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Earth 2 #4 - A Confluence of Wonders Review

5

The team begins to come together in the latest issue of EARTH 2 -- and it's awesome.

The Good

Remember back when DC launched the 'New 52' and the Justice League first banded together as a team? The reason I bring that up is because it immediately came to my mind when I first read the latest issue of EARTH 2. The same thing sort of happens here -- although these new heroes don't know a whole lot about one another, they work together effortlessly trying to stop an attack from Solomon Grundy. The main difference is that the way the group of heroes worked together was far more interesting and exciting here than it was in JUSTICE LEAGUE. The banter between Hawkgirl and The Flash is fantastic; shes this very dominating, bossy, no-nonsense chick that knows exactly what to do and is ready for anything -- even if it means she will risk getting hurt (or killed) in the process. I thought James did a fantastic job depicting her warrior spirit, proving that although her look may have changed, Hawkgirl's convictions (essentially) have not. It's a great scene.

The moments where we see Jay Garrick appear on panel are fantastic, too. The character, with his newfound powers, is still a bit unsure of himself and feels like he has something to prove. He's out there helping the situation by rescuing innocent bystanders, but somehow he doesn't quite yet realize how important his role is in the fight. Saving people is just as important as thrusting oneself head first into the action. I think Robinson does a great job conveying Jay as a young, slightly immature new hero.

The introduction of Alan Scott as Green Lantern also did not disappoint. Not only is his new costume fantastic, but thoughts of his former lover are not far from his mind. I am really starting to think that his death is something Scott will soon begin dealing with. It's also interesting to see that the power of Scott's Green Lantern ring is sort of calling the shots; instructing him on what to do. It feels like he's torn, but eventually succumbs to the power and force of the ring, and the responsibilities that ownership of the ring entails.

There are scenes we saw in the first issue that are addressed here; and although I won't go into details explaining what happens, I did enjoy the fact that Robinson brings things full circle. This issue feels cohesive with the first, and I think that's important.

How do you write a good, action packed superhero book that balances superhero action with plot development? Robinson knocks it out of the park. Notice that each hero had about the same amount of on-panel time -- no one was overlooked or left out. That balance is important when you're writing a team book. Additionally, each character has a unique voice, and that's something I can really appreciate because these characters are all so very different from one another.

Grundy feels like a formidable opponent here, too, and he isn't written like a dummy which I felt was really important. Finally, the entire artistic team does a fantastic job on this issue. From Nicola Scott and Eduardo Pansica's pencils, Trevor Scott and Sean Parsons' inking, and the colors by Alex Sinclair and Tony Avina -- it's really beautiful stuff.

The Bad

Nothing bad here. Great action packed superhero stuff.

The Verdict

I loved this issue because of the balance and the pacing. Like I said, each character got to shine a little bit in the spotlight, which is important when you are first introducing a new superhero team. It's sort of the foundation for everything that comes after it; how will these characters interact? How will they play together on the same team? Will they have this sort of effortless relationship where each of their strengths are played up? You get that here.

I think it's important that Robinson leaves this issue a little bit open ended, too. By the last page we're left with a lot more questions than answers, and I think that's important for pushing the story forward and getting readers excited about the next issue. Overall, really great issue. Hawgirl is amazing, and the art is really great stuff. This definitely has me excited for whatever the creative team has in store for the fifth issue.

35 Comments
Posted by hpwaz

Wow, did Sarah really give James 5 stars?! I'm sure he will be delighted to finally see that!

Posted by Ravager4

Read it. Loved it. One of my favorite books I'm reading right now.

Posted by jsphsmth

Robinson is the man. His work in the DCnU has made me forget that Cry for Justice was ever published.

Posted by cyberchop979

Sara has given James 5 stars before, most recently in Shade, if I am not mistaken. This is def the first 5 star review for Earth 2 though.

Posted by Outside_85

While the story is so far much better than Justice League (where everyone were led by the nose to the big predictable victory), I think Alan's costume is the worst of the lot, both design wise but also color wise (its all green!).

Other than that, I'd like to quote Hawkgirl from the JL episode; the Terror Beyond:

"Excuse me, Hawkgirl smash!"

Online
Posted by Doomlurker

I agree, absolutely loved this issue!

Posted by Cavemold

Loved the issue , the pace definitely picked up . I really like atoms suit. Pretty awesome. The fight scenes were well done and the flash speed effect was pretty awesome. 5/5 is what I would give it.

Posted by feargalr

Realy liked the Atom redesign (if it was a redesign... I'm going off what I know from Justice League Unlimited)

Posted by JonesDeini

James finally got his 5 from Babs on this series. Can't wait to see his response on the Podcast

Posted by deadpool25mm

@hpwaz said:

Wow, did Sarah really give James 5 stars?! I'm sure he will be delighted to finally see that!

Posted by KnightRise

The Atom's looked phenomenal, his costume is very practical and still close to the original. I'd like to see Hawkgirl's costume return to the classic color scheme.

Posted by doordoor123

By fifth issue, do you mean ZERO issue?

Posted by DDangelico

Whole-heartedly agree! THIS was a great superhero comic!

(Along with everyone else, I can't wait to hear James' reaction!)

Posted by Miss_Garrick

Seriously, this is the best Hawkgirl/woman look I've ever seen! It's awesome!

Posted by longbowhunter

Atom and Hawkgirl have to be the best of the Earth 2 redesigns. Love that they kept Al Pratt short. Kendra was a lot of fun to read and may turn out to be my favorite character in the book. I'd like to see her lose the Chewbacca laser crossbow thing though. As a huge fan of Animal Man and Swamp Thing I'm really enjoying seeing James Robinson's Earth 2 take on the the elemental avatars.

Posted by Spdylvr87

Sara really gave James 5 stars on Earth 2? I work in a my local comic shop and I look forward to reading this issue myself and I can't wait to hear this week's podcast and hear James' reaction. The banter between James and Sara is always so funny/entertaining.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

eh I'm dropping this but 5 stars?

Posted by No_Name_

@doordoor123 said:

By fifth issue, do you mean ZERO issue?

Sure. That.

Posted by Or35ti

I am so psyched to read this. Earth 2 has been one of my favorite books since it's launch.

Posted by Rise2Ragnarok

Loved the issue, great review Sara. James is gonna be stoked about his 5 too!

Posted by doordoor123

@Babs said:

@doordoor123 said:

By fifth issue, do you mean ZERO issue?

Sure. That.

Actually, I think I'm wrong. What month are we in again?

Posted by The Stegman

Man, Hawkgirl is lookin' FINE!

Posted by JamDamage

WOW THIS BOOK IS GOOD!!!! This is what I expected with the DC reboot. Taking more major players and just really doing the changes they should. They kept Superman, Batman and Green Lantern at its core. BM and GL really didn't change at all. This books is what it was like when Marvel started it's Ultimate line and the Ultimate books were going neck to neck in sales with the 616 counter parts. If you're going to have balls and start over for new readers this is how to do it. I never really read much Justice Society but I knew it's history enough. This is great, this is fresh, and it made an old reader a new reader of a new title. As long as it doesn't get to gay with Allen Scott and he doesn't start dating imaginary green blow up men, and keeps the the gayness at a minimum like Stormwatch, I'm all for the book. Plus he's already very differant then Hal and his corps. Seems like the green power is an Earth bound thing. Not so cosmic.

Got this feeling with Grundy preaching about being his grey counter part.
Posted by Fantasgasmic

I'm not fond of Grundy's design, and I would've liked more Green Lantern scenes I gave it a 4/5.

Posted by JSH92

Sooo....when they said this is the New 52 debut of Atom Smasher, they really meant the New 52 debut of the Atom??? I was thinking it would be Albert Rothstein appearing, but it's Al Pratt. I haven't read the issue yet (and probably won't, considering the main reason I was going to was because I thought it was the real Atom Smasher), but is he called Atom Smasher or just Atom?

Posted by KnightRise

@JSH92 said:

Sooo....when they said this is the New 52 debut of Atom Smasher, they really meant the New 52 debut of the Atom??? I was thinking it would be Albert Rothstein appearing, but it's Al Pratt. I haven't read the issue yet (and probably won't, considering the main reason I was going to was because I thought it was the real Atom Smasher), but is he called Atom Smasher or just Atom?

Yeh its Al Pratt and he's called the Atom, one of his New 52 powers is growing in size, but he's still the Atom and not Atom Smasher.

Posted by JSH92

@KnightRise said:

@JSH92 said:

Sooo....when they said this is the New 52 debut of Atom Smasher, they really meant the New 52 debut of the Atom??? I was thinking it would be Albert Rothstein appearing, but it's Al Pratt. I haven't read the issue yet (and probably won't, considering the main reason I was going to was because I thought it was the real Atom Smasher), but is he called Atom Smasher or just Atom?

Yeh its Al Pratt and he's called the Atom, one of his New 52 powers is growing in size, but he's still the Atom and not Atom Smasher.

Ok, thanks. That's what I figured. It makes sense. No reason why Atom Smasher would precede Atom. Oh, how my hopes have been falsely built up...

Posted by KnightRise

@JSH92 said:

@KnightRise said:

@JSH92 said:

Sooo....when they said this is the New 52 debut of Atom Smasher, they really meant the New 52 debut of the Atom??? I was thinking it would be Albert Rothstein appearing, but it's Al Pratt. I haven't read the issue yet (and probably won't, considering the main reason I was going to was because I thought it was the real Atom Smasher), but is he called Atom Smasher or just Atom?

Yeh its Al Pratt and he's called the Atom, one of his New 52 powers is growing in size, but he's still the Atom and not Atom Smasher.

Ok, thanks. That's what I figured. It makes sense. No reason why Atom Smasher would precede Atom. Oh, how my hopes have been falsely built up...

lol itsok I thought Hawkgirl would be Shiera Hall

Posted by SavageDragon

I love this series, Im just not a fan of the costume designs. Other than that it was a great issue. (Im sure ill warm up to the new looks). Mr Robinson you are awesome.

Edited by Knight Train

Could be good if the dialogue wasn't so lazy: "But nothing's here but what ain't here anymore..." what does that even mean. Jay saying "How's the hell this happening?" How in the hell is this happening? How's this happening? Not both, weird, really took me out of the story. Also the dialogue was really cliche comic book stuff like: “Your body’s energy– insulating me somehow” and "Who- What are you?"... The dialogue always seems to tell rather than show, each characters just spouting what is happening, what their orders are, and what they are feeling in ways that could've been better.

was liking this series, and really like the art, but it's dawning on me that none of the dialogue is realistic, unique to characters (all characters talk the same) and some just didn't make any sense at all. Would have liked to see some character moments, don't really know anything about these people. Will still keep buying though as I feel it's building somewhere good

Posted by Superdork

I love this issue too! And i think it deserves the five stars. Good review!

I only wish Justice League were this good.

Posted by eternale0

best book DC has right now. the story is starting to come together nicely and the art is amazing

Posted by ticticchilitic

I fully agree with the review. Despite this only being the 4th issue I felt like thing were already coming together in that "All the characters have taken the stage" way that Robinson pulls off so well.

Reading this monthly is painful. I don't just want issue 5, I want issues 5-8 right now!

The art also does a great job of keeping all the different perspectives together. Particularly in the panels where Hawkgirl is pushing back against the rot, The Green lantern is having the big superhero and supervillan bout with Grundy and the Flash is zipping around doing his best to pull people out of the battlezone.

Posted by GrandHarrier

He is barely in it, but the Atom really stole the show for me. His "entrance" was just badass.

Not sure how I feel about this gun wielding Hawkgirl. And I can't believe that I just this issue noticed the dreadlocks in her hair! Overall I like her design, however.

Posted by Raven575

I freaking love this book!