Comic Vine Review

34 Comments

Earth 2 #19 - The Dark Age, Part 3 Review

4

Red Tornado, Marella, The Batman and Jimmy Olsen explore any possible avenue to stop Darkseid’s Superman from wrecking the Earth.

The Good

This book has the DC market cornered on epic, massive storytelling with nary a hope or prayer in sight as Superman himself rampages across the world, absolutely devastating anyone in his wake, not being held back by his moral code that prevented the full use of his power in the past. Tom Taylor has certainly covered such a Supes in the past, and that experience is clearly allowing him to easily write this fully evil Superman with a kind of ease that is rarely seen. We’ve seen many “what-if” (or is it Elseworld on this side of the Big Two?) Supermen that turned out less-than-virtuous, but this one has a clear purpose and mode of operating that makes him a great, powerful villain. Meanwhile, we get to see more of Red Tornado as she and Batman, along with Jimmy Olsen, Marella and whoever is left from the World Army seek a way to stop Supes in the furthest depths of Arkham Base. I’m especially fond of the brief glimpse we get of Batman’s deference to Marella, implying either that this is a Batman who knows his niceties or that there’s something significant going on there. Either way, it’s a great touch that humanizes the stoic vigilante somewhat. That and his behavior toward who they find in the secret sub-basement of Arkham, ensuring he's not just a carbon copy of the "main" Bats. We also see a pair of characters whose absence has been especially stinging in this title make their reappearances.

Nicola and Trevor Scott get some company on the pencils and inks of this issue from Robson Rocha on pencils and Oclair Albert on inks and everyone is at least passable on this front. The Scotts are amazing, bringing their smooth, beautifully expressive linework to the issue, the kind of stuff that made this book the sleeper hit of last year. The newcomers definitely pick up the torch well, keeping the tone consistent with a good level of detail. Colors by Pete Pantazis across the entire book also don’t hurt in this regard as we get the same bombastic, explosive palette reaching across every page of this title.

The Bad

The alternate artists are, on their own, good, but the shifts in art don’t seem to have any particular rhyme or reason, and though the styles are similar, they’re noticeable enough to be jarring, even with the same colorist. This isn’t the fault of either team, but the Scotts have been such a part of Earth 2 that ANY other artist looks especially out of place against them.

The writing remains entertainingly epic, but bereft of characterization. We get a few glimpses here and there, but the biting wit and economical character development still aren’t showing up as we get characters who simply are and who simply are reacting rather than characters who have opinions on where things have gone and what’s been happening.

The Verdict

This is still a highly entertaining, excellent book with massive entertainment value. I’m still shaking my head and mouthing obscenities about the Superman reveal, so the ride is still a thrilling one. I’m also still completely in the dark about how exactly this storyline ends, which is always a bracing face full of cold water in mainstream superhero comics. But in a good way! This book remains one of DC’s best, unpredictable but never forced.

40 Comments
Posted by AllStarSuperman

This book is so good, cant wait to read this

Posted by timelord

I really don't like the direction Earth 2 has taken. The reason I liked this book is because there was no Superman or Batman and now there front and center again.

I want this arc to be over with already we already have evil Superman with the Crime Syndicate back on Earth Prime

Posted by HolySerpent

I'm loving this series. And I'm loving how there setting things up

Posted by bizzy4chem
Posted by Kick_ASSgeist

@timelord said:

I really don't like the direction Earth 2 has taken.

I like the new direction quite a bit.

Edited by kivatt

I agree with his aspect on the character development, but I feel that will come in due time. I loved what Aquawoman said to those soldiers. It reminded me of what Mera did, but a lot better.

Am I the only one excited for the return of Green Lantern? I feel that he needs to get revenge for that beating that he received.

And a black kryptonian, I am excited for that.

Edited by timelord

@robogeist: Its not change its more or less going back to the status quo. The reason I liked this book was due to the fact it was completely different to everything else DC is putting out. Now it feels just like more of the same.

Posted by Catsnlynne

@timelord said:

@robogeist: Its not change its more or less going back to the status quo. The reason I liked this book was due to the fact it was completely different to everything else DC is putting out. Now it feels just like more of the same.

I agree. I started reading Earth 2 because I thought it was going to be about the JSA.

Posted by CantDance93

Two things 1: WHEN WILL SEE DARKSEID :p I wanna see him kick some ass! 2: IIRC the Kryptonians names was Van. In 'For the man who has everything' story Superman's imaginary son was named Van-EL, I thought that was kinda cool.

I'm really in love with Earth 2, even though their world has been through so much hell, lmao.

Posted by kivatt

Did anyone else go back to #17 and re-read Dr. Fate's ramblings. If you think about it, they all make sense.

Posted by CantDance93

@kivatt: green crumbles would mean GL getting his ass kicked? that's what i got, he also mentioned queen a lot, which could refer to Aquawomen.

Edited by Gotham331

@timelord: great point. It's been a great read without them! It's still a good read though.

Posted by dbullo22

This world can do without a man of steel but it needs an ICON to stand behind

Edited by VSG413

Jimmy Olsen is a tecnopath, AQUAWOMAN, Lois Lane's spirit in a robot and who the fuck is BATMAN? This series sounds like the first good combination of Japanese manga and American comic books.

Posted by VSG413

Sorry just remembered about the entire VERTIGO imprint. But this shit is still hype.

Edited by TheMagicStik

I'm betting that Darkseid died or something and has now taken over Supermans body and that's why he has the Omega Beams.

If you recall in the pre-52 Darkseid cannot die, if you kill him a new person becomes Darkseid.

Posted by cobra88king8

This arc is just dragging and dragging on with almost no answers. We've had so many new characters introduced without really delving into the ones that Robinson introduced in the beginning. I can't believe that I'm about to say this about one of my favorite new 52 titles but, I feel like dropping this book. I'm having such a hard time getting invested in any of the characters at this point

Edited by CBninja

They mentioned this new Batmans origin in the second annual. Anyone know when that comes out.

Posted by darknightspideyfanboy
Posted by CantDance93

Are we ever going to find out what happened with the Red Lantern and Captain Steel?

Posted by danhimself

I actually really like the new direction with the evil Superman and I really want to find out who Batman is

Posted by CantDance93

@kivatt: I totally forgot about Alan, he got DESTROYED XD

Posted by PapiNacho

A NEW SUPERMAN!!!! WOOOOHH! EARTYH 2 is awesome!

Online
Posted by timelord

@gotham331: I am trade waiting on every title for DC and there is about 30 titles I pull monthly. So don't get me wrong I love Batman and Superman as much as the next guy. I just loved James Robinson take on Earth 2.

It seemed to have a more postie vibe going than the rest of the DCU.

Edited by Rubear

Okay, now we have evil white kryptonian and good possible saviour black kryptonian and that is not racism. By the way good book.

Posted by JohnnyGat

I wonder if this alien would become N52's Icon

Posted by TheManInTheShoe

Feels like they just keep introducing new characters without having a group of characters or a center point the story surrounds.

Posted by CantDance93

Gotta say Earth 2 is the one of the most diverse comics i've ever seen XD

Posted by mak13131313

@kivatt: No you're not! So excited for his return!

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

I wonder if this alien would become N52's Icon

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

This book was great and epic but at the same time NOTHING HAS BEEN HAPPENING. This quite possibly has been the slowest developing book ever but I still love it unconditionally.

Are we ever going to find out what happened with the Red Lantern and Captain Steel?

THANK YOU! I was just thinking about making a topic about this. What a completely forgotten story, it's so annoying! I want to know who this Red Lantern is and what happened to Cap Steel!

I actually really like the new direction with the evil Superman and I really want to find out who Batman is

God bless you for managing to avoid the spoilers. Someone spoiled it for me on some random topic and now I'm just "blah." (Not because of who it is but because this was one thing I didn't want spoiled..)

Posted by danhimself

@arturocalakayvee: it was spoiled for me as well but until it's actually revealed I won't believe it

Edited by ccj77

I don't believe that the spoiler is true either. It doesn't make sense when you read issue 18. When Lois calls him Bruce, he responds "Bruce?"... which would suggest that he didn't know Bruce Wayne was Batman. If the Spoiler is who they say he is, why wouldn't he know Bruce was Batman? It seems like that would be his ONLY reason for taking the mantle. Also, he has super powers. Spoiler wouldn't have super powers either.

Posted by thebizz

Yea the name I saw in the spoilers doesn't really seem to make much sense.