Earth 2 #24
Review by Paul Bower
Faced with impossible odds as the Parademons attacked, Batman initiated the Batcaves self destruct system. Sandman arrived to teleport Batman and the others to safety, while Green Lantern and Hawkgirl elected to remain in Gotham. As the heroes of Earth 2 are reunited with Commander Khan and the surviving World Army forces, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl embark on a dangerous mission to find the Flash and rescue him from the Beguiler.
Tom Taylor keeps the action and suspense building as Earth 2 #24 follows on from last issues explosive cliff-hanger. The Kryptonian Part 4 charts the aftermath of the battle as the dust begins to settle over Gotham. The news of the second wave of Parademons sudden demise in Gotham quickly spreads to the forces of Apokolips. However, as Bedlam relays the news, the Beguiler has other, more pressing concerns to attend to.
These opening scenes with Beguiler and the Flash are terrific, even though Jay Garrick has to endure being tortured; he still manages to verbally spar with his skeletal tormentor. It seems ages since we last saw Jay Garrick, so it’s good to seem him back. Meanwhile, in the ruins of Gotham, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl emerge from the carnage where Green Lantern quickly sends his hapless Parademon prisoners packing back to their masters with a killer punch line, and it soon becomes clear why he asked Hawkgirl to remain with him.
Sadly, not everyone managed to survive being extracted from the Batcave. Now with Amazonia, the former home of the Amazons, serving as the last refuge for Commander Khan and the surviving forces of the World Army, the heroes of Earth 2 must take stock of what happened. Batman’s rage at Val is almost palpable here, infuriated that the young Kryptonian was unwilling to use violence to help defend them, the tables are suddenly turned on the Dark Knight when a furious Jimmy Olsen confronts him. Tom Taylor has really excelled himself here, it’s a brilliant little scene, with dialogue so tautly honed to perfection, that your jaw will hit the floor with the unflinching clarity of Jimmy’s argument and the wealth of potential it presents for the future.
Eddy Barrows steps in for Nicola Scott to provide the art for Earth 2 #24, together with inks by Eber Ferreira, and the superb work of colorist Pete Pantazis, this issue is as visually impressive as we have come to expect from this series. From the ominous scenes where the Beguiler tortures the Flash, we blaze a trail across Gotham’s ravaged skyline, the action packed mission to save the Flash is brilliant, and this issues final page is simply awesome! Eddy Barrows has done a terrific job with Earth 2 #24; encompassing the global scale of events as the action unfolds at an incredible pace that makes great use of all the locations and characters.
Green Lantern and Hawkgirl also play a pivotal role in Earth 2 #24 as they attempt to rescue the Flash. I’ve always liked the dynamic between this parallel world’s first trio of “new wonders”, and it’s great to see them reunited at last. I especially like how well Green Lantern and Hawkgirl work together, Green Lantern may have the raw power necessary to get them into enemy territory, but it is still Hawkgirl’s tracking skills, judgment and sound reasoning that makes her such an invaluable ally.
While certain plot points from last issue are left hanging for now, Earth 2 #24 still has more than enough stand out moments and excellent character development to make up for it, and the cover by Philip Tan and Norm Rapmund is also a real stunner!