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Earth 2 #22 - The Kryptonian, Part Two Review

3

The Green rises as a Kryptonian learns the ropes and a startling revelation rocks the Man of Steel.

The Good

Despairing issue after despairing issue of death, destruction and futility have led us to this point: some manner of light at the end of the tunnel. The light is, as predicted, a green one as we see the return of Alan Scott in the beginning of the issue (and lest you think this is a spoiler, he’s on the cover). We also see Val, the mysterious Kryptonian, finally learning to accept the outside world and use his growing powers alongside Red Tornado, but they’re interrupted by an unfortunate interloper. Tom Taylor is doing a great job defining Val, we even get a last name that, perhaps, tells us more about him than anything prior regarding his possible parentage that’ll make his future even more unsure. It’s also an interesting change to see Lois in the role of both mentor and superhero as Red Tornado, and I like the compassionate, yet incredibly determined, role she takes with Val.

Nicola Scott returns again to pencil the book, and, by and large, everything looks great. The action has remains fluid and as animated as still images can be (which, it turns out, is very animated indeed), and we get a lot of great moment-to-moment pages with very dynamic panels. Trevor Scott handles inks and gives a great feeling of definition and weight to the proceedings and the participants therein. It’s often interesting to see pencils without inks and how much inking adds to a piece, and I think the Scotts are a great example of that. We also get colors from Pete Pantazis, giving the grim goings-on a bright, strangely juxtaposed feeling.

The Bad

I said the art was mostly good, and that is true, but unfortunately there are a few panels here and there that look like they were rushed. The character’s facial features have morphed and changed fairly substantially, to the point that if they weren’t in costume (and the cast not so small), I’d be hard-pressed to recognize them. This only happens a few times, but is worth bringing up.

I expected Alan Scott to be something of a cavalry this issue, but he is, emphatically, not. We catch a glimpse of him in the first few pages, and then it’s back to our storyline already in progress. It’s also becoming clear that there are some incredibly faulty information chains in Darkseid’s forces: they only just learnt of the Arkham breakout AND that Aquawoman was back in play, despite her devastating an entire group of parademons some time ago. Superman is also ready to kill Sloan for information on the Kryptonian, only to dismiss him pages later, declaring Batman their true threat, something I truly hope does not come to pass or we really will have Superman and Batman in the driver’s seat of Earth 2.

The Verdict

Hero-worship of Batman and some character inconsistencies aside, I like the direction this book is going. We’re seeing the beginnings of hope returning to the title, though the forces of Darkseid STILL haven’t run up against anything even resembling a challenger or a foe capable of stopping them, so I’m actually hoping for a fairly pitched, lengthy last stand so the victory at least feels earned. This issue is a nice departure from the dour grimness of issue’s past, and if the series continues in this direction, I truly think it can right itself.

32 Comments
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

It was only a matter of time before this book became all about Batman and Superman again

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Posted by Kal'smahboi

This issue was fine, a word that I am using more and more frequently in relation to this series. I really hope it picks up in the next couple, because it had such a strong start, even at the writer change.

Posted by CantDance93

@jonny_anonymous: well to be fair this issue focused heavily on Lois, and Val, so I think it's a step in the right direction.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

I am pumped I have loved this series from day one. Hopefully the return of GL means the return of Jay as well.

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Posted by doombot890

calling it now Val is New 52 Icon

Edited by Avengers_4everXX

Today was the first time I haven't picked up an issue of Earth 2 since the book started, and after reading this review I'm glad I didn't. Robinson's run on this title never got such consistently mediocre reviews, and I agree with Corey that having this book be all about Batman and Superman is the last thing any of us want(although DC evidently doesn't care). I came so close to buying this today because the Golden Age super heroes are my absolute favorite characters and I want nothing more than to love this book, but when I thumbed through it in the store it became clear that it was just a couple pages about Alan coming back to life and then it went straight into the same thing we've been getting for the past three issues- filler. Thanks but no thanks. I won't be buying an issue of this book again until this idiotic evil Superman arc is over and done with, and even then I'm not buying an issue that gets less than four stars. I'd rather see Earth 2 get cancelled than see my favorite characters so disrespected just so we can have more Batman and Superman.

Posted by RaggedScarecrow

What we were promised: "When all looks lost--Green Lantern returns!"

What we got: Three pages (literally just the preview pages) of Alan Scott with some vague hints about him becoming a Red Lantern or something , followed by 14 pages building up Val-Zor's character, including a double-page spread of him flying with Lois. Oh, and apparently Batman is the biggest threat to Superman's rule.

And once again, the pacing on this book is abysmal. The cast is just too big for one book to pull off all successfully. The best solution would be to have World's Finest rejoin the Earth 2 universe and split up the huge cast between the two books. WF can have Power Girl, Huntress, Red Tornado, Val-Zor, Jimmy Olsen, and Batman. Alan Scott, Aquawoman, The Flash, Hawkgirl, Doctor Fate, The Atom, and Red Arrow can stay with Earth-2 and become the JSA they were meant to be. Everyone's happy (well, happy-er).

Posted by Jake Fury

Dropped this a few issues after Robinson left.

Posted by jstndmnd

I am going to be finishing off this series after the superman arch. I picked this series up because it didn't revolve around batman and superman. Now, it seems that is all it about. I also liked Robinson's character development, sure it wasn't the fastest pace series but it was good. Taylor's story is fast pace, but I don't get the character development.

So, I am pretty sure this is the end of Earth-2 for me.

Posted by GrandHarrier

Continuing to love this book. I feel Corey lets his disdain for Batman creep into negativity way too much, but to each their own. Really enjoy Tom Taylor's scripting.

Posted by Catsnlynne

I started reading Earth-2 because I thought it was going to be about the JSA. But of course we can't have a book without Batman and/or Superman in it.

Edited by EnSabahNurX

Dropped this a few issues after Robinson left.

Same, can't say I'm regretting it at all.

Posted by BubbaDuke

Dropped this a few issues after Robinson left.

Same. I really disliked where this story was going. Tom Taylor is a great writer, don't get me wrong, but I wanted to read about the GL, flash, and Dr. Fate. I'm really disappointed that this isn't there book anymore.

Posted by kennybaese

@grandharrier: I don't think it's a distain for Batman, I think it's that the book seems to be becoming a golden age inspired copy of Injustice. Earth 2 was interesting because it didn't have a Batman and Superman. Having the central conflict of the book be between Batman and Superman makes it kind of a boring rehash of a book we already have. That Tom Taylor is also writing.

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

I haven't dropped this series yet but I really want too. I feel as if NOTHING has happened since Taylor took over. We got a slew of characters but that is it, barely any story development. I am so close to dropping this title and it pains me to say that but Taylor is killing this series and not in the new hip good way.

Edited by Outside_85

The more this book revolves around Superman, Batman and Kryptonians being the only race that matters, the less interesting it becomes.

Back when Robinson was writing it, people were complaining about it lacking overall structure, and no clear focus because of the vast cast of characters. Well for those who had those complaints, cheer up, now you have what you want, and it's boring.

Edited by Undeadpool

@grandharrier: Hush and Long Halloween are two of my favorite books of all time. I have NO disdain for Batman, I have a disdain for him being inserted into random books to solve all their problems.

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Posted by patrat18

It was only a matter of time before this book became all about Batman and Superman again

It's not.

Posted by dondave

I'm not even sure Batman even talked in this issue

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Posted by HolySerpent

Im loving this series

Edited by ArturoCalaKayVee

@dondave said:

I'm not even sure Batman even talked in this issue

As far as I know, he only physically appeared in this issue on Superman's TV screen.

Posted by Daiohnysis

@doombot890: if so, that will be the biggest, most racist character rape yet in New 52. Tim Drake will look unscathed in comparison

Posted by RaggedScarecrow

@dondave: He didn't, but Superman did claim that he was the greatest threat to Darkseid's forces.

Posted by dondave

@raggedscarecrow It's not an unfair assessment. As far as he knows he was looking at Bruce. The World's greatest tactician.

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Posted by RaggedScarecrow

@dondave: True, but I'd think he'd be more worried about Dr. Fate or Val since they can actually hurt him. In a direct competition he could easily blitz Batman, especially now that he can use Omega beams/target his heat vision. Sure, Bruce can come up with a dozen plans to take Clark out, but he won't be able to actually kill Supes himself; he just doesn't have the reaction speed necessary to take out Clark before Clark can take out him.

Edited by BeautifulTemptress

I adore this series. Earth 2 # 22 wonderful comics.

Posted by doombot890

@daiohnysis: yeah your right. I'm only guessing tho. I'm hoping He's a new character as I can't remember any black heroes being in the JSA.

Edited by doombot890

Despite this being a great series, so far, I'm getting a little bit bummed out by Superman's and Old Man Batman's presence

Also could someone tell me if there are 52 parallel universes in the DC universe why is there only one Darksied and one Apokolips? and where the fuck is it? Why is it attacking all the earths at once?

Posted by mak13131313

I am pumped I have loved this series from day one. Hopefully the return of GL means the return of Jay as well.

This!

Edited by ForeverMan

Truth be told this book's problems started cropping up before Robinson's departure. What they're setting up looks interesting, I get the feeling Superman/Batman will fall back after this arc, but yeah the pacing is getting to be excruciating.

Like someone else suggested, pulling Worlds' Finest into the world of Earth 2 might do some good for both titles.

Posted by Guerraa

Taylor has been awesome! 5 stars for me. This is one of the comics I look forward to most each month, and it hasn't disappointed not even once since Taylor took over. Hope he keeps up the awesome storytelling.

I love that a writer finally gets that you don't have to finish a story in 2 or 3 issues. So many potentially great stories were ruined (or at least not as good as they could've been) because they were rushed in a few issues. Arkham War and Gothtopia both were good but could've been epically good if they had taken their time and told the story over more issues. Earth 2 is PERFECTLY written!