Comic Vine Review

32 Comments

Earth 2 #25 - The Kryptonian, Part Five Review

5

I love it when a plan comes together.

The Good

When there was a very public, very sudden shift in the creative talent on this book, there was naturally some backlash both in the method and abruptness in which it took place. The book’s quality suffered as well, in my well-documented opinion, but that had less to do with whatever was going on behind the scenes at DC and much more to do with a dislike of the sudden tonal shift and plot aimlessness. As of this issue, I am joyed to report these problems are to be evaporating rapidly. I have enjoyed Tom Taylor’s run on INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US enormously, which is one reason I held EARTH 2 to such a high standard with the new writer, and while those books share some larger thematic similarities, they’re not actually at all similar but Taylor seems to have found his footing and infused this issue with some of the wit and cleverness that he’s becoming known for. The introduction of Jimmy Olsen as a genius, comedic foil to the grim, dour Batman has certainly helped, but we get a major turnaround in the Earth Army’s resistance to Apokolips’ conquest. It was one of my main fears that, after several issues of brutal, unchecked destruction, the tide would be turned too abruptly to be believable, but that surely isn’t happening. The storyline feels organic and every development earned. The revelation regarding Val-Zod could have dominated the entire issue, but is actually explained in short order, but with enough detail to emphasize what a major turn it represents.

Nicola Scott’s pencils are in incredible form this issue as well and with the battles being more even-handed than in the past, her incredible visuals are on display. The opening is some of the best of the entire book’s but there are a lot of quiet, subdued moments that look just as great. Again, a lot of it comes down to the finer details of communicating subtle body language, most especially with the scene involving the rampaging Superman returning home for a nice, quiet dinner. The final splash page of the issue also deserves special mention as an absolutely incredible visual. Trevor Scott’s inks emphasize and give razor-sharp detail to the pencils, creating a great sense of motion and impact. The visual language of this book comes through loud and clear and that’s also in large part to the colors by Peter Pantazis, which are beautiful, bright and shift the tone from actually hopeful and uplifting to savage and dark at the drop of a hat, but it always feels earned and lends a great sense of tension to a lot of the issue.

The Bad

The action in this issue is incredible, and the calmer scenes look generally good, the latter falters in a few places. The visuals aren’t as sharp in several panels, especially in closeup where facial features become indistinct.

While Val-Zod's parentage is revealed briefly and doesn't pause the action too much, we still don't know a great deal about his back story. It feels like we could have learnt more about his birth parents without requiring much more exposition.

The Verdict

I doubt this is a fluke, but I’ll still hold off on declaring the book entirely back on track, but it’s definitely heading in that direction and I couldn’t be happier. The other fear I had of it becoming just another Superman or Batman focused book also seems to have been unfounded as the original players are now back firmly in the spotlight. As someone who loves a good alternate Earth story, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be excited about this title again.

32 Comments
Posted by patrat18

Love this book.

Posted by tensor

Amazing

Posted by tensor

This is a must read.A nice feat in it too.

Posted by micah

Incredible, love this book.

Posted by comicbookfan93

What was the revelation regarding Val?

Posted by Nahuel

Great review! I'm so happy this book is back on track, finally!

Is my favorite alongside Batman and Wonder Woman

Posted by InFamous_Wolf

Is this a good jumping on point? I have been keeping this book on my radar for awhile...

Posted by patrat18

Flash pushed God into infinity? Well damn.

Posted by Krypton-115

@infamous_wolf: Can't really say, I've only read the first volume of this series, but so far it has been great, the twists on characters like Green Lantern , Flash, Hawkgirl and even Solomon Grundy are pretty fun to discover.

Posted by micah

Is this a good jumping on point? I have been keeping this book on my radar for awhile...

I would say yes. If you've been following the reviews and news about the series it shouldn't be hard to jump into it now. All you really need to know is Darkseids forces are continuing their siege against Earth 2, and that Val-Zod has stepped up to battle Superman.

Posted by InFamous_Wolf

@micah said:

@infamous_wolf said:

Is this a good jumping on point? I have been keeping this book on my radar for awhile...

I would say yes. If you've been following the reviews and news about the series it shouldn't be hard to jump into it now. All you really need to know is Darkseids forces are continuing their siege against Earth 2, and that Val-Zod has stepped up to battle Superman.

Thanks for the help. Are there any other important details that I need to know?

Posted by micah

@micah said:

@infamous_wolf said:

Is this a good jumping on point? I have been keeping this book on my radar for awhile...

I would say yes. If you've been following the reviews and news about the series it shouldn't be hard to jump into it now. All you really need to know is Darkseids forces are continuing their siege against Earth 2, and that Val-Zod has stepped up to battle Superman.

Thanks for the help. Are there any other important details that I need to know?

Terry Sloan, Mister Terrific (both under mind control) and Mister Miracle have been drafted to build a portal large enough to transport Apokolips through into earths orbit. The new Batman is Thomas Wayne, Green Lantern is alive and kicking, Lois Lane had her consciousness transported into a female Red Tornado body. And that's pretty much all of the major events that have happened so far. Perfect time to jump on.

Posted by InFamous_Wolf
Posted by micah
Posted by Kal'smahboi

This book starting off amazingly and it looks like it's on track to get there again! The last two or three issues have been incredible, and I can't wait to see where it lands us for World's End (loved the World's End mention btw!)

Posted by Ultron345

Nicola Scott needs to do DC's next event. If it's not going to be one of the big 2 of Reis or Mahnke it should definitely be her. Simply perfect

Posted by KouNurasaka

I really want Val to stick around, but somehow, I expect DC to do away with him.

Taylor writes an excellent Evil Superman though.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

Is this a good jumping on point? I have been keeping this book on my radar for awhile...

No. Please don't jump on this book, read it from the beginning, its all great and worth it. The universe building is astounding, please don't skip stuff.

Posted by InFamous_Wolf

@infamous_wolf said:

Is this a good jumping on point? I have been keeping this book on my radar for awhile...

No. Please don't jump on this book, read it from the beginning, its all great and worth it. The universe building is astounding, please don't skip stuff.

But from all the reviews it seems it has a slow....really slow build up. Or am I missing something?

Posted by AllStarSuperman

@allstarsuperman said:

@infamous_wolf said:

Is this a good jumping on point? I have been keeping this book on my radar for awhile...

No. Please don't jump on this book, read it from the beginning, its all great and worth it. The universe building is astounding, please don't skip stuff.

But from all the reviews it seems it has a slow....really slow build up. Or am I missing something?

No it does not. The first arc has origins for both Jay and Alan, but they are both awesome. Hawkgirl and Dr Fates origins are later told. You would miss out so much by jumping into it now without seeing how this world was built. World Army/Terry Sloan/Apocalypse invasion all those things that end up causing what is happening now.

Posted by InFamous_Wolf

@allstarsuperman: Alright, I do love a good origin story. I'll pick up a vol or 2 on amazon. Then catch up...knowing all the parts will probably make this battle more epic.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

@infamous_wolf: Exactly. Volumes 1-3 are the Robinson run, volume four or issue 17 is when Taylor takes over.

Posted by BillyFamine

I was slightly ticked the price went up a dollar but considering how awesome this issue was, I'm happy paying that extra dollar for more pages and more story building in Earth 2. Seeing the Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkgirl working together again was something I had been waiting for, for a very long time (and Aquawoman, who doesn't like being called that, helped too!).

Posted by HolySerpent

Man this a great series.

Posted by Fastestmanalive

This series is just not doing it for me. Loved it when Taylor first jumped on board but its just bad now.

Calling it right now that that isn't really Clark but that fourth Kryptonian they mentioned.

Posted by TheIndecider

Wow, I was considering dropping this series because of the monotony of the past few issues (Superman does evil things, no one knows what to do, Val is given a pep talk - rinse and repeat) but damn if this didn't get me excited for the series again. However, I still wish that Taylor didn't drop most of the storylines from Robinson's run (the Red Lantern at the center of the Earth, how Hawkgirl escaped Casablanca, whatever happened to Scott and Big Barda, whatever happened to Wonder Woman's daughter Fury, etc.)

Posted by HolySerpent

I still think Bedlam is mind controlling Superman

Posted by thc1138

So did I read it right when Val said that the Els sent Clark, Supergirl, him (Val) and a 4th person out into space away from Krypton?

Posted by kilowog52

I must say, I haven't been this excited for this series since Robinson was writing it. I definitely agree. It's back on track.

However, there are just so many characters who rarely appear that it's hard to keep track of them all. What happened to Al Pratt? Was he killed? And what about Captain Steel? Last I saw him he was babbling about a Red Lantern. There are just so many loose plot lines that sort of seem forgotten that's it's impossible to keep track of them all. Hopefully everything will come together in the end.

Val did say there were four of them that were sent from Krypton. We've met Supes, Val, and Kara, but the fourth is a mystery. However, Val in no way indicated it was a person. The most obvious fourth Krypton survivor would be a version of Krypto. But like I said, that would be pretty obvious.

Anyway, Val also said he didn't have to kill Superman, but knew how to fix the problem, which I took as meaning he had some way breaking the Apokaliptian reconditioning.

Posted by WaveMotionCannon

Glad I didn't drop this when I wanted to. Val Zod's got me interested again.

Posted by MajorJay

this is my favourite series of the new 52!!!!!

Edited by trinity_stormbreaker

I wasn't the biggest fan of them reintroducting Batman, especially after finding out he was Thomas Wayne and not someone more logical like Jean-Paul Valley(?). My initial thought was "Why not Wildcat instead?" The character has more ties with the characters of Alan Scott and Jay Garrick, and he's visually very similar to Batman.

When they introduced Val-Zod as the new Superman, it did feel unfair that the series was being refocused to Superman/Batman instead of its original focus on Green Lantern/Flash/Hawkgirl etc. If they wanted Superman and Batman archetypes, they should've just returned Power Girl and Huntress to Earth 2, something we now know they're doing anyway with "World's End", and it would've given the series more strong female characters.

(Being a huge fan of Wonder Woman, I would still prefer an Amazon archetype to be filled on this book, but Earth 2 is still undeniably the best DC series at the moment in my opinion). I was excited to learn about the inclusion of Fury a while back, but disappointed to learn she was a badguy. (Another plot-line that seems to have disappeared, unfortunately)

However, I must admit Val has really grown on me since his début. I love his personality, I love what he stands for (as a pacifist Kryptonian), and I'm really starting to love his costume and general look. And like all the other characters on Earth 2, so much of his backstory is a mystery I can't wait to explore.