Earth 2 has taken a very unconventional direction since the introduction of World’s End into the DC Universe. Since World’s End started almost five months ago, the Earth 2 titles have been: introduce Huntress/Powergirl, Fury origin story, standalone Grayson tale, and now an Avatar origin story. One of the best written and entertaining lines that DC had going has been condemned to sit on the side while World’s End has been the driving force of the narrative.
My first thought actually goes to the future, when people who are enticed by these “alternate world” tales try to collect the entire Earth 2 story. In its current state, Earth 2 is acting more like supplementary material to World’s End, which is a shame for those who have followed Earth 2 from the first issue and do not have the time or money to buy a new book every week.
So here we have a group origin story by Marguerite Bennett and Mike Johnson that is interesting in that different rules seem to apply to different Avatars. While this isn’t a particularly jarring thing, it did raise questions about why certain rules applied to specific Avatars. The most noticeable would be the rule of memory loss. The Green and Blue do not have their champions lose their memory, yet the Red and White are required to. Why? What purpose does that serve? Just one or two sentences could have created a very cool wrinkle that might come in to play down the road.
The writers are able to bring out the individual qualities of each Avatar as they are introduced to the reader. The kind empathy of the White, the brutality of the Blue, the fierce loyalty of the Red, all come together to create a formidable fighting force worth defending the planet. While Sam and Yolanda seem like very arbitrary and convenient choices – basically Sam is nice and Yolanda makes a bargain – they fit into the Earth 2 story in their own way.
Like the “Origins” story in Earth 2 #28, this issue is shared by a group of artists. Andy Smith and Trevor Scott handle the Avatar of White, Tyler Kirkham illustrates the Avatar of Blue, and Cliff Richards and Thony Silas take on the Avatar of Red. Each artist does a solid job of presenting their origin story, but Smith and Scott in particular create a very cool representation of Sam in his Avatar form.
If there is one thing that I took away from this issue, it was the sheer number of loose ends that I had completely forgotten about in the past few months and years. A number of pseudo-spoilers are included here, but nothing that would ruin anything for a reader who has been following Earth 2 since the beginning of its run. The Great Beast in the Tower of Fate that battled Flash way back in the second arc of Earth 2 was in fact the Avatar of the Red. Whether or not this was planned is something to consider, or if Bennett and Johnson just thought it would be a cool throwback to an earlier, better time in Earth 2’s history.
We also find out that Aquawoman’s real name is Chanya, and that she was originally a priestess for the Blue. The Avatar of the Blue is named Azathoth, a name which readers of H.P. Lovecraft will recognize as one of the high daemons that inhabit the universe of Cthulhu Mythos. He is described by Lovecraft as “that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity.”
If you’re reading this and wondering why there’s no love for Grundy, his origin story came way back in Earth 2 #15.2 during the New 52 Villain’s Month. Check it out for a cool tie-in to this collection.
Favorite Quote: “You are as old as this world. I am older than death.” – Azathoth.
- You’ve been following World’s End.
- You want an issue similar to Earth 2 #28
- You want more origin stories.
Overall: I don’t like how this book is taking on the role of sidekick to the more heavily-pushed World’s End, mainly because the first twenty-five or so issues were so good. It seems that only once World’s End has finished its run will Earth 2 be able to return to form – if there is an Earth 2 by then.