders, revealing how a grief stricken Alan Scott cannot even bear to look at his power ring, let alone consider using it to help form a new team of superheroes. Having trashed his penthouse in a furious rage, Alan is surprised to get a visit from Hawkgirl who once again tries to persuade him to join her and Flash as part of a new team.
This issue really throws the spotlight on Hawkgirl as she talks to Alan on the balcony of his penthouse: even going so far as to reveal her full name, Kendra Munoz-Saunders, one time Archaeologist turned Tomb Robber, whose skills brought her to the attention of The World Army where on a subsequent mission she acquired her wings. Feeling trapped and persecuted by society, Kendra tried to distance herself from The World Army, however, fighting alongside the new wonders in Washington against Grundy – as well as the prophecy that an even greater threat is coming – has made her realize that Earth 2 needs its heroes now more than ever. As if to illustrate her point, she forces him face up to his grief by demonstrating how vulnerable he is. Kendra fires her crossbow when Green Lantern turns his back on her, shattering a photograph of Sam which enrages Alan enough to instinctively draw the power ring to him, but as he turns to face her Hawkgirl is gone.
Confrontations come thick and fast this issue, the air positively crackles with tension as the scene shifts to Commander Khan and Terry Sloan at The World Army HQ in Japan where Sloan has been placed in charge of The World Army Science Directive. While Khan does little to hide his disgust of what he describes as the “obscenity” of Sloan’s placement, he agrees to work with him in principle – at least for now. Having dispatched Colonel Dodds and his elite squad of Sandmen to break into Sloan’s secret lab in Paris, Khan is intrigued when Dodds reports how they discovered a deranged prisoner from Earth 1- Mr Terrific – and brought him in for questioning. We still have no real clue about how Mr Terrific fits into Sloan’s schemes but it will be interesting to see how James Robinson develops the fearful symmetry between these two hyper-intellects.
As well as a welcome return of Colonel Dodds and the Sandmen Earth 2 #7 continues to entice us with snippets of dialogue that offer the promise of even more wonders to come. It is clear that The World Army has vast resources at its disposal. After the horrors of the Apokolips War the World Army Council has been working on a number of top secret programmes in a bid to research and replicate a new age of wonders. Khan realizes just how dangerous it is to allow Sloan access to this data, but is powerless to prevent the Council giving Sloan free reign to initiate his own interpretation of The Wonders Protocol and Project: Biohive. While we are teased with another mention of Captain Steel regular readers are rewarded by the appearance of The Red Tornado! Terry Sloan has decided to transfer the feminine robot still under construction to the Wonders Imitative Facility in Portland. Here’s hoping it won’t be long before we get to see this new Red Tornado in action.
This issue features the debut of guest artist Yildiray Cinar (The Fury of Firestorm the Nuclear Men; Teen Titans) as he joins Earth 2 for issues #7-8. This will also be Cinar’s debut collaboration with James Robinson. Fan favourite Yildiray Cinar is a perfect choice to illustrate Earth 2, his dynamic flair leaps from every scene and is perfectly complemented by Trevor Scott’s inks. Although Earth 2 #7 is comparatively light on super powered action, Cinar and Scott lavishly depict the global recovery from The Rot, allowing the characters and their conflicts time to play out against the stunning backdrops of high tech military instillations and panoramic city skylines. The focus on quieter moments of reflection is tempered by the conspiracy and betrayal beginning to form at the very heart of The World Army. Earth 2 continues to astound and impress on all levels, with the imminent return of Steppenwolf and the introduction of this parallel worlds last Amazon, I have a feeling that we have only just begun to scratch the surface of all the wondrous characters and storylines Earth 2 has to offer.