Comic Vine Review

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Earth 2 #21 - The Kryptonian, Part One Review

3

Can anything stop Superman and the Hunger Dogs of Apokolips?

The Good

Nicola and Trevor Scott are BACK! The art in this issue gets back to that beautiful, smoothly detailed look that helped make it famous, and I couldn’t be happier. I always feel weird celebrating the return of an artist to a book because I don’t mean to impugn the person who came before them, necessarily, but when it’s two creators that were so completely instrumental in determining the tone and look of a story, it just feels better having them back on it. And Pete Pantazis on colors absolutely kills it as always, lending a feel of savage brutality and incredible detail to the ongoing conquest led by Superman. There’s something very surreal and wonderful about the soft visuals being used to illustrate such viciousness.

Tom Taylor continues his story, finally answering the question of what would happen if Superman weren’t held back by his tremendous sense of morality and love for life, and the results are as catastrophic as you’d expect. After playing the world’s most violent game of “Quit Hitting Yourself!” with the Atom, Supes sets his sights on those who would dare escape his wrath all while the last remaining holdouts, one the commanders of the World Army, another a small group of literal underground heroes, try to plan something, ANYthing that can stop the mad Kryptonian. Taylor captures the desperation of the situation extremely well, writing everyone as if they’re on their third pot of coffee and haven’t slept in 72 hours. They’re all clearly reaching the ends of their ropes and they’re ready to try nearly anything and that attitude pervades the entire book and almost all of the characters who aren’t on the side of Apokolips. There’s also a great moment when we see people under mind control who still have their personalities intact. That’s not something often seen, and is a fair bit of fun amidst the doom.

The Bad

First off: this cover is complete nonsense. Dr. Fate appears in exactly two panels, and while we get more insight into what he’s been screaming, it’s hardly enough to put on the cover, even if we DO get to sneak Batman’s shadow into it. This issue also begins, apparently, an entirely new arc as it’s dubbed “the Kryptonian” and while we’ve only really been here for five issues (plus one annual), this story is beginning to feel too gloomy for its own good. There has, so far, been absolutely zero push and pull, it has been Superman pushing 100% of the time with literally no blowback. Sure, we got to see some parademons get killed last issue, but it’s beginning to feel nihilistic to read this title.

The story is a solid one, and I’m absolutely invested in seeing how it all plays out, but there’s little of the wit and gentle whimsy that made the book so readable in spite of its often grim subject matter, and I know Tom Taylor is capable of writing that kind of stuff. Injustice has some AMAZINGLY humorous scenes, but this issue continues the trend of absolute, violent sorrow. When things turn around, and they inevitably will, it’s going to feel mighty unsatisfying if the “good guys” turn it around so quickly after being pushed so far off the brink, unless they start getting one or two little wins here and there. There’s also something involving a “space ark” that houses the wealthiest and most powerful of the world that, of course, doesn’t work. I get that it’s a desperation move, but I really had to ask “THIS was your grand design? A giant spaceship protected by fighter jets???” It’s also used for some fairly ham-fisted symbolism.

The Verdict

This is still a title that I’m invested in and one that I want to see through to its end, I just wish that end were approach was a little more balanced. Obviously, no one can stop Supes or there's no storyline, but seeing someone slow him down would be a nice change of pace. I’m hoping this arc is either a brief one or introduces SOMEthing new, because another issue of Superman annihilating random things and everyone talking about how they need to stop him from annihilating more things may be more than I can take.

18 Comments
Edited by Saren

This issue only had one redeeming aspect for me.

Moderator
Posted by AllStarSuperman

I can't wait to read this, Earth 2 is one of my favorites

Posted by Fastestmanalive

Great review. I agree with everything you said. This is moving way too slow. It started off really strong with some very interesting characters but its just been a repeat of itself recently.

Posted by darknightspideyfanboy

this was a 4/5 so glad there showing how f up this superman is cause next issue Alan Scott coming and he is going to be piss

Posted by patrat18

4 stars for me.

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Edited by CantDance93

4/5 for me, great issue. Only problem is that this and last issue (though they were good) they feel more like fillers, nothing is really happening, I feel like we should be knee deep in Omega beams and Darkseid at this point.

Posted by Outside_85

Getting a little boring watching Superman go nuts and everyone else cowering and bickering while hoping their saving grace grows a pair.

Posted by KrazyCrab

Great Issue if I had to pick who my favorite character was for this issue alone it would have to be Olsen

Edited by Rainja

I agree with this rating, only 3 out of 5 for me, This.series started out so awesome but im starting to not like it that much anymore.

Posted by Ultron345

Nicola Scott is on another level. Wish every comic I read looked this amazing.

Posted by JakeN7

@saren: That's fantastic! I love it. Connor Hawke's costume is great too, glad to see Nicola Scott's art again, I trade wait this book, so it'll probably be awhile before I read this.

Edited by ArturoCalaKayVee

I gotta be honest: This is one of my favorite series from DC, top 5 no doubt, but it's SO SLOW. People talk about how Bendis writes with a lot of talking and no action - That is exactly this but 10 times worse (with the exception of Superman just KILLING EVERYTHING! *max landis impersonation*)

This book really needs to start picking up the pace FAST or I'm going to start trade waiting…

Posted by mak13131313

I'm really enjoying this book. But like everyone else I wish it would pick up the pace a little bit.

Edited by TwistedBishop

Normally Corey is right on the money for how I feel about a series, but I think he's way off the mark here. Tom Taylor has made this a 5-star series issue in and out for me. I had to stop reading three pages into this issue for a minute because it was just too tense. Rare is the comic that can illicit any similar level of emotion.

It was actually Corey's recommendation which got me to try Injustice in the first place. And like he said, it's surprisingly awesome. But I would ask just how much levity he actually sees in that title, even going quite a ways back. The only humor I can remember focused on Harley's appearances and the Lobo annual. At the similar states both series are in (the hour being most dire, etc), humor is a rare commodity in either book.

I guess we'll just have to disagree about the ultimate fate of Project Beyond. I found it pitch perfect symbolism. Both horrifying and hilarious.

Posted by Avengers_4everXX

I loved this series when Robinson was writing it, and I'm trying to stay positive with Taylor's run, but this evil Superman story needs to end real soon or I'm going to give up. It's exhausting me, and not in a good way like Uncanny Avengers has been. Taylor's been dragging this story on and on and at this point he's beating a dead horse. He needs to resolve this and get back to focusing on the characters this book is supposed to be about(you know, the actual Earth 2 characters)

Edited by Guerraa

Aaaaargh! ENOUGH whining about stories being "slow". I love this comic! It's written at the perfect pace. I love the character development and the detailed intricacies of everything that's going on. I hate rushed stories, so I hope this continues to be written exactly as is. Of the many, many comics I read each month, this is on my short list of the ones I look forward to the most. Keep up the OUTSTANDING work on Earth 2, Tom Taylor - yet another 5 star issue!!

Edited by Weapon-Alpha

I love this series to death but it kind of flip flops sometimes like you think they will and are going to do this or that but instead they just kind of sit around. And do weird things with characters who you think are going to be big deals and staples in the team like what happened to Citizen Steel?? and what happens to Atom only three or so pages in (Gets arm heat visioned off and beat (maybe to death) with it. And seeing Mr. Miracle working for Darkseid without a real explanation yet? I also caught Bedlam calling Superman Kal-El instead of the usual Earth 2 name Kal-L and i know not that big of a deal but i always thought Kal-L was a character all himself instead of alternate superman