Comic Vine Review


Earth 2 #17 - The Dark Age Begins! Review


Devastation reins in the wake of the newly revealed Brutaal. Who can stop him??

The Good

Let’s get it out of the way right now: the revelation of Brutaal’s identity as Superman was absolutely incredible. James Robinson left his book, at least artistically, on the best terms possible and I am not qualified to speak on any other level of his leaving. Tom Taylor does a great job of filling his shoes and picking up his storyline where it left off. The World Army is now at the mercy of a merciless, unstoppable Superman seemingly torn from Elseworlds’ most desperate, distressing pages. For the man who redefined Superman as a vicious autocrat in the pages of Injustice, this seems like a lateral move and a very, very appropriate one. The main cast in the book get a little short-shrift in order to introduce some new ones, one in particular that the fans have been clamoring for since the earliest glimpses at the series’ beginning. I’m still very interested to see how Taylor handles the quieter, more character intensive moments of the book because he clearly has a great handle on the action scenes.

But without the contributions of Nicola and Trevor Scott, along with colors by Pete Penazis, you can’t even BEGIN to talk about the action scenes. The art in this book remains consistently fantastic, rendering intense visuals with a great deal of humanity and, frankly, inhumanity. The style of wartime photography is maintained across any scenes with the Man of Steel, but it gains a lot of moment-to-moment greatness when the characters converse and try to deal with the incredible atrocities happening from one second to the next. Facial expressions have always been a great strength of this book and that remains absolutely true in this issue as we get everything from the desperation on the faces of the World Council to the violent intensity of Superman and the quiet, cold calculation of the new Batman. There’s an especially incredible scene where Doctor Fate’s face is perfectly reflected in his own helmet that deserves very special mention.

The Bad

As good as the characters are, and as much as this book is still very much in the midst of action, it’s definitely lacking the biting wit that was part of its appeal. I won’t sit here and say that every writer has to be the same across one book, but a great deal of the appeal of this book was the characters’ fast-talking, sardonic charm. The art, likewise, is great across most of the book, but here and there it lacks certain details or looks rushed and stiff. The photographic moments are one thing, but a few of the “realtime” panels are just as stiff and stunted.

The Verdict

There’s plenty of room to fall into a nice groove and I really like where this title is headed overall. It’s nice to see that, even after last issue’s reveal, there are still one or two revelations to be had. It’s very, very clear that there are still plenty of cards to be played and I’m still on edge with utter anticipation to see exactly how and what those cards are.

25 Comments Refresh
Posted by flazam

great review

Posted by AllStarSuperman

I cant wait to read this, hopefully it still has thee earth 2 tone I look forward to every month.

Posted by UltimateSMfan

This was great! Solid first issue from TT. Art was great as usual, really enjoyed it.

Posted by KrazyCrab

Great issue and great review hope this issue helps with the people thinking this was going to become a batman book

Posted by Dark_Vengeance_

What is a good jumping point?

Posted by AllStarSuperman

What is a good jumping point?

issue number 1. its all worth reading. I don't know if this issue is a jump on point yet.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

What is a good jumping point?

yes. This is great jumping on point. You don't have to read from issue 1.

Edited by victorcheenoanleu

My only problem with this book was Batman being on the cover again lol he was like in 5 panels.

Posted by tomlikesfries

This issue was awesome. Haven't read Earth 2 since issue #9 or something, but this was pretty new reader friendly.

Edited by obsidian_raindrop1
Posted by ccj77

@darkknightdetective: I think this is a great jumping on point. Taylor does a pretty good job of catching the reader up. But I would suggest reading from issue 1. It's a fun book.

Posted by TheFirstLantern

Damn. Looks like the superman slaughterhouse. Wonder what is Darkseids goal.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

Damn. Looks like the superman slaughterhouse. Wonder what is Darkseids goal.

if your not reading this read it, superman literally rips people in half it was awesome, all my doubts of it sucking are gone!

Posted by TheFirstLantern

@allstarsuperman: I am! It is interesting to see how Superman's heat vision is like darkseids omega beams.

Edited by AllStarSuperman

@thefirstlantern: yeah, im thinking this superman is even more amped up then earth 0 new 52 superman.

Edited by Rubear

Good, good. I just wonder who this new Batman is... Dent, Todd? Someone other?

Posted by TheFirstLantern
Posted by RaggedScarecrow

I was super impressed by this issue. I'll admit I was very worried that Tom Taylor wouldn't be able to capture the tone and style of Robinson's Earth 2, but I have never been happier to be proven wrong. He definitely captures the books essence. My one nit pick is that Green Lantern had no panel time while this new Batman had the front cover and at least two pages dedicated to him. I'll be sticking around for awhile but if solicitations keep pushing Batman on me then I'll drop the title. I'm not buying this for an extra dose of Batman, I'm buying it for everyone else.

Posted by ccj77

@raggedscarecrow: I agree. There's enough Batman titles. But this one is different. It's not the Batman we know from all the other titles. This is, by far my favorite book right now and I was also worried about the tone and style being lost. But Tom Taylor has far exceeded my expectations. Time will tell, but it might even be a better book with him.

Posted by bennyq

I'm surprised no one's talking about the rebel of who Red Tornado is. I didn't see that coming at all!

Posted by HolySerpent

great issue

Posted by New_World_Order

I doubt the real Batman's dead, although that's not him. Superman has to be one of the most badass superheroes i've seen. ( Only in earth 2 obviously ),

Edited by Jake Fury

This was pretty good with some better action than JR delivered. I'm interested in seeing what villains get to face off with Supes in the next issue.

Another question:

When Fury finds out what Supes did to Steppenwolf is she going to be on the side of the heroes?

Posted by thefisherman


my guess would be Harvey dent. he wrote face the face with a reformed Harvey dent turned vigilante and there are other stories with harv playin the good guy. im pretty sure its going to be someone that makes sense but wouldn't expect

Posted by gregroyj42

I didn't enjoy this. I know it's a new writer but I was reading it because it focused on GL, flash, dr. Fate, Hawkgirl and others. This felt like an elseworlds superman story.