Comic Vine Review


Earth 2 #16 - To the Victor... Review


James Robinson leaves Earth 2 not with a whimper, but a BOOM!

The Good

EARTH 2 has been one of the most surprising break-out hits of DC’s New 52, particularly for a book that, for most of its first 2 years at least, didn’t ascribe to DC’s apparently unspoken policy across all titles of featuring Batman in at least half its issues. The driving force of James Robinson’s pushing of the envelope (remember issue 1? Where he eliminated the Earth 2 Trinity?) combining with Nicola Scott’s eye-popping visuals made the title impossible to ignore. So it seems only appropriate that Robinson’s final issue be an absolutely stunning one.

The World Army combined with the Wonders have been absolutely devastated, crashing against the cliffs that are Steppenwolf and his unstoppable Hunger Dogs of Apokolips and this month, the battle is set to end in crushing defeat at the hands of Apokolips’ stranded forces. This issue ends with one of the most amazing twist/cliffhanger endings I’ve seen in a long, long time and one I am intrigued to see the next writer (Injustice’s own breakout star Tom Taylor) take and run with.

Nicola Scott is, likewise, at the top of her game portraying the abject despair of the failed assault as well as the absolutely savage viciousness of the Hunger Dogs and Steppenwolf. Last issue gave us a lot of fluid, dynamic moment-to-moment shots while this issue focuses more on embedded-style war stills and the effect it achieves is absolutely fantastic. I feel like her panels should be calmly narrated in a Ken Burns documentary. All credit to Trevor Scott’s clean, defining inks and Pete Pantazis’ gorgeous, crystal-clear colors as well, the art on this issue is nothing short of gorgeous. The art illustrates the pacing shifts perfectly as the book transitions from a longview to a more in-the-moment pace and despite how different they both are, they both work.

The Bad

It’s Robinson’s final issue! It also contains a LOT of two-page spreads and while they’re absolutely stunning, it does make the issue a very, very fast read. I’m kinda shocked that DC doesn’t seem to have a “Mature Audience” rating as a T seems like it doesn’t quite do this book justice. I say this as someone who isn’t bothered by it, but it bears mentioning.

The Verdict

What an issue to go out on and what an moment to leave on. Again, the twist/reveal/cliffhanger is absolutely jaw-dropping, and there’s no hyperbole in there. Even the Juan Doe propaganda-style cover is a thing of beauty and fits into the narrative and the story. Rereading the issue, I’m already seeing plenty of hints that I missed to the reveal, so it’s definitely not a twist for twist’s sake, which is the hallmark of an excellent one. The entire tone of the issue as a superhuman war that looks more like the traditional wars that have been fought has been an interesting tone that the book has taken over the last several issues, and this closes that out perfectly. There’s plenty of story still untold and plenty of loose ends to tie up, but even as an issue, this was amazing.

43 Comments Refresh
Posted by AllStarSuperman

I cant wait to read this!

Posted by Ravager4

I'll admit the ending of this issue was one of the few times in reading comics where my jaw dropped and I said "WTF?" out loud.

Posted by Saren

That ending........oh my god, that ending......

Moderator Online
Posted by darkrider

the end i didn't expect that to happen

Edited by mightypug78

brutaal isnt superman is he. he sort of looks like superman. god i hope he isnt. if brutaal is superman AND working with steppenwolf, the wonders are all kinds of *$#%ed!!

Posted by UltimateSMfan

The ending.....Holy Sh*# !!!

Posted by DeadpoolTattooGuy

how did i not see it coming by looking at the cover?

Edited by anthonygiu

Wow...just wow.

I was going to drop this book but now my attention is grabbed.

Posted by SolthesunGod

Wow that was amazing. Such a shame I'm dropping the book now that James has left.

Edited by johnny_spam

Sucks it is James Robinson's final issue DC is losing a good writer. Loved this whole run surprising ending. Now I am not sure I want to read Tom Taylor's run it basically looks like it is going to be the Injustice comic.

Posted by Nheritor

@mightypug78: Yep its exactly who you think he is. Whether a clone or the original we are not sure.

Posted by ajshadowhawk

I'm really, really saddened with this issue. Such a fantastic lay-down in the script. Such a bloody amazing cliffhanger ending. And James is leaving. Makes me really sad. I'll pick up #17 next month to see if Tom Taylor is going to stick with what James has written, but I don't hold out much hope. I'm still burned by all the crap stuff that Taylor wrote in Injustice with Wonder Woman.

Posted by dondave

That ending........oh my god, that ending......

Posted by Undeadpool

how did i not see it coming by looking at the cover?

That was part of what I was talking about. There are also some panels that make it clear, but the cover is abstract enough that you don't notice it if you're not loking for it.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

found the couple previous issues kind of boring... gotta check this out though

Edited by SaintWildcard

Posted by WaveMotionCannon

Wow. A genuine wtf moment. I was gonna drop this book but ill stick around for a few more.

Posted by sentryman555

@undeadpool: I don't know if you understood it or not or if they're just leaving it open for the next issue but I'm a little confused is Green Lantern dead?

Posted by Jake Fury

Mind blown. Kudos, Mister Robinson!!! Kudos!!!!

Posted by victorcheenoanleu

Seriously though, rated T hahaha I bet Brutaal was laughing while he was oops I'll let y'all read & find out what he did, but no seriously, the ending. WHAT THE FUDGE?!

Posted by zachkastner

I am so excited to see a Villains' Month plot thread possibly picked up so quickly! The Darkseid book left me hungry for a continuation on it's cliffhanger and I HAVE TO SAY, Earth 2 delivers on the probable fate of what occurred in Darkseid's #1.

Very pleased. Bummed that James had to leave now, the disagreements inside DC must have been something fierce.

Edited by McBig

I rarely take this stance but, what the hell dc? That's what you decided would be a good end to James run? I loved that ending but I wish James was still on the book now more than ever.

Posted by Darkmount1

I don't believe the ending is a repeat of Injustice: Gods Among Us. I believe it's more akin to the two-part series finale of "Superman: The Animated Series", titled "Legacy". For those who saw those two episodes, you know what I'm talking about.

Posted by ForeverMan

Well that was the most legitimately surprising issue I've seen in the New 52 thus far.

Edited by Atomiic

I had a hunch with what was going to happen during the reveal, but never saw that ending coming. This was super compelling and I am very interested to see what happens next month!

Posted by Perfect 10

so knew who brutaal really was this issue. firs the cover had the helmet off and had me thinking "ok this has to be someone that we know and we will find out this issue" but to me on the cover the person looked female. then i saw the use of heat vision (which worked like darkseid's omega beams, what is that about??) so it was a no brainer. so brings up the qustion, with the new batman and this reveal are the earth 2 trinity really dead?

Edited by TheFirstLantern

Is **SPOILER** Green Lantern dead?

Edited by Friskynesss

@deadpooltattooguy: my thoughts exactly... I just assumed the cover was some Apokolips henchman or something

Edited by superior_prime_maybe

how did i not see it coming by looking at the cover?

Same here.
Im curious how this is going to pan out. Now that supermans back, and maybe others will join, i hope green lantern and flash dont get out of the focus

Posted by Mezmero

James Robinson had one hell of a run. I sometimes like to imagine every character speaking with that slick British accent. It's now clear that Tom Taylor is the perfect choice to continue this great series. He knows how to write Evil Superman. The ending blew my mind.

Posted by DoomDoomDoom

Well that was the most legitimately surprising issue I've seen in the New 52 thus far.

This...good lawd.

Posted by KidChipotle

I just read the issue now. Words can't explain my feels. I can't believe it was Robinson's last issue...this sucks.

Posted by TheIncredibleSuperHulk8642
Edited by nappystr8

Oh man, after what I thought was an abysmal issue 15, James Robinson redeemed himself by going out on an incredible high point. It's very rare that a comic ever gives such genuine surprises as this issue, I suppose one of the benefits of not being in a shared universe. I really want to know what happens next, but I said when James was gone, I was too, and I'm sticking to that. What happens next probably won't be what James intended with this issue anyway.

And the cover has an amazing ability. Before you read the book, it means absolutely nothing to you. But after reading the final page, you realize the significance of the cover and it really holds a lot of weight. It references the book's cliffhanger without actually giving it away. Very hard to do.

Edited by druzod2501

I had a feeling this would happen at some point, but still the reveal was awesome! I'm still unclear on the timeline of these developments though. How could Kal-L have been defeated, remade by Darkseid, and returned to Earth 2 if the war ended when he died?

Posted by HolySerpent

Damn i guess Superman kept his word....he dill kill him lol

Posted by AllStarSuperman

Is **SPOILER** Green Lantern dead?

@undeadpool: I don't know if you understood it or not or if they're just leaving it open for the next issue but I'm a little confused is Green Lantern dead?

very doubtful, remember when he first gets his powers the earth heals him? yeah, GL has a healing factor.

Posted by TheFirstLantern
Posted by AllStarSuperman

@thefirstlantern: no problem, earth 2 is one of my favorite books, btw thanks for the follow.

Posted by sentryman555

@allstarsuperman: That makes a lot of sense. Phew! Earth 2 Green Lantern is becoming one of my favorite characters along with everyone else in the Earth 2 comic would've been a shame if he had been off'ed early.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

@allstarsuperman: That makes a lot of sense. Phew! Earth 2 Green Lantern is becoming one of my favorite characters along with everyone else in the Earth 2 comic would've been a shame if he had been off'ed early.

yeah, except I like flash, Dr fate, hawkgirl, and a bunch more then GL, he is still cool though.

Edited by sentryman555

@allstarsuperman: Dr. Fate is my favorite out of everyone in Earth 2 right now. His story so far has just been awesome. I really can't wait to see where they go with his character.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

@sentryman555: I loved the tower of fate arc. But everyone on this site says it was the weakest part of earth 2. I just don't understand. I like Jay Garrick the best.