The Flash 2015 New York Comic-Con Sizzle Reel
Warner Bros. Television have released a New York Comic-Con sizzle for Season 2 of The Flash featuring new footage introducing new characters & new villains!
The Flash 2015 New York Comic-Con Sizzle Reel
Warner Bros. Television have released a New York Comic-Con sizzle for Season 2 of The Flash featuring new footage introducing new characters & new villains!
Earth 2 Issue #12
Review by Paul Bowler
Earth 2 #12 sees the war of magic between Doctor Fate and Wotan spilling out from the Realm of Nabu and back to Earth, where the battle continues to rage in the skies over Boston as Flash and Green Lantern team up to help. The World Army have mobilised their aerial teams to contain the conflict, but Green Lantern and The Flash stop them from interfering, giving Khalid Ben Hussain the chance he needs to adapt to his new powers as Doctor Fate. With the spirit of Nabu to guide him, Doctor Fate takes the fight to Wotan, using the ancient powers of the Gods at his command to confront Wotan in a duel of hexes and spells.
James Robinson delivers another first class issue of Earth 2, opening with the incredible aerial battle between Doctor Fate and Wotan, before utilizing a flashback to show what happened just after Doctor Fate saved the Flash from the Great Beast inside The Tower of Fate at the end of the last issue. Here we are treated to some great scenes between the Flash and Doctor Fate, where Khalid thanks Jay for inspiring him to become a hero, even though Khalid knows that sharing his consciousness with Nabu could cost him his sanity. Doctor Fate also helps Jay Garrick draw on the power within his own subconscious to repair his shredded costume, which gives James Robinson a chance to introduce a slight redesign of Flash’s costume.
Wotan is waiting outside the Tower of Fate for them with his hostage, Jay’s mother, and is completely unprepared for Doctor Fate’s attack. The spirit of Nabu urges Khalid not to be rash or proud, calling on him to be his chosen champion, and evoke the power of the Gods to open a portal back to Earth where his powers will be stronger than Wotan’s. As the battle crossed back over to Earth 2, the Flash carries his mother and races back through the portal as well.
Over in Macau, in China, Green Lantern is investigating the murder of his lover, Sam, and has asked Hawkgirl to help him. Following up on a lead from Mob Boss Eddie Kai Lung, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl examine a container at the docks, only to discover that it is full of rotting Parademon corpses from the Apokolips War.
The mystical green energy within Alan Scott suddenly tells him that he must return to America, so he leaves Kendra to continue the investigation alone. Despite her protests, Green Lantern says he has no choice but to go where the green energy commands, he asks Hawkgirl to continue the investigation alone while he returns to the states, where he arrives in in time to help the Flash keep the World Army forces at bay while Doctor Fate battles against Wotan. Khalid uses his knowledge of the Gods of Old to great effect as Doctor Fate, combining the transformation powers of Set with the metal working energies of Ptah to ensnare Wotan, before attacking the Dark Mage with the fiery power of the Goddess Menhit and banishing him to the another dimension with the wrath of Horus, God of War.
The New Wonders of Earth 2 regroup at GBC’s company headquarters, Alan Scott’s home in New York City, where he suggests they use his company to create some positive publicity so they will be accepted by the public. However, as Jay’s mother points out, Alan Scott still has his secret identity, its not so easy for her and Jay as people know who they are, and recent events have left them both wanted fugitives by the government. While they decide what to do, Alan offers them the guest quarters below his apartment, but Doctor Fate has a vision as tells them to switch on the television. The breaking news report details how Steppenwolf has been seen in Dherain, where he now rules, and that the World Army has just declared war on the country.
To say that Earth 2 #12 is epic is something of an understatement, as writer James Robinson ramps up the action, with the battle between Doctor Fate and Wotan returning to Earth where they duel with magic above the city. Nicola Scott’s stunning artwork captures every aspect of this thrilling confrontation in incredible detail, along with Trevor Scott’s impeccable inks, and the rich colours of Barbara Ciardo and Peter Pantazis. Its fascinating to see how Doctor Fate’s powers work, the duality of his shared existence with the spirit of Nabu is perfectly portrayed, and each of the Egyptian God’s spells he calls upon offer a limitless wealth of potential for the character. I also like how Nicola Scott puts so much detail into Fate’s costume, particularly the reflections and symbols on the Helm of Fate. The origin of Doctor Fate has been one of the most exciting storylines so far in Earth 2, writer James Robinson has remained entirely faithful to the character, and this spectacular issue showcases many of Doctor Fate‘s mystical abilities.
I really like how we also get to learn more about what has happened on Earth 2 over the last five years in this issue. We already knew how The First Wonders of Earth 2, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman lost their lives during the final battle of the Apokolips War. This issue details the aftermath of that conflict in more detail: we hear of fire pits and Parademon Interment Camps, Cyborg Dead Zones, plagues, and perhaps most intriguingly the Living Thunderbolt is mentioned – which could possibly hint towards the existence of another classic golden age character Johnny Thunder and the genie-like Thunderbolt. It’s also interesting to note that the television reporters name is shown as Lee Travis, which is coincidentally the name of The Crimson Avenger, another classic character from the golden age of comics. Whether the mentioning of these two characters are just a nice continuity reference for fans, or an indication of things to come, remains to be seen. But it is this attention to detail by James Robinson that makes Earth 2 such an enjoyable title.
The subplot involving Hawkgirl and Green Lantern uncovering the container full of Parademon corpses poses some intriguing questions, and I’m sure Hawkgirl will soon find a connection between this shocking discovery and the identity of who was responsible for Sam’s murder. Earth 2 #12 successfully brings several long running plot strands together that have been developing ever since the first issue.
It’s also good to see Green Lantern stepping up to work as part of a team, something he has been reluctant to do up until this point. The World Army now stands on the brink of war with Steppenwolf; we still have the imminent debut of Captain Steel and this alternative Earth’s new Batman to look forward to, and Hawkgirl’s investigation of Sam’s murder. Earth 2 #12 remains one of the best team books around, the art is fantastic, and James Robinson has done a terrific job of reinventing these classic Golden age characters.
Earth 2 Issue #11
Review by Paul Bowler
The all new origin of Doctor Fate continues in Earth 2 #11 as the Flash and Khalid Ben Hussain begin to make their way through the elaborate corridors and walkways of the Tower of Fate. Here they must face the Great Beast, the demonic guardian of the Helm of Fate, and find a way to confront their innermost fears so they can escape the labyrinth and rescue Jay Garrick’s mother from Wotan. Meanwhile in Dherain, the independent nation’s new ruler, Steppenwolf, has learned of some heroes seen in Gotham City and sends Fury to bring them to him.
Earth 2 #11 is an awe inspiring tale by James Robinson who has successfully crafted a brand new mythology for the introduction of Doctor Fate, while still remaining faithful to many of the classic elements of the character. Opening with a confrontation in ancient Egypt between Nabu and Wotan, we lean how the dark mage used a spell to become immortal, existing as both male and female throughout countless lifetimes. After being defeated by Nabu, the Egyptian mage altered Wotan’s skin, killing the dark mage, and tarnishing Wotan’s flesh with a ghastly hue that would last forever.
One character that has continually stood out amongst the cast of Earth 2 is Jay Garrick. Of all the New Wonders of Earth 2 the Flash has been defined by his youthful spirit for adventure and selfless acts of heroism. Having narrowly evaded the Great Beasts clutches the Flash and Khalid take a rest for a moment on one of the Towers vast walkways. They realize the only way they can succeed is to split up. Jay volunteers to go back and face the Great Beast alone; hoping he can buy Khalid enough time to uses his knowledge of the Tower and find the Helm of Fate so they can escape.
Inspired by Jay’s bravery, Khalid sets off into the maze-like corridors of the Tower to find the Helm of Nabu. As he proceeds ever deeper the spirit of Nabu reaches out to him, guiding him towards his goal. When he approaches the chamber, the spirit of Nabu asks Khalid about his thoughts on the death of his guardian, Kent Nelson, and it would seem that many of Khalid’s fears stem from this event. This is a nice reference to the original Dr Fate by James Robinson, who clearly has a great respect for the character, and it also offers up a number of intriguing possibilities for the future. As he reaches for the helm Khalid asks the spirit of Nabu if he will loose his sanity, but Nabu sates he is merely an echo now, and that he will fade when Khalid embraces his new role. This seems to indicate that Khalid will gradually have more control over his powers, instead of just be possessed by the spirit of Nabu; he could become the sole embodiment of Doctor Fate himself.
Earth 2 #11 features some stunning work by Nicola Scott who brings Robinson’s mystical saga to life with some incredible scenes, with every detail beautifully enhanced by Trevor Scott’s inks, and the vivid colours by Alex Sinclair and Peter Pantazis, Earth 2 continues to raise the bar with each successive issue. From the first page we are propelled into the past to witness the magical duel between Nabu and Wotan in Egypt, with events fluidly dovetailing into the present as Wotan recounts his origins to Jay’s mother, through to the huge vaulted chambers of the Tower of Fate itself as the Flash and Khalid creep along the gravity defying walkways.
When the moment comes for Khalid to put on the Helm of Nabu he is instantly transformed into Doctor Fate and rushes to save the Flash from the gnashing jaws of the Great Beast. This fantastic moment is perfectly realized by Nicola Scott, as the new Dr Fate bursts from the page swathed in a magical glow, his armour gleaming with incredible energy. This issues stunning gatefold cover by Brett Booth not only features Doctor Fate, but also heralds the return of Mr Miracle, whose redesign of Mr Miracle is also a faithful enhancement of the original characters appearance.
The stage is now set for an epic showdown between Doctor Fate and Wotan. It will also be interesting to see Fury hunting down Mr Miracle in the ruins of Gotham City. Earth 2 #11 has been one of this series most hotly anticipated issues to date, Doctor Fate’s return has lived up to all my expectations, and in many ways its actually exceeded them. Earth 2 has reintroduced these classic heroes back to the New 52 DCU with a flair of creativity that will satisfy fans of all ages. It has taken decades of complex storylines and reinvigorated them for a whole new generation of readers, offering a fresh perspective with some truly awe inspiring artwork.
Earth 2 Issue #10
Review by Paul Bowler
While visiting his mother’s house in Michigan, the Flash is attacked by the by The Atom and Major Sonia Sato. In order to distract the Flash, Colonel Dodds teleports into the fracas and holds Jay’s mother at gunpoint, enabling Major Sonia to subdue the Flash with her martial arts skills. Fortunately Hawkgirl has sent her friend, Khalid Ben Hassin, to watch over Jay Garrick. Khalid attacks Dodds, giving the Flash a chance to break fee and rescue his mother, but as they attempt to escape all three of them are suddenly teleported away by magical forces.
The Flash, his mother, and Khalid find themselves transported to the mystical Realm of Nabu. As they gaze up at the ominous looking tower on the horizon they are confronted by the green skinned mage, Wotan, who represents a secret organization that wants to acquire the power of Nabu. After Wotan refuses to send his mother home, Jay attack the dark mage, but Wotan uses The Angry Spell of the Dark Heart to leave the speedster writhing in agony. Khalid explains that he found the Helm in a tomb in Egypt with Kendra, and how it almost drove him mad when he put it on. Rejecting his destiny as the chosen vessel of Nabu, and in an attempt to regain his sanity, Khalid commanded the Helmet to seal itself way in the tower where no one could reach it again.
Wotan wants the Flash and Khalid to retrieve the Helm of Nabu from the tower, as their powers are magically attuned to Nabu’s Realm. In order to ensure their obedience, Wotan threatens to kill Jay’s mother if they refuse, before magically teleporting Khalid and the Flash inside the tower.
Meanwhile in the Jiangsu Province of China, Alan Scott stands before Sam’s graveside with Mr Zhao. He offers Mr Zhao his condolences, and apologizes for missing Sam’s funeral. Having been consumed with grief, Alan didn’t go to the funeral, and he is unsure what reception he will get from his deceased partners father. Mr Zhao openly admits he never entirely approved of Alan’s relationship with his son, he is nevertheless more understanding than Alan expected, and pleased that Sam was so happy while they were together.
Until now Alan had believed that he was the target for the train attack that resulted in Sam’s death, but Mr Zhao has been investigating the cause of the explosion, and it turns out that Sam was really the target all along! After trying unsuccessfully to find out why Sam was targeted for death Green Lantern travels to Louisiana, were Hawkgirl has just defeated a Parademon cell, and asks for her help. Back in the Realm of Nabu the Flash and Khalid are exploring the bizarre interior of The Tower of Fate, desperately trying to make sense of their surroundings, but their chosen path leads to an encounter with demonic forces from very the pits of hell itself…
The Tower of Fate storyline begins in earnest with Earth 2 #10 as James Robinson propels us into the intricate mythology that surrounds the legacy of Dr Fate. Where last issue acted as something of a prologue to the main event, here Robinson skilfully introduces the magical Realm of Nabu, detailing Khalid Ben Hassin’s first encounter with the Helm in Egypt with Hawkgirl through a series of flashbacks that meld seamlessly into the ongoing narrative. Although we don’t get to see how Kendra got her wings, we do see the moment afterwards, where she is struggling to cope with her sudden mutation as Khalid reaches out towards the Helm of Nabu.
We gain a far greater understanding of the Egyptian Mage, Nabu, who was able to use his arcane might to transform chaos into order, and how his long dormant powers were discovered by Khalid when he was sent by the military to investigate the tomb with Kendra. Unable to cope with the helmets immense power, Khalid was overwhelmed by Nabu’s spirit, so he sent the Helm of Nabu to this dimension to be sealed in the tower where it would be safe. Wotan also gets to show how charmingly malicious he can be, using his powers to viciously attack the Flash, although we still have yet to lean who he is actually working for.
The work by Nicola Scott and Trevor Scott on Earth 2 #10 is some of their best yet, and they take full advantage of the otherworldly setting to create some incredible visuals, culminating in Jay and Khalid’s journey inside The Tower of Fate itself. These incredible scenes are reminiscent of the Klimmen en Dalen (Ascending and Descending) by the Dutch painter MC Escher, with Khalid and the Flash exploring gravity defying walkways, its disarming uses of perspective will leave you marvelling at one of this titles most intricate spectacles to date.
It’s also good to see Alan Scott return after Sam’s death. He has a reconciliation of sorts with Sam’s father, Mr Zhao, in China where he learns that Sam was actually the intended target during the attack on the train. Green Lantern sets out to discover the truth, determined to find out why Sam was targeted, but he soon learns that brute force alone will not provide the answers he’s looking for. Green Lantern is unable to find any leads to Sam’s murderers in China, so he tracks down Hawkgirl in Louisiana and asks her for help. After being so dismissive of working with the New Wonders of Earth 2, it’s a refreshing turn of events to see Green Lantern acknowledge that he was wrong to be so dismissive of them, and the fact that he turns to Hawkgirl for help is a clear indicator that Alan Scott is beginning to realize the benefits of working together as a team.
While Earth 2 #10 doesn’t see Khalid Ben Hassin transform into Dr Fate this issue, we are now tantalisingly close to that moment. I think its marvellous how James Robinson has taken the time to make this prelude to Dr Fate such an integral part of Earth 2’s ongoing storyline. He has endeavoured to make Dr Fate’s return a spectacular event, reimagining his origin for a new generation of readers, whilst remaining true to the essence of this classic character. Earth 2 is constantly entertaining and well written, the art is spellbinding, and with Khalid about to embrace his destiny as Dr Fate, Earth 2’s first year has seen the title continue to deliver on all fronts.
Colonel Dodds, DC Comics, Doctor Fate, Earth 2, Hawkgirl, Helm of Nabu, James Robinson, Jay Garrick, Khalid, Nicola Scott, The Atom, The Falsh, The New 52, The Tower of Fate, The World Army, Trevor Scott, Wotan
Earth 2 Issue #9
Review by Paul Bowler
The storm rages outside Khalid Ben Hassin’s secluded residence in New Orleans as Hawkgirl tries to convince him that he must help her against the evil threat which he himself foretold, one that is destined to unleash chaos and destruction upon the world. But he is afraid to use the magical Helm of Nabu again, fearing that his mystical link with the ancient Egyptian Mage is beginning to affect his mind, which is why he has sent it away for safekeeping. Khalid still maintains his link with Nabu, so he agrees to help Kendra by keeping an eye on Jay Garrick while he visits his mother in Michigan.
With the worlds media reporting that Steppenwolf has been seen in Dherain, along with continued speculation about the New Wonders after their battle against Solomon Grundy in Washington. Jay Garrick walks to his mother’s house, unaware of that Khalid is following him, where he learns that she has been visited earlier by a white haired man called Dodds. Realizing that The World Army has traced his cell phone, Jay has only seconds to react to shield his mother as the Atom smashes his way through the front of the house!
Jay and his mother are soon surrounded by Major Sonia Sato (Judo Master) and her troopers, but Jay quickly turns into the Flash to avoid being snatched by the Atom. As the Flash runs rings around the towering Atom, outside the operation is being supervised by Colonel Dodds, who teleports into the fray to grab Jay’s mother, holding her at gunpoint to get the Flash to surrender. The Major knocks Flash to the ground, but Khalid creeps up and attacks Dodds, giving Jay the chance he needs to uses his super speed to get them all out of harms way. However, before they can escape, the three of them are suddenly enveloped by a mystical field of energy and teleported away.
Flash, his mother, and Khalid find themselves transported to Nabu’s Realm, a strange otherworldly place, were a giant tower dominates the horizon. Khalid has only moments to explain that he is a colleague of Hawkgirl’s, and that he believes they have been abducted by magical forces, before they are confronted by Wotan – Mage of an organization who wants the power of Nabu for themselves. Nabu’s unimaginable power can control the magic of the world, it has been entombed in the tower, and it is this place that will soon forge Khalid’s destiny…
After last issues interlude with Steppenwolf and Fury, events on the alternative world of Earth 2 take a dark turn as supernatural forces begin to make their presence felt, spawning new heroes and villains as the New Age of Wonders continues to gather pace. With this prologue to his new story arc, The Tower of Fate: The Man Who Was Scared, writer James Robinson provides a suitably epic story for Doctor Fate’s return to the DC Universe. The remarkable character, who first appeared in More Fun Comics #55 in 1940, created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Howard Sherman, would serve as a member of the Justice Society of America in All Star Comics #3 (1940), and go on to become one of DC’s most popular mystical beings along with the Phantom Stranger and the Spectre.
Ever since The New 52 was launched three has been much speculation about when Doctor Fate might return. Now Doctor Fate is back in Earth 2 #9, it’s a fantastic introduction, and Robinson’s intricate story pays service to fans of the character while making him accessible to new readers. What is also interesting here is how Khalid and Kendra are revealed to be colleagues who have been working together ever since the New Wonders first appeared. It suddenly becomes clear how Hawkgirl was able to find the Flash and Green Lantern so easily, and how she always seemed one step ahead of everyone. We also lean that Hawkgirl gained her wings when Nabu chose Khalid, perhaps the guilt of that act played a part in Khalid’s decision to send the helmet away. Khalid may not actually don the fabled Helm of Nabu in this issue, but just hearing about the effect it has had on his life is enough to chill you to the bone.
After convincing Khalid to check up on Jay Garrick, we also get a glimpse of how Hawkgirl really feels about Alan Scott when she turns around and use an aptly dressed mannequin for target practice for her rocket launcher. Back in Michigan, the World Army finally catch up with Jay Garrick, with the Atom tearing down the house to get at him. These spectacular action scenes really showcase Nicola Scott’s art, Trevor Scott’s inks also give every scene a vivid clarity, and their work on Earth 2 continually impresses me on every level.
It’s great to see the Atom and Colonel Dodds in action again this issue. There is a wonderful moment where Dodds teleports and his Sandman hat and coat are momentarily suspended as he vanishes, and the look on everyone’s faces when the Flash is suddenly rescued and whisked away is priceless. When Khalid is following Jay he struggles to keep a hold of his senses, rambling about men of lightning and dark horrors, earning himself a few strange looks form passers by. The perpetrator behind the magical forces that have whisked Jay, his mother, and Khalid to Nabu’s Realm is revealed as Wotan – one of Doctor Fate’s oldest foes.
With Earth 2 #9 James Robinson seems to be fully embracing a more mythical form of storytelling, one filled with characters like Flash, Green Lantern, and now Dr Fate who have all obtained their powers via mystical entities. I think it gives the characters much more depth as they try to cope with the awesome responsibility of their powers. The New Wonders have had to explore the boundaries of their abilities, some like Alan Scott have lost loved ones, others like Jay Garrick have managed to turn their lives around, while Khalid and Hawkgirl have been emotionally scarred by the experience.
Earth 2 #9 is a fabulous issues, the pace never lets up for a moment, and the gradual build up to the astonishing cliff-hanger in Nabu’s Realm will leave you counting the days until The Tower of Fate yields its secrets.
Alan Scott, Apokolips War, Commander Khan, DC Comics, Earth 2, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, James Robinson, Jay Garrick, Nicola Scott, Solomon Grundy, Terry Sloan, The Atom, The Flash, The New 52, Trevor Scott
Earth 2 Issue #6
Review by Paul Bowler
With the Earth now engulfed by the decaying tendrils of the rot the new wonders of Earth 2 struggle to make their final stand against Solomon Grundy in Washington. Realizing that Grundy’s power is somehow linked to his own Earth Energies, Green Lantern entrusts the Flash, Hawkgirl, and the Atom to protect him from Solomon Grundy while he uses his spirit form to confront The Grey in its bizarre otherworldly realm. Meanwhile in the World Army Central Intelligence Hub floating above the ruins of Metropolis, Commander Khan can only watch helplessly as Terry Sloan assumes command of The Sentinel and orders a nuclear strike against Washington to destroy Grundy.
As the nuclear missiles home in on the capitol Flash, Atom, and Hawkgirl fight bravely to defend Green Lantern’s helpless body from Grundy, unaware that The Grey is trying to deceive Alan Scott’s spirit form with an facsimile of Sam (His recently deceased lover) into forging an alliance – promising to resurrect Sam from the dead if Green Lantern will willingly join forces with it and let Solomon Grundy destroy the world. But just as his allies are about to be overwhelmed by the rot, Green Lantern manages to see through The Grey’s illusion; his brief moment of joy giving way to rage as he obliterates Sam’s doppelganger with his power ring and returns to his physical form.
Green Lantern attacks Grundy and pummels the monster into the upper atmosphere, giving the Atom, Hawkgirl, and Flash time to get free as the rot begins to recede now that Grundy is no longer present on Earth. The Atom tries to carry out his original orders and capture Hawkgirl, but the Flash helps her and they manage to escape the giants grasp. With Green Lantern and Solomon Grundy’s furious battle taking them perilously close to the brink of space, Alan Scott is horrified to see the wave of nuclear missiles about to strike Washington. Although his powers begin to fade as they reach Earth orbit, Green Lantern uses the last vestiges of his power rings energies to take out the missiles, tossing them harmlessly into space before blasting Solomon Grundy into exile on the moon – effectively rendering the creature powerless as there is no energy for The Grey to utilize or corrupt on the lunar surface.
With his power ring completely depleted, Green Lantern plummets back to Earth, but Hawkgirl swoops in to rescue him and together they rejoin the Flash. It seems that Green Lantern’s ring has been recharged upon his return to Earth, so he uses it to give the planet a boost of energy to help undo some of the damage inflicted by the rot. The crisis may be over for now, but Flash reminds them all of the warning Mercury gave him about a new danger they will soon have to face, one that could be even greater than the Apokolips Invasion itself. Green Lantern reveals how the Green Earth Entity that gave him his power ring also warned of such a threat, but he dismisses the Flash’s idea that they work together and form a new Trinity of Wonders, believing himself to be powerful enough to handle any situation from now on without their help. So Green Lantern bids them farewell, soaring into the sky, leaving Hawkgirl disgusted by his arrogance and the Flash to ponder their future as flowers begin to bloom in the rapidly regenerating dirt beneath their feet.
Earth 2 #6 is the culmination of several plot threads that have been carefully developed by James Robinson over the course of this new series, and it is this careful plotting and attention to the finer details of these classic character that continues to make this parallel version of the New 52 DCU so appealing. Not only has Robinson given fan favourites Jay Garrick and Alan Scott exciting new origins, he has reintroduced Hawkgirl and the Atom, as well is the incongruous menace of Terry Sloan and a plethora of new supporting characters to spawn a whole new mythology steeped in the rich lineage of the Silver Age which Earth 2 so successfully seeks to emulate.
The winning combination of Nicola Scott’s art and Trevor Scott’s inks once again make Earth 2 a delight to behold. Few titles really capture the energy and excitement of a story, but Earth 2 #6 perfectly encapsulates the epic scale of Green Lantern’s struggle with Solomon Grundy in orbit as the nuclear missiles descend over Washington. It also highlights just how Green Lantern’s and Grundy’s powers are connected to the Earth itself, providing a highly plausible limit to their immense abilities. The rich colours by Alex Sinclair enhances every panel, superbly complementing the kinetic action, all serving to make Earth 2 one of the most vibrant looking team books of The New 52.
The 6th issue of Earth 2 is bursting with character set-pieces: when Alan Scott nearly succumbs to The Grey’s false image of Sam his retribution is swift and precise as this Green Lantern’s emotional turmoil seems to elevate his rings power to almost unimaginable levels, Hawkgirl’s tactical skills play a crucial role in helping the new wonders hold the line in Washington, and even the Atom seems to realize just how much his loyalty to the World Army has been tested by the crisis when the chance to apprehend Kendra slips through his fingers once again.
For me though, Jay Garrick has been the biggest revelation in Earth 2. This quite, and unassuming character is easily the most appealing we‘ve met so far in this alternative reality. Even in the heat of the battle with Grundy, his thoughts reveal just how much he doubts his own abilities, although he does his utmost to hide his insecurities from the Atom and Hawkgirl. It comes as something of a shock when his hand of friendship is coldly brushed aside by Green Lantern at the end of the story, completely crushing the young heroes dream of building a new Age of Wonders, even Hawkgirl is surprised by Green Lantern’s indifferent attitude towards them. This scene sits awkwardly with the sense of camaraderie that was starting to evolve between the heroes, it also leaves you feeling a bit cheated by the ending, although events are sure to bring them all together again soon.
Although it seems like Green Lantern was behaving very badly, we have to remember that Alan Scott is a man who is used to giving orders as the owner and CEO of GCE, and is probably just delegating, using cold logic to try and come terms with the death of his partner as well as the full magnitude of his newfound powers. That power is in itself symbolized within the ring he was going to use to propose marriage, which in a cruel twist of fate, also served as the instrument that vanquished The Grey’s effigy of Sam and a dream of eternal bliss. There is no excusing Alan Scott’s behaviour towards the Flash and Hawkgirl – particularly as Hawkgirl just saved his life – but it is clear that Green Lantern has some serious issues to deal with, and I’m sure in time he will come to realize that he should have been much more gracious in victory.
This small quibble aside, I think Earth 2 has a very promising future. One aspect I would like to see explored further is the story behind Terry Sloan and Commander Khan’s furious confrontation on The Sentinel. These two characters obviously have a great deal of bad blood between them: most evidently when Sloan taunts Khan about his real father, which yields further revelations about how Khan single-handedly faced Parademons and Terrornauts during the height of the Apokolips War, as well as recalling Sloan’s acts of genocide that saw a third of Khan’s homeland destroyed in that conflict. Khan also gets to turn the tables on Sloan when his faith in the New Wonders is validated by their victory, and it’s a serendipitous moment when Khan smiles and delivers the “wonderful” news to Sloan.
Above all we still have the portent of a new threat yet to be revealed, as well as the exciting prospect of even more classic Silver Age characters waiting to be reinvented within the context of this alternative universe. Earth 2 issue #6 has been one of the most exciting so far, in spite of the somewhat unsatisfactory coda with Green Lantern, and never the less successfully sets the scene for the next chapter in this exciting new age of wonders.