Few things have so bluntly and unrelentingly punched me in the face like the first issue of Earth 2.  “The Price of Victory” offers us a story we have seen numerous times before: the Parademons of Apokolips are invading a war-torn Earth, and it is up to a valiant group of the universe’s greatest heroes to save the planet from total destruction and subjugation.  It is up to The Wonders of the World – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Robin, and Supergirl – to combat the invaders.

The heroes’ plan revolves around destroying a series of towers that are controlling the Parademons, with the main battle between the Parademons and the Wonders taking place in the ruins of a decimated Metropolis.  Many things are revealed about this new world in the first few pages of Earth 2, which will all be put in the Spoilers section.  Simply put, this war has taken its toll on both the world and our heroes, and many familiar faces have already fallen in combat.  The main battle takes place over the course of most of the issue, with Superman’s raw strength and Wonder Woman’s prowess in battle providing Batman cover in order to upload a virus to wipe out the Parademons.

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Each hero goes through the catalog of what they have lost in The Apokolips War, but the action is gorgeous and violent all at once.  Whether it’s Wonder Woman’s swordsmanship, Superman’s powers, or Batman’s gadgets, each warriors combat is well drawn and beautifully colored by Trevor Scott.  The ruins of Metropolis take a back seat to the close-up action and massive explosions, which are very powerful images.

The rest of this series will take place five years after the events in Metropolis, where we are introduced to two people who fans of older comics will immediately recognize and can get excited about.  I won’t spoil who they are, but if the first three-quarters of this book doesn’t get you pumped about this new world (and I hope that doesn’t happen), then these throwbacks to old-school heroes may pique your interest.  I look forward to reading this title in the months to come, and can only place my faith in James Robinson and Nikola Scott’s writing to uphold the quality of storytelling that was evident in the premier issue.

Spoiler

  • In the beginning, the narrator’s voice is kept in a green speech box, leading me to believe that it is indeed Green Lantern.  Lo and behold, a CEO named Alan Scott – the name of the original Green Lantern – is said narrator.  Expect Scott to become the new Lantern going forward.
  • Also, at the end, Jay Garrick – the original Flash – finds a dying Mercury.  Looks like we have a Flash as well.
  • Wonder Woman dies in a really messed-up way.  Superman and Batman both blow up, Batman heroically and Superman pretty pathetically, while Diana is run through with a giant flaming sword through the chest.  How horrifying and undignified is that?  I mean, it was a ridiculously powerful scene and I choked up a little bit but still, damn.
  • Total holding-back-tears moment when Bruce says to Robin, “Oh my brave, wonderful soldier, live for me.  I love you Helena.”  It was so touching and a really intimate moment that we haven’t gotten from Batman too often.  Also, love calling her a soldier; reminded me a lot of No Man’s Land.

Favorite Quote: See Spoilers (Sorry Guys)

Recommended If…

  • You want a powerful and heart-wrenching story about the world’s most iconic heroes.
  • You want exceptional artwork by Trevor Scott.
  • You want something different than what you’re accustomed to with Earth 2.

Overall

After Batman, this might have been my favorite #1 issue in the entire New 52.  A fantastic and daring story, gorgeous artwork, and something along the lines of real stakes look to propel this story of a new world for readers to explore.  The only thing stopping me from giving it a 10 is an unnecessary soldier scene in a book so revolved around heroes.

SCORE: 9.5/10