It’s been two weeks on Earth 2 since the return of Superman and the death of Steppenwolf, and we are finally treated to the revival that’s been hinted at for several issues now.  If you can’t tell from the cover: Green Lantern’s back!  And there’s several fantastically-drawn pages thanks to Nikola and Trevor Scott, who are back on their A-game.  The revival scene is one of the best that the two have done together, with Alan Scott rising from the decay and death that surrounds him thanks to the power of The Green.

We also get a good look at Val’s progress over the past two weeks, as he learns how to better control his Kryptonian powers.  He’s busy training with Red Tornado Lois and is steadily learning more and more about his abilities, along with the responsibilities and inconveniences that come along with them.  It’s something we’ve seen before – a hero learning his abilities when he’s pressed for time – but now there’s an added element.  Lois was married to a Kryptonian before she became Red Tornado Lois, so there’s a level of familiarity and genuine, almost motherly care when it comes to her scenes with Val.

The story is moving along now, more than it has in the previous few issues, with Superman uncovering just what Batman and the others have been planning to use against him.  It leads to some very exciting fighting between the Wonders and Parademons, and is violent in just the right places to make the battle seem threatening and exciting.  These Parademons are not the pushovers who were defeated by just three Wonders all those years ago. 

Spoiler
There’s also a moment where Superman seems genuinely afraid of seeing Batman after all those years, and immediately sets out to make Batman his number-one target.

The artwork for “The Kryptonian, Part Two” is as good as it’s been throughout the entire Earth 2 series.  The exceptional work of the Scotts is not constrained only to Green Lantern’s resurrection scenes, but encompasses most of the book.  Everything from Khalid’s tranquil smile while simply muttering “Green” to Superman’s enraged face when he leads a Parademon charge, all the little details are taken care of.  Val’s face is still drawn a bit awkwardly, but most of the closeups, especially Hawkgirl’s, are done incredibly well.  There’s little loss of proportion or scale, and the coloring is consistent throughout.

A good portion of this issue is lost, about six pages, in order to promote Batman Detective Comics (I hope you’re happy, Brendan) and the story forces us to wait until next issue to find out what happens next.  I’ve never been a fan of this method of cross-promotion; I paid for an Earth 2 story, not Detective Comics, and if that sounds childish and shallow, so be it.  I don’t want to read a preview of a book that I may or may not have any interest in reading, especially when it cuts into something I am genuinely interested in.  It didn’t happen this time, but there have also been times where I’ve dropped an extra dollar on a comic only to have it come with this glorified ad.  I’m done being a whiner now.

Spoiler

  • Val’s full name is Val-Zod! That’s a fun bit of awesomeness.
  • Oh, and Val is a pacifist?  That will totally be useful when you have to fight Superman.
  • So Bedlam’s plan is to move Earth to Apokolips? As someone who knows what the aftershocks will be if an entire planet moves into a new solar system, that’s a dumb plan.  I don’t care how big or how dense Apokolips is, if you move Earth right next to it, Apokolips is going to end up an even more hellish hell-scape.  Then what are you going to do after?  If Darkseid wants to turn Earth into the new Apokolips, why doesn’t he just go to Earth himself?  This might be the worst plan I’ve ever seen from Darkseid.
  • Red Tornado Lois reveals herself to Superman, whose eyes revert from red for the first time since his return.  I took this as a sign that Clark is in fact still inside whatever evil has corrupted Superman.  Does Red Tornado Lois actually sound like Lois?  Her speech bubbles are different from everyone else’s, far sharper and more frantic, so I would imagine she sounds like a robot.  Wouldn’t Superman just think this was a trick?  Or is THE POWER OF LOVE (cliché) enough to overcome Bedlam’s control?

Favorite Quote: “This man is our greatest threat.  The Kryptonian is nothing.” – Superman

Recommended If…

  • You’ve been waiting for Green Lantern to return.
  • You want some good Wonder/Parademon combat.
  • Nikola and Trevor Scott are your favorite art team.

Overall:

This issue has a lot of the things that the previous few issues were lacking: story progression, high-quality action, and an exploration into what’s behind the mask with some of the Wonders.  It’s a huge step up from what’s been coming out of the Earth 2 series.

SCORE: 8/10