The Comic You Need To Read This Week: ‘Earth 2’ #4

Generally with team books, if the book doesn’t introduce the full team in the first issue, that’s usually a sign of pacing problems.

And Earth 2 has taken its time. We literally don’t see a major character in the book in costume until the second issue. And there are problems with the book; for example, Alan Scott is gay, which is great, except his lover gets blown to teeny little pieces within pages of his introduction. Really, why not just stuff poor Sam in a fridge?

But this book has started to pay off and rebooting the Justice Society of America is starting to make sense. These really aren’t your granddad’s superheroes, and that’s a good thing.

The nice part about this book is that James Robinson has based it around something recognizable: Earth 2 has just managed, after great sacrifice and cost, to throw Apokolips off of Earth. And this isn’t some sort of reboot: It’s straight-up Kirby. Steppenwolf, Kalibak, Granny Goodness, Parademons… honestly I stuck with this book past the first issue for the nostalgia kick. Also, he just flat out kills the Big Three at the end of the first issue. They’re dead and they’re not coming back.

The next couple of issues were about bringing the two leads into focus and teasing us with questions. Robinson does an excellent job of making it clear that nobody has the entire picture. Alan Scott is confronted with a green energy and realizes he’s speaking to a human. Jay Garrick is in over his head and terrified most of the time, just like a normal person would be. And this issue ends with the revelation of Al Pratt, who isn’t some cranky short guy but closer to Atom Smasher in powers and a fully trained soldier. The fact that the guy is introduced Goomba-stomping Solomon Grundy definitely helps.

In short, it’s a team book done right. If you’re waiting for the trade, well, it’s probably a good idea, but this is worth getting caught up with.

Others I Liked This Week:

AVX #9: For one simple, simple reason: after the frustratingly crappy Spidey/Colossus fight in VS, Spidey wins a major one for the good guys. It’s not a great book, but it is a good Spidey story, and you know what? I’ll take it.

First X-Men #1: I had no idea Neal Adams was doing this book; it was a pleasant surprise.

Hawkeye #1: This book gets a great start and the ending gag alone is worth the price of admission. Fraction sums up Hawkeye really well, and doesn’t even put him in the suit or have him swing around a bow.

Let’s talk some comics: what were your favorites this week?

image courtesy DC