For those that don’t know, the Second Wave of DC’s New 52 premiered today with a few titles including Worlds’ Finest (featuring Huntress and Powergirl), G.I. Combat (involving soldiers fighting dinosaurs), Dial H (about an average Joe using a mystical item to become a hero), and Earth 2 (a series about the parallel world of the normal DC Earth). These new titles, along with Ravagers and Batman, Inc., are replacing the six series that DC is phasing out including Hawk and Dove, Men of War, Mr. Terrific, OMAC, Blackhawks, and Static Shock. I’ve talked a lot about the New 52 in the past and am currently following several series, so I thought it prudent to give these new titles a look. Of the four out this week, Earth 2 #1 appealed to me most: who wouldn’t want to read about a world where Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are heroes but don’t hold back on villains? How did this first issue hold out and how do things look for DC’s newest line of comics?
Earth 2 #1 focuses on the story of a war between the people (and superheroes) of Earth and the Parademons of Apokolips. We’re shown the story mainly through the lens of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, but these aren’t the classic heroes you know and love: tempered by pain, the three of them are much more brutal than their normal counterparts, but are no less heroic for it. Each of them fights tooth and nail to protect the planet they love so dearly, their pain at the loss of their loved ones turned to righteous rage. We see the entirety of the war, as well as its aftermath and see some hints of a few more characters set to become heroes themselves as this series continues.
To say writer James Robinson does a spectacular job in this comic is the understatement of the century. The narration and inner monologues are a great way to portray retrospective and perspective on the events that transpire. The reader can’t help but feel a deeper connection to the characters. By dropping small hints about the history of this world, the reader is informed and intrigued by the characters’ pasts. The dialogue here is also quite good, and even inspiring at times. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with the writing.
Like the writing, the art in Earth 2 #1 is beyond spectacular. Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott, Alex Sinclair, and Dezi Sienty all bring unique talents to the fold. The full page and double page spreads throughout this issue are magnificent and I found myself staring at them for minutes on end to take in every detail. I especially admired the sheen on the main characters’ clothing; it made them stand out and appear more heroic than ever. To pick a favorite scene is probably impossible, but if forced to choose I’d pick the opening spread where we see Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman ripping their way through hordes of Parademons. Overall, the art is perfect.
It goes without saying that Earth 2 #1 is a great comic. Given that its an entirely new continuity, just about anyone can, and should, pick this title up. The story promises to be amazing and the creators are definitely brave enough to take some risks that would be difficult, or impossible, in the main continuity. I’m excited to see what else they have in store, especially after such an amazing and action packed issue. I have to say thank you, DC, for putting out such a quality title in your Second Wave.
Brett Simon is a twenty-two year old comic enthusiast. He was fond of the cameo of the Golden Age Atom in this issue.