Remember back when DC launched the 'New 52' and the Justice League first banded together as a team? The reason I bring that up is because it immediately came to my mind when I first read the latest issue of EARTH 2. The same thing sort of happens here -- although these new heroes don't know a whole lot about one another, they work together effortlessly trying to stop an attack from Solomon Grundy. The main difference is that the way the group of heroes worked together was far more interesting and exciting here than it was in JUSTICE LEAGUE. The banter between Hawkgirl and The Flash is fantastic; shes this very dominating, bossy, no-nonsense chick that knows exactly what to do and is ready for anything -- even if it means she will risk getting hurt (or killed) in the process. I thought James did a fantastic job depicting her warrior spirit, proving that although her look may have changed, Hawkgirl's convictions (essentially) have not. It's a great scene.
The moments where we see Jay Garrick appear on panel are fantastic, too. The character, with his newfound powers, is still a bit unsure of himself and feels like he has something to prove. He's out there helping the situation by rescuing innocent bystanders, but somehow he doesn't quite yet realize how important his role is in the fight. Saving people is just as important as thrusting oneself head first into the action. I think Robinson does a great job conveying Jay as a young, slightly immature new hero.
The introduction of Alan Scott as Green Lantern also did not disappoint. Not only is his new costume fantastic, but thoughts of his former lover are not far from his mind. I am really starting to think that his death is something Scott will soon begin dealing with. It's also interesting to see that the power of Scott's Green Lantern ring is sort of calling the shots; instructing him on what to do. It feels like he's torn, but eventually succumbs to the power and force of the ring, and the responsibilities that ownership of the ring entails.
There are scenes we saw in the first issue that are addressed here; and although I won't go into details explaining what happens, I did enjoy the fact that Robinson brings things full circle. This issue feels cohesive with the first, and I think that's important.
How do you write a good, action packed superhero book that balances superhero action with plot development? Robinson knocks it out of the park. Notice that each hero had about the same amount of on-panel time -- no one was overlooked or left out. That balance is important when you're writing a team book. Additionally, each character has a unique voice, and that's something I can really appreciate because these characters are all so very different from one another.
Grundy feels like a formidable opponent here, too, and he isn't written like a dummy which I felt was really important. Finally, the entire artistic team does a fantastic job on this issue. From Nicola Scott and Eduardo Pansica's pencils, Trevor Scott and Sean Parsons' inking, and the colors by Alex Sinclair and Tony Avina -- it's really beautiful stuff.
Nothing bad here. Great action packed superhero stuff.
I loved this issue because of the balance and the pacing. Like I said, each character got to shine a little bit in the spotlight, which is important when you are first introducing a new superhero team. It's sort of the foundation for everything that comes after it; how will these characters interact? How will they play together on the same team? Will they have this sort of effortless relationship where each of their strengths are played up? You get that here.
I think it's important that Robinson leaves this issue a little bit open ended, too. By the last page we're left with a lot more questions than answers, and I think that's important for pushing the story forward and getting readers excited about the next issue. Overall, really great issue. Hawgirl is amazing, and the art is really great stuff. This definitely has me excited for whatever the creative team has in store for the fifth issue.