Last time in Earth 2: Society, planetary overlord, interdimensional-traveler, and overall fragment of self-preserving pond scum Terry Sloan allegedly bit the dust. I say allegedly because it happens off-panel and all that’s left is a body when we know that there’s a whole bunch of Terry Sloan’s out there flying around. The search for
I’ve found the flashbacks to be the more engaging half of the time-skip, and this book is no different. This time around, Earth 2: Society takes a turn toward a mystery novel, with Batman leading the hunt for Sloan’s killer. This leads him to Val Zod, who is out in the desert carving some kind of refugee city out of a mountain. It’s a powerful scene that harkens back to the days when Clark Kent’s Superman would leave society for a while, whether for the remote parts of the planet or the depths of space, and contemplate his life among humanity. Batman’s arrival sparks the flashback this time around, and we get a look into what happens when two Kryptonians go through a break-up.
With each look into the still-open wound caused by the schism between Wonders, the more I want to know everything about it. Everyone is on edge, and it’s fun to see a world where all the heroes are either cautious or just plain hostile towards one another. It was what I imagined the beginning arcs of Justice League would have been like – all these super-powered beings roaming the world, trying to figure out whether the next one they come across is a threat or an ally. There are already factions and teams forming, and unlike past books where conflicts are resolved relatively quickly, there are some serious grudges being held here.
I can’t stress how fun this is, though it does make for some uncharacteristic behavior from the Wonders. Batman just coming out and trying to arrest Superman for murder without any evidence other than speculation doesn’t seem like something a journalist-turned-vigilante would do on a whim. I was flat-out giddy when he called Flash a coward for turning his back on people when he was needed, which was a recurring theme with Jay’s character. Throughout Earth 2, Jay frequently chose the few over the many, which is something new for most heroes but is also very real. Not every hero is going to be this selfless guardian, and seeing someone choose their lives over millions was refreshing in a way, and Jay’s retreat into seclusion with Val felt genuine.
What didn’t feel genuine was the split between Val and Kara. Out of all the backstory moments so far in this series, this was by far the weakest of the group. I’ll leave the rest of it under spoilers, because it ties back to the original Earth 2 series.
What more can I say about the artwork? I’ve been enjoying the hell out of the action sequences in this book, and the fluid nature of Jorge Jimenez’s style. There are strong facial expressions, especially during the scenes with Kara and Val, and Jay and Dick. I will say, however, that this is the first issue where the “Bat-snout” really stuck out for me and became something of a joke. That was balanced out by the fact that (outside of the Bat-snout), I think this is one of the more menacing depictions of Batman out there. Not from his outfit, but from his ruthless and single-minded determination and from how Jimenez always has him cloaked in some kind of shadow. It reminded me a lot of early-years Bruce, which makes sense seeing as how Dick has been on the job only a year. Outside of one small blemish, this was a brilliantly-drawn, dramatic, and exciting issue to read.
- Anarky is in this! How awesome is that? I always thought Anarky’s character was a bit cliché, but the whole idea of the youth leading the rebellion against both the government and the heroes seems like something that would come out of a brand new tyrannical, planet-wide government. Also, Anarky is a girl this time around! Fun fun.
- The issue ends with Sloan’s ship, still orbiting Earth 2, preparing to crash into Neotropolis. This seems like a guaranteed way to force Kara and Val back together and work as a team to save the city that they built, but that would be way to obvious…right? RIGHT!?
Favorite Quote: “Under the yellow sun, we were unstoppable. And when the red sun grew near…we were human.” – Val Zod
- You want a beautifully-illustrated book from Jorge Jimenez.
- You want another interesting flashback tale.
- You want to see what happens when a Kryptonian gets dumped.
Not Recommended If…
- You’re looking for the story to progress much more.
Overall: A wonderful book both to read and examine, this issue felt real in all the right places. While a few inconsistent characters lessen the overall impact of “Nexus,” it is by far the best issue that has been put out by Earth 2: Society so far.