Comic Vine Review

36 Comments

Earth 2 #18 - The Dark Age, Part 2 Review

4

Think you know all about Earth 2? Things are changing in big ways.

The Good

At different points throughout the series, we've had some highs and lows with the action. Part of this was during moments of character development. With the reappearance of Superman (thought dead, as seen in the first issue), the action has amped up in a big way. We had moments of 'world building' but now, this very world is facing a bigger threat than they were prepared for. With Superman apparently on Darkseid's side, it's not good news for anyone. Tom Taylor has definitely hit the ground running with the series as is throwing big things at us, one after the other.

This is where we get to see what heroes exist on this world. As some try to pick up the pieces in the Arkham Command Center, we're seeing Jay Garrick and the "new" Batman try their own angles in solving the problem. This gives us a chance to get to know this new Batman as well as the new Red Tornado. With everything happening, you see the potential for different areas to be explored.

Nicola Scott draws the world like no one else can. As we're seeing a big shift in the tone of the series, it's great to still have Nicola's art to remind us where the story is taking place. There's even more new characters being introduced here and seeing her take is great.

The Bad

We're only two issues in but it'll still take some time getting used to the new direction of the series. Seeing the return of different characters or simply having Superman and a Batman present (along with the new Red Tornado) feels like a complete departure from where the series was going before. It's absolutely intriguing to see what's being set up but the absence of characters like Hawkgirl or Alan Scott feels a little odd (although Hawkgirl is on the cover for issue 20). Will we see Mr. Miracle and Big Barda anytime soon? There have been quite a few characters already introduced and now we're seeing many more pop up. Again, we're only two issues into this change so there's still plenty of time to see what's headed our way.

There seemed to be an unofficial rule that characters that currently existed in the New 52 Earth couldn't have an Earth 2 counterpart. Besides Superman, this issue makes it clear that is no longer the case.

The Verdict

EARTH 2 has kicked up the level of action. We're now seeing more familiar faces and ideas which are interesting but also changes the vibe of the series we've had up until now. The feeling was there before but now there's a huge sense of having no idea what might happen next. Tom Taylor is flexing his writing muscles and there's no telling what changes we might see happen. Nicola Scott continues to give us the great art we're used to on this series. Seeing the different and new characters in her style makes it even more interesting. This isn't quite the EARTH 2 series you're used to but it's interesting to experience the changes that are happening.

37 Comments
Posted by VaizD

Oh man. I love that last two pages or so. Immediately setting the precedent that this is not a Batman to be futzed with.

Though, Flashpoint made that point pretty clear as well, and it seems like all signs are pointing to this Thomas Wayne and that Thomas Wayne being the same Thomas Wayne. Can't wait to see how that's explained.

And now that the no duplicate characters rule is gone, wonder how long it'll be before we see Earth 2 cross over with Earth Prime, since we now know the multiverse still exists. Crisis in the New 52.

Edited by danhimself

so far I'm actually enjoying Taylor's run more than Robinson's

Posted by Cavemold

i bought this to see who the batman was and no answer ... Ugh. Ill pass on this. Batman and more superman. Meh.

Edited by AllStarSuperman

I cant wait to read this! please tell me Jay and Evil Supes had a cool fight?

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Posted by Rubear

@cavemold said:

i bought this to see who the batman was and no answer ... Ugh. Ill pass on this. Batman and more superman. Meh.

We will see who this Batman is in annual... ;)

Edited by VaizD

@cavemold said:

i bought this to see who the batman was and no answer ... Ugh. Ill pass on this. Batman and more superman. Meh.

I mean, if you really want to know, it was accidentally revealed a while ago. (Hint: Mouse over the spoiler block in my earlier post if you want to divulge the info for yourself.)

@allstarsuperman Ehhhhhhhhhhh...

Posted by Rubear

@allstarsuperman said:

I cant wait to read this! please tell me Jay and Evil Supes had a cool fight?

Yes, that was really cool fight. You definetly must to read it.

Posted by AllStarSuperman
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Posted by AllStarSuperman

@rubear said:

@allstarsuperman said:

I cant wait to read this! please tell me Jay and Evil Supes had a cool fight?

Yes, that was really cool fight. You definetly must to read it.

cool, it'll be the first thing I read this week

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Edited by Cavemold
Posted by RaggedScarecrow

Do we see Alan Scott in this issue or is he still MIA?

Edited by Psycho_Soldier

I don't think it's Thomas, Bruce was already 30/40 in this Earth how old would that make him?

There's a possibility that this Batman is Jason Todd or even a character with no connection to Bruce as he seems surprised when Lois says that name, he is from Gotham as he knows about the Joker and his doings he could also have been a victim of him

Earth 2 needs to expand to another book

we need a list with the names of the villains in the cryochambers, the same goes for Argus Circus

Posted by THEOCITYLEGEND

HOLY CRAP THIS NEW BATMAN IS A BOSS!

Edited by Lamenoire

@vaizd:

I am not sure it is still true.

Robinson confirmed it was the original plan. but since Batman say he was a madman and a criminal in the last issue I have some doubt Taylor kept that idea....

@psycho_soldier
This batman can be surprised a Red Tornado is on a first name basis with the original one

Posted by LaserLambert

Aquawoman? are they joking? Do they expect human beings to say that name out loud? and Jimmy Olsen? give me a break. So much for introducing characters like Doctor Mid-Nite, Spectre, Hourman, Wildcat, or Johnny Thunder, you know --- characters actually associated with Earth 2.

Posted by manwithoutshame

Hmm, might have to start reading this again...

Posted by Catsnlynne

I'm a couple of issues behind in reading Earth 2, but I can honestly say I hate that there is a Batman and Superman on Earth 2, and now we have a Joker and a Jimmy Olsen? And of course we can't forget about Lois Lane being Red Tornado. This is turning into another Batman / Superman book. I guess we can forget about Dr. Mid-Nite, Hourman, Starman, Wildcat and the other true heroes of Earth 2.

Edited by VaizD

@psycho_soldier: Not the Thomas of that Earth certainly, no. He must be dead, or Bruce wouldn't have been Bats at all. I believe, though as mentioned by someone else, Taylor could be changing the plans, that it was implied that this is in fact the Thomas Wayne from the Flashpoint timeline, notice the similar costume motif and behavior. That's somewhat backed up by his reaction to someone mentioning Bruce.

The question then becomes how he survived the merging of all the splintered timelines and made it to Earth 2. But hey, Superman is an insane god of destruction right now when he was allegedly dead on Earth 2, so Bats is hardly the only big question mark right now.

Posted by LightningTiger2190

@vaizd said:

@psycho_soldier: Not the Thomas of that Earth certainly, no. He must be dead, or Bruce wouldn't have been Bats at all. I believe, though as mentioned by someone else, Taylor could be changing the plans, that it was implied that this is in fact the Thomas Wayne from the Flashpoint timeline, notice the similar costume motif and behavior. That's somewhat backed up by his reaction to someone mentioning Bruce.

The question then becomes how he survived the merging of all the splintered timelines and made it to Earth 2. But hey, Superman is an insane god of destruction right now when he was allegedly dead on Earth 2, so Bats is hardly the only big question mark right now.

Another issue is that this Batman is apparantly Super human. He stopped punch from Red Tornado and took a bullet to the head. I don't remeber the cowl being strong enough to tank bullets from a few feet away. I don't see how this is flashpoint Thomas or the one we know at least.

Posted by VaizD

@vaizd said:

@psycho_soldier: Not the Thomas of that Earth certainly, no. He must be dead, or Bruce wouldn't have been Bats at all. I believe, though as mentioned by someone else, Taylor could be changing the plans, that it was implied that this is in fact the Thomas Wayne from the Flashpoint timeline, notice the similar costume motif and behavior. That's somewhat backed up by his reaction to someone mentioning Bruce.

The question then becomes how he survived the merging of all the splintered timelines and made it to Earth 2. But hey, Superman is an insane god of destruction right now when he was allegedly dead on Earth 2, so Bats is hardly the only big question mark right now.

Another issue is that this Batman is apparantly Super human. He stopped punch from Red Tornado and took a bullet to the head. I don't remeber the cowl being strong enough to tank bullets from a few feet away. I don't see how this is flashpoint Thomas or the one we know at least.

For that one I'll just pull the obvious trump card and say "Comic books". But it's a fair point.

Posted by Avengers_4everXX

Why the f*** is this even called Earth 2 anymore when it isn't even about the actual f-ing heroes of earth 2? If I wanted to read about Batman and Superman I would buy Superman/Batman(or not since it's a steaming pile of garbage). I started this book to read about Alan and Jay and Hawkgirl and the Atom and the f***ing JSA. I am so angry James didn't get to tell the epic story he was obviously setting up because editorial would rather have one of their little b**** boys writing the book and shoving in Superman and Batman wherever they can even if it doesn't make any sense instead of an author who was actually brave and talented enough to write a successful book without the Trinity in it. I'm probably only giving this to the end of Taylor's first run at the most before I drop it, and DC along with it. Then I can funnel all my money into Marvel, because they actually respect their creators, their readers, and they're own goddamn history. I can't wait to start reading All New Invaders and Fantastic Four. Screw you DC. What's next? You going to turn Alan Scott straight again? I'm done.

Posted by flashlantern

I have no problem with people preferring a particular era in a group's history but let's keep our facts straight. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are all golden age characters who were either full or honorary members of the original WW2 Justice Society and/or All-Star Squadron. Their place in the JSA was written out of continuity at the same time that Earth 2 was eliminated from the DC Cosmos during the Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985). On the reformed earth after Crisis, they only came into being in the silver age, leaving the JSA as a group that never featured the trinity... but the source material from 1941 to 1985 held the trinity to be actual, true characters of Earth 2, including their supporting cast and villains (although there were some differences, obviously). Putting aside the contemporary cynical trend to view anything as a cash-grab, there is nothing uncanonical about the reintroduction of the trinity. It might even be considered a return to form after a deviant history (I say that having loved the post Crisis stories of the USA).

I hope that those who have a problem with this will at least make their judgments on the basis of story. If they prefer the post-COIE take on the team in the end, that's fine. But at least let's keep our comic book history in mind.

Edited by ccj77

I don't understand why everyone has to get so wrapped up in Batman and Superman showing up. They were originally part of the JSA pre-Crisis. Regardless, they are not in character of the Batman and Superman you see in every other title. This is not the Batman or Superman of Earth 1/Prime. They have totally different personalities/alter egos and costumes. If you just read the book and don't get so hung up on Batman and Superman being in the book, and how you can pick it apart to DC-hate, you might actually like it.

Edited by AllStarSuperman

HOLY CRAP THIS NEW BATMAN IS A BOSS!

this

I don't think it's Thomas, Bruce was already 30/40 in this Earth how old would that make him?

There's a possibility that this Batman is Jason Todd or even a character with no connection to Bruce as he seems surprised when Lois says that name, he is from Gotham as he knows about the Joker and his doings he could also have been a victim of him

My guess is Batman has a son named Thomas Wayne jr or that its Jim Gordon

Online
Posted by Rubear

You going to turn Alan Scott straight again? I'm done.

You speak as if that would be a bad thing. xD

Posted by Lamenoire

@avengers_4everxx: it is called earth 2 since it is about a paralel earth called "earth 2"...

It is Robinson who planted the seed of the return of a villain superman and a new batman showing up. and since he left with a cliffanger Taylor has to play with these character

Spoilers
Superman is a despotic villain

Batman is clearly another man (with some kind of superpower). He executes the Joker while he is stasis (after saying Judomaster is not the kind of woman who execute defenseless people)

wonderwoman is dead

Lois Lane is dead. her consciousness has been transfered in Red Tornado by her father

Jimmy Olsen is a kid able to access any feed of information. And since Lois call him "this boy" it implies she doesn't know him at all

How earth 2 is becoming another Batman/Superman ???

And Taylor is actually using Mr Terrific, Sloan, Dodds, Khan, Judomaster... Robinson rarely did that

Edited by IDontLikeBirds

1. Why are people blaming the new writer for Batman and Superman in the series? Robinson introduced them before and had plans for them.

2. Doubt it's Thomas Wayne as this Batman appears to have invulnerability since he injured someone with his face when he was slapped and took a bullet to the head without a scratch. Plus there is the strength when he overpowered Red Tornado.

3. I wonder if this is even the same Superman since his heat vision seems to be acting like Darkseid's omega beams.

4. There are enough JSA members or re-imaginings to make people happy. Also this is a parallel world, there are bound to be some versions of Earth Prime characters.

I'm going to take a long shot and throw out a theory that perhaps Batman is really Superman in hiding, and maybe the evil Superman is a clone or something else. Long shot, but hey, sounds better than the Thomas Wayne from Flashpoint Universe theory and wouldn't be the first time Superman has taken on the mantle of Batman (at least in one of the Elseworlds stories he did).

Posted by flashlantern

"I'm going to take a long shot and throw out a theory that perhaps Batman is really Superman in hiding, and maybe the evil Superman is a clone or something else. Long shot, but hey, sounds better than the Thomas Wayne from Flashpoint Universe theory and wouldn't be the first time Superman has taken on the mantle of Batman (at least in one of the Elseworlds stories he did)."

This is an interesting theory. It would certainly explain the seeming invulnerability and strength (even the color-coordinated costumes :) ). But it would also mean he's a Superman who isn't above killing (not unlike Brutaal). And it makes you wonder why Clark would be hell bent on offing the Joker. I agree this is a long shot. I think it's more likely that Brutaal is a brain-washed Supes.

Aquawoman is cool. Could she be the long lost seventh wonder from the zero issue who was too terrible to name-drop?

Posted by HolySerpent

@lamenoire: Yeah i dont the understand the hate. they spent this issue introducing new characters. nerds will complain about anything and everything

Posted by KnightofSteel

Man, I'm dying to know who this Batman really is. I was thinking Flashpoint Batman too. Maybe he somehow wound up on Earth 2 after Flashpoint. Entirely possible this being comic books and all.

Posted by mostly_harmless

My belief on who the new Batman is:( Just a theory but in case I am spoiling for some plot points:)

The Spectre. We have not seen him appear on this earth yet. This earth is about taking classic earth 2 characters and putting a spin on them. The reaction to hearing the name "bruce" from Lois, confusion but recognition. Thomas Wayne is too obvious and wouldn't he be too old? AND more importantly why would he be bullet resistant and super strong?

Edited by dangermart

I tried last issue, but didn't bother with this one, I really don't want another book starring the Big Three, and I especially don't want a corrupted Superman and an undead Lois.

Posted by mightypug78

@laserlambert: I thought it was actually pretty good but you bring up a good point, i would love to see old characters, especially hour man (i have an autographed ish of doctor fate and hourman and i love it) and i would love to see more of comander steele, i love his concept, and i'm dying to see who messed him up so bad in the pit, hopefully who/whatever it was makes an appearance soon.

Edited by mightypug78

@allstarsuperman: I think it's bane. @laserlambert: I thought it was actually pretty good but you bring up a good point, i would love to see old characters, especially hour man (i have an autographed ish of doctor fate and hourman and i love it) and i would love to see more of Captain steel, i love his concept, and i'm dying to see who messed him up so bad in the pit, hopefully who/whatever it was makes an appearance soon.

Posted by IDontLikeBirds

"I'm going to take a long shot and throw out a theory that perhaps Batman is really Superman in hiding, and maybe the evil Superman is a clone or something else. Long shot, but hey, sounds better than the Thomas Wayne from Flashpoint Universe theory and wouldn't be the first time Superman has taken on the mantle of Batman (at least in one of the Elseworlds stories he did)."

This is an interesting theory. It would certainly explain the seeming invulnerability and strength (even the color-coordinated costumes :) ). But it would also mean he's a Superman who isn't above killing (not unlike Brutaal). And it makes you wonder why Clark would be hell bent on offing the Joker. I agree this is a long shot. I think it's more likely that Brutaal is a brain-washed Supes.

Aquawoman is cool. Could she be the long lost seventh wonder from the zero issue who was too terrible to name-drop?

Yeah, the Joker thing is a piece I can't really figure out. There have been years since the war on Earth 2 and the present in the story, so who knows what has happened. If it was Earth Prime, we can imagine it being Jason Todd that would kill the Joker, but we never really know. Robinson said he had ideas for the characters and who Batman was, but that the new writer may have different ideas and its up to them whether they will go with what he had planned.

If Brutaal is a brain-washed Superman, how is it that his heat vision is acting like Darkseid's omega blast/beams (able to change direction and go in zig zags) ? It's funny how there is just enough to throw people off a little and keep them guessing, but not enough to make any solid theories.

Examples:

Batman is really Thomas Wayne from Flashpoint- Doesn't explain his super strength and invulnerability. We also haven't seen this Batman use guns except in the last issue to kill The Joker.

Batman is really Superman- My personal theory (just a thought, not a serious theory), due to the powers he has shown so far, though he would be out of character as far as we know from him killing The Joker.

Brutaal is a brain-washed Superman- Doesn't explain the way his heat vision is different, but who knows what could have happened or how he was changed.

Batman is Jason Todd or Dick Grayson- Doesn't explain the powers still, but then again we don't know what has happened to either of them in this series as neither of them have shown. The Robin that Batman had was the daughter he shared with Selina Kyle in this universe and went off to Earth Prime and became The Huntress. Who knows if he would have even had other sidekicks if he had an actual child of his own by his side?

Posted by slade_wilson

Earth 2 books always fly by for me. Maybe they're just brilliantly paced. But this issue was kick-ass! Loved the last page!

Alright so personal-theory time: look closely at Batman's wrist gadget. It's not red or black, so it's likely meant to be obvious and draw attention. I think it's a Miraclo injector and this Batman is the Rick or Rex Tyler of Earth 2. It doesn't explain the Joker thing, but I think it's a solid theory. Oh and there's no way it's Thomas. Bet my life, you can quote me on that.