Last issue we saw the birth of Earth 2’s Flash when Jay Garrick was imbued with the power of super-speed.  Alan Scott and his boyfriend Sam were also caught in a massive explosion aboard a Hong Kong bullet train.  Oh, and we met Hawkgirl!  So a lot has happened.  In “Jade Knight” we slow down a bit and, as the title suggests, we have our first encounter with this world’s Green Lantern.

We open up in the horrifying aftermath of the train accident that filled the final page of the previous issue.  A severely burned and disfigured Alan Scott has somehow survived the crash, albeit with horrendous injuries.  He has a very Two-Face aura about him, as only the left side of his face is burnt with a purplish hue.  Everything in this series has pointed toward Alan Scott becoming Green Lantern, but this is not the Green Lantern Corps that we are accustomed to.  I actually really like this incarnation of Green Lantern’s power source, and it raised a few points that I’ll go into more below.

With Green Lantern born, we cut across the world to Poland, where Flash and Hawkgirl are in the midst of their first encounter.  There are more Spoilers involved that explain how Hawkgirl knew where to find Jay – which made me even more excited for who may be introduced next – and then some good old-fashioned hero sparring.  Trevor Scott is still able to capture Flash’s speed well, I’m just not the biggest fan of drawing speedsters as multiple copies of themselves.  I’d rather just see the speed-trail as a blur of color trailing the hero; the multiple copies tend to just fill up the page with too many shapes and outlines that take away from the overall artwork for me.

On top of all this, the new Wonders (I really like calling these heroes “Wonders,” I don’t know whether that’s the consensus or not) are close to facing their first real challenge.  There are some fantastically drawn scenes of the creeping destruction and devastation that precedes this classic villain, and there’s a new twist to him that makes him far more dangerous now than ever.  Even though we are early in the series, the story is still moving along at a great pace, and right from the start Earth 2 may be up against its greatest threat since Apokolips.

Spoiler

  • Green Lantern’s power apparently comes from the Earth itself, as if the abilities of the lantern are a gift from the life-force of the planet.
  • Also, the ring Alan uses is the ring he was going to give to his now-deceased boyfriend.  It was a touching moment, using the memento of his greatest tragedy as the conduit for his power.
  • Hawkgirl mentioned that fate showed her the way, a concept Flash doesn’t believe.  She replies, “Maybe you will when you meet the guy.”  I sense Doctor Fate!
  • The villain is Grundy! Now going as “The Grey” to counter “The Man of Green.”  Grundy can sap life from all living things, and seems to be the embodiment of death where Alan is the being of life.  This Grundy is far more terrifying than his zombie Earth-Prime counterpart.

Favorite Quote: “Are you an angel?” “Are you an idiot?” – Flash and Hawkgirl

Recommended If…

  • You want some paradoxical takes on Earth-Prime heroes.  There are so many new influences combined with old-school canon, it’s a great blend.
  • You like short and strong origin stories.
  • You’re a fan of writers making villains bigger and tougher than ever.

Overall:

James Robinson and Nikola Scott have really raised the stakes with this improved villain, and I’m really looking forward to how these freshly-birthed Wonders battle together. Or if they even can!

SCORE: 8.5/10