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Earth 2 #9 - The Tower of Fate: Prologue, The Man who was Scared Review

4

Doctor Fate makes his first appearance in the latest issue of this ongoing series.

The Good

I really like the way Robinson is writing Kendra's character. She is this no-nonsense chick with a serious attitude. Robinson has a great idea of who she is and what her character would do and say in any given situation, and that is becoming more and more clear as this series progresses. He's writing her in a really interesting way and it's nice to see this version of Hawkgirl evolve.

The scene featuring the World Army is really well plotted and flows really effortlessly. The way each panel connects and the transitions between one to the next is virtually seamless which is really impressive and makes this moment one of the highlights of the issue. There is a two-page spread where the Flash is getting his butt kicked that is just chock-full of raw emotion and power, and that was one of the things I really loved seeing.

I think many people were anxiously anticipating the first appearance of Doctor Fate, and I think fans of the character will not be disappointed. It is a great introduction to a character who is really hesitant about using his own powers, even if it is for good, and it is interesting. I like the fact that Khalid Ben-Hassin isn't Doctor Fate just yet, that he still has to figure out what his powers are and that he is denying the inevitable. It feels like a natural progression for the character and it is good to see a character who doesn't blindly accept the powers bestowed upon him. It feels natural and makes the character feel grounded and "normal," an average person would have some difficulty accepting a huge change like mystical power. It's appropriate and I am glad Robinson went this route.

Nicola Scott's pencils are, once again, pretty fantastic. Scott does an incredibly job illustrating this vibrant world and proving that she is perfect for this type of a series. There is a lot of action and very pretty, stylized heroes and I think those are qualities that really reflect the story.

The Bad

It is unclear as to why Kendra is so hell bent on making Alan Scott her enemy. I completely understand that the two don't get along, and she is definitely not happy with the way the battle with Grundy went down, but I'm unclear as to why she felt it necessary to shoot a rocket launcher at a dummy. Maybe she's just practicing her use of heavy artillery at very, very short range.

The next scene that I thought was a bit strange was where the Atom jams his fist through the roof of The Flash's house. It just reads a bit strange the way the scene unfolds. I get that the Flash would need to be taken by surprise in order to be captured, and that is what happens here, but it comes across as a bit silly.

The Verdict

There were definitely some moments in this issue where I felt the story had gotten a bit silly, but overall, it was a really fun read. I think that Robinson is really starting to embrace these characters, and it is clear in the way that he has written both Kendra and Khalid. This issue, like previous issues, is easy to read: the story just flows really effortlessly. The layout is great, the art matches the story really well and overall this is just a fun read. It's great to see these characters evolve in an interesting way, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing what happens next.

14 Comments
Posted by zachkastner

The thing that held this back from a perfect score for me was Jay's mom always addressing him as "Jay...son..." If she calls him Jason, cool. But if she literally says his name, then "son" after speaking to him every time then it becomes annoying.

I just wonder what James' angle was to write her that way.

Posted by JohnnyGat

As far as the negatives go. The former is just letting off steam. Just because she fires a rocket launcher at a model with Alan Scott's GL symbol on it doesn't mean she's hell bent on making Scott her enemy that's just unnecessary exaggeration. It just means she finds him to be an annoying enough person that she doesn't mind using his persona as a dummy. The latter complaint I agree with.

Also I disliked Wotan's look.

Posted by johnny_spam

It's a really good book Robinson is writing did seem a little cliche to see the World Army be antagonistic to Jay. But that is something I think was implied already.

Edited by Fantasgasmic

I liked the reveal of the crazy homeless guy who saw Jay first use his powers being Doctor Fate. I mean when we saw him on the cover with the solicit for Fate, i had my suspicions, but its nice to see a book plant seeds and have them pay off. I'll miss Kent Nelson, but I like the way this new guy is shaping up.

Posted by _jackbauer

Any chance we can get some other reviewers covering this series from time to time? I'd like to read other reviewers opinions on the series.

Posted by EnSabahNurX

O_O Hate that I can't read this for another week. But i did read the kendra rocket launcher part(preview) and agreed that was a bit excessive, she could have easily just used her crossbow, pistol or knife to get the desired effect instead of wasting ammo, but maybe Kendra is a all or nothing kinda person(Still don't know her enough yet).  
The Atom part sounds funny XD so I'll give it a pass just because the idea makes me chuckle. 
 
Great review, good luck with James' retort to it ;) I like how consistent this series has been, probably my favorite DC series since it varies in feeling from issue to issue(in a good way)

Posted by SavageDragon

"KNOCK KNOCK!!"

Haha that part made me laugh. I really love this book. I love all the characters and am really excited about Dr Fate and his development. Ive scene scans of his new look once he dawns the Helm of Nabu and it looks great. Another really cool aspect about the Wonders is how James and Ms. Scott decided to draw Jay Garricks speed. I really dig how its drawn, moment to moment so you can see his wake and progression. It just is a little awesome thing about Earth 2s Flash that the colors and the pencils really extenuate. Great series, this is an issue like Sara said that makes you really excited for the next one. I will be hoping James is on the Podcast this week.

Posted by danhimself

@zachkastner said:

The thing that held this back from a perfect score for me was Jay's mom always addressing him as "Jay...son..." If she calls him Jason, cool. But if she literally says his name, then "son" after speaking to him every time then it becomes annoying.

I just wonder what James' angle was to write her that way.

I agree that it was really annoying

Posted by Outside_85

I do hope we at some point learn exactly why the World Army is out to get these new Wonders. But I do like the Khalid/Nabu relationship is working out so far.

Posted by aarrach

I wana go live in that dimension :p

Posted by LordRequiem

I'm so getting the hardcover of this series.

Posted by Onemoreposter

No one? Ok, then I'll say it.

RIP Kent Nelson

Posted by Mezmero

Sterling Archer learned the hard way not to use a rocket launcher indoors. Still really enjoying this book but it's starting to feel like it's better to read as a collection. Reading issue to issue on a world that I'm so fascinated by is down right painful. I think it would have been more strategic for the Atom to sneak in while in a skrunken state then take Flash by surprise or perhaps the Sandmen could have sanded into the room. Busting down Jay's house makes him look like a total jerk. This review is very accurate. Keep up the great writing.

Posted by neiliusprime

Another great issue! Can't wait to read more on Fate!