In the previous issue, Red Tornado Lois and Evil-Superman took an awkward trip to Smallville, Val-Zod demonstrated his pacifism by being nothing more than a Kryptonian-shield in a fight, oh and Batman blew up half of Gotham along with the Bat-cave. Superman’s path of destruction may have been tempered by Lois’ return from the dead, but the forces of Apokolips are still after the New Wonders, and the situation grows direr with every Wonder lost.
We start off in a pleasantly surprising area of Earth 2 where we find Flash, who’s been a prisoner of the Beguiler since he was captured by Superman. I actually had to look back and see if I had missed any scenes of Jay in the past few issues, and he’s been sorely missed by me at least. They banter a bit and Flash is genuinely amusing – he has consistently been one of the more amusing characters in the series – but the two pages they are featured on seem to serve only to remind us that he’s still alive.
There was also that massive explosion that destroyed Gotham City, taking an entire army of Parademons with it. For those who read last time, you know that Green Lantern and Hawkgirl stuck around and survived the explosion. They also do a lot of flying, and a lot more fighting. Green Lantern has a plan to rescue Flash, which encompasses a lot of the book’s content. The Parademons were exceptionally incompetent this issue, and they’re steadily turning into a pretty harmless mass of anonymous creatures. It’s bordering on Stormtroopers territory with how terrible they are at fighting.
Batman and Jimmy Olsen get into a fight, too, but it’s incredibly stupid and so out of character for both these Wonders. It felt forced and was added for no other reason but to have the obligatory “guy learns some lesson that will inevitably help him down the road accept someone he doesn’t like” that’s been seen in approximately 145% of all awful family friendly movies. It was a really weak moment in not only this issue but in this arc as a whole, and might rank up there as one of my less enjoyable moments in the entire Earth 2 series.
One thing about Green Lantern, it’s been said many times that the Green Lantern ring is the most powerful weapon in the universe, limited only by the user’s imagination. The same rules apply to The Green’s power, the user can do whatever he or she wants as long as they have the imagination and will. Alan Scott must have a God-awful imagination, then, and it hit me during this issue. There’s a ton of action in this issue, with Alan and Kendra fighting hordes of Parademons, and Alan does little more than create explosions. Or does he create just force? It always seems as if Alan isn’t using The Green’s power to its maximum extent, and it makes Alan look weak. Then again, he has only been Green Lantern for two months or so, and he was dead for about a third of that time, so he may still be getting the hang of it.
Nikola and Trevor Scott fail to deliver for the first time in a while, and the artwork in the fourth installment of “The Kyrptonian” arc left me wanting. Alan in particular is weakly drawn, and there are two panels where it seems that he has a massive under-bite. There’s also that Jimmy Olsen/Batman scene that was drawn very statically. Jimmy is supposed to be pissed at Batman, but the faces just don’t look right. The Olsen scenes aside, this issue delivers some good combat, a great Flash moment, and a promise of a larger fight to come in the coming issues.
- If you haven’t read Earth 2 Annual #2, then it is indeed revealed this issue that Batman is Thomas Wayne, father of the definitely deceased Bruce Wayne.
- For those who haven’t read, Thomas is addicted to a drug that enhances his physical abilities to near super-human levels, similar to Venom. The problem is, however, that he will probably die if he stops taking it.
- Flash didn’t seem in great shape when Hawkgirl found him, I hope he’s alright.
- I understand that The Beguiler is pretty much a newborn villain and that pre-New 52 the Hunger Dogs were the weakest of the New Gods, but really? All it took was one blast from Green Lantern to take her out of the fight?
- Also, the final page is somewhat ruined by Val’s confused and almost scared facial image. I was unsure whether Scott was going for some image of hope and power but it did not come off as such.
Favorite Quote: “I can hack any system. I can basically breathe information. No one can hide from me.” “Lois told you, didn’t she?” – Jimmy Olsen and Batman
- You’ve been wanting to see what happened to Flash.
- You enjoy Wonders fighting masses of non-threatening enemies.
- You actually like this Jimmy Olsen and Val.
I keep waiting for the right blend of character development and action, and this issue delivered for the most part. It felt forced in some places, but overall was a fun quick story with at least one loose end resolved. I’m still waiting for the fight against Superman; there have been too many Evil-Superman stories recently.