With everything Earth 2 has been through – the original New 52 run, an Apokolips invasion in World’s End, the confusing jettison of continuity in Convergence – it’s nice to have a literal reset button to start the whole thing over. All I have to say is…I loved this. Sure, maybe I’m biased because I’m a huge Earth 2 fan, but I loved this issue. Granted, it’s a recap of a lot of stuff. But I had a great time reading this.
New Gotham has a new Batman following the events of Convergence. “Planetfall” opens in the middle of a chase sequence, with Dick Grayson as the Dark Knight of Earth 2 being shot at while chasing down Terry Sloan. We get to see him use some version of Mr. Miracle’s hover pads as a shield (which was freakin’ awesome) to ward off sniper fire. Even after a year as Batman, however, he’s still getting used to the nightly crime-fighting activities, and his lack of experience shows as he tries to bring in Sloan. There is also the minor subplot of him trying to find his son, who he has not seen since the events of World’s End.
Having Grayson as the narrator gives us a look into the events immediately following World’s End. Mercifully, Convergence is pretty much ignored other than the fact that there’s a new planet replacing the old Earth 2. Once Green Lantern summoned the other lifeboats back to the planet, Terry Sloan sent all of them but his crashing to the ground. Apparently, only twelve ships survived the attack by Apokolips, though it seemed like way more at the time, and so twelve new cities have been formed on the new Earth 2. Sloan has been in orbit, acting as de facto leader in his personal ship. Also, we learned that Green Lantern hasn’t exactly been acting like himself.
About half of this introductory issue is just that, an introduction to what has happened over the last year or so. While I didn’t necessarily want or need that, and would have loved it if Wilson had just jumped right into it and given us more of Grayson as Batman, it served its purpose. There is a new minor villain in New Gotham, Johnny Sorrow, who wears a theater mask and has his own vendetta against Sloan. There’s a hint at someone who’s got Sloan spooked, resulting in his being on Earth 2, though who exactly that is will have to wait for another issue.
I had forgotten what it was like to have a single artist working on a main Earth 2 series since the non-World’s End books ended at the end of last year. This time around the art is entrusted to Jorge Jimenez, one of the bright spots in the revolving line of artists who worked on the recently-departed weekly. The character designs were all well-done; Batman, Huntress, Green Lantern, and Terry Sloan in particular were exceptional. Dick’s black and yellow trench coat look reminded me of a cross between Damien’s suit from Batman #666 and the recent Convergence look for Earth-2 Dick Grayson. The city layout was creative but nothing too special – I’m surprised they even have cars to drive – but the action lines were excellent and turned the sparsely-populated city into a vibrant environment. All-around good work from Jimenez.
- Got nothing here. There wasn’t too much to spoil, considering how this was pretty much a set up for the first arc of
Favorite Quote: “Two million survivors made it off the planet. But I wasn’t one of them.” – Dick Grayson.
- You’re a fan of Earth 2 or World’s End.
- You love the idea of Dick Grayson as Batman.
- You want some good Jorge Jimenez artwork.
Not Recommended If…
- You didn’t read World’s End at all.
- You don’t like “recap” issues.
Overall: This issue gives me hope for Earth 2, the same hope that was stripped from me by the lumbering World’s End run. Seeing Dick Grayson as Batman, some mystery around Green Lantern, and the promise of a new villain waiting in the wings leaves me wanting to read the next issue as soon as possible. That’s the highest compliment I think you can give the creators of a serial.