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Earth 2 #23

Review by Paul Bowler

Now that Green Lantern has been resurrected, the heroes of Earth 2 gather in the Batcave to plan their offensive against the forces of Apokolips. As soon as Darksied’s herald learned of Val’s existence, the young Kryptoninan was attacked by the evil Superman. While the heroes of Earth 2 come under attack from the Parademon horde of Apokolips, a desperate plan is set in motion as the Red Tornado attempts to stop Superman.

Earth 2 #23 blazes a trail of non stop action right from its opening pages, as The Kryptonian Part 3 finally reunites the Red Tornado / Lois Lane with Superman. Tom Taylor has been building up to this moment ever since Lois was resurrected as the Red Tornado, and it’s certainly been worth the wait. I really like the way that Tom Taylor has made Lois such an integral part of Earth 2 since her return. In the space of only a few issues we’ve seen Lois readjusting to her new life within her android body, as well as coping with her fathers death, she’s also helped Val in overcoming his fears, and seen the return of Superman as Darksied’s crazed herald. Now as Lois bravely confronts Superman to protect Val and Hawkgirl, we get a very surprising resolution to last issue cliff-hanger, and once Lois departs with Superman the destination that the evil Man of Steel chooses brings an added twist to the storyline.

After being resurrected from the ashes of Dherian’s destruction by the green energies of the world last issue, Green Lantern also returns in earnest this issue, arriving at a crucial moment for Val and Hawkgirl as the Parademons close in. While Val’s attempt to protect Hawkgirl and his pacifist stance about the conflict are commendable, it’s a good job Green Lantern arrived when he did, and it’s great to see him unleash the full fury of his powers against the Parademons. This is one royally pissed off Green Lantern and it’s great to him back in action!

Earth 2 #23 (Cover)

When they return with Green Lantern to the Batcave to regroup with the others, it soon becomes clear that Lois had been expecting this moment when she would run into Superman. It is interesting to note as we watch the heroes of Earth 2 eavesdropping on the location where Superman has taken Red Tornado that our heroes are not the only ones monitoring these events, and it quickly becomes apparent they are all in terrible danger.

Nicola Scott’s art for Earth 2 #23 is as superb as ever, which together with inks by Trevor Scott, continually leave me spellbound with every issue. From the panoramic exterior sequences to the dark confines of the Batcave, the attention to detail in every scene is astounding, it makes you want to read the issue right away as soon as you’ve finished it. The emotional scenes between Red Tornado and Superman are brilliant, Nicola Scott excels herself here, the way Lois’ emotions are conveyed on her android face, together with her body language, are simply sublime, and its artistic flourishes like this that constantly makes Earth 2 so compelling for me. The colors by Peter Pantazis are also exceptional, with each location having its own distinct tone, and I really liked the moment where Green Lantern cut loose against he Parademons.

It seems like Dr Fate has been babbling in a corner of the Batcave for ages now, so it was good to see Khalid respond to Green Lantern’s return, and I hope this will help speed Dr Fate’s recovery. We also get another hint from Dr Fate’s prophecies, when Red Arrow’s jibe at Khalid’s ramblings foreshadows a dark twist towards the end of the issue. I think its good how Green Lantern’s return also gives us more insight into his connection with the green energies of the world that gave him his powers. He feels the pain and anger of the planet itself as the Parademons relentless attacks spread around the globe, which in turn brings the necessary impetus they all need to strike back against the forces of Apokolips. Much as I’ve enjoyed this story, we’ve been stuck in the Batcave for a while now, so it feels good to see the heroes of Earth 2 ready to implement their plan and strike back.

As Earth 2 #23 races towards its action packed conclusion, the tension continues to build as the Parademons attack in force. These exciting final moment, with the heroes of Earth 2 battling insurmountable odds, leads to a frenetic race against the clock that will have you on the edge of your seat until the next issue. Earth 2 #23 is another brilliant issue by Tom Taylor and Nicola Scott, I’m enjoying this series so much, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Well, as if all the excitement of Earth 2 #23 wasn’t enough for us, DC Comics announced last month that we will soon have a new weekly Earth 2 series to look forward to as well: “Earth 2 Worlds End,” that will debut in October, featuring the talented writing team of Daniel H Wilson, Tom Taylor, Paul Levits, Marguerite Bernnett, and Mike Johnson, together with artists Eddy Barrows, Jorge Jimenez, Stephen Segovia, Paulo Siqueira, and Tyler Kirkman. I’m really pleased we are getting a weekly Earth 2 series, and the stunning teaser art by Ben Oliver certainly suggests that big changes are on the way for Earth 2 and its heroes!