Friday, June 12, 2015

NB of the Week


Earth 2: Society #1
Written by Daniel H. Wilson
Drawn by Jorge Jimenez

This first issue to the relaunched Earth 2 title is one of those cases of counting the chickens before they hatch. I wasn't too sure on this book over the last year or so and here's the rundown as to why:
When DC launched Earth 2 in the New 52 universe, they brought in fan-favorite writer James Robinson, probably best known for his long tenure on the Starman title (a personal favorite of mine) and though making Alan Scott gay drew a lot of criticism, it was an excellent read in my opinion. About a year and a half later it all fell to shot. Robinson announced he was done with the book and DC and DC announced that Injustice writer Tom Taylor was taking over. Taylor was a surprise read as I knew nothing from the man but it was starting out in a very good way. Until Worlds End was announced. Half a year worth of weekly story from various writers about Darkseid coming to take their planet as the new Apokolips. The weekly was less than stellar. And that may still be a bit nice. In the end, Darkseid won and there was no more Earth for Earth 2. Until Convergence. In which another writer (Jeff King) wrote back into DC continuity the Multiverse that was originally destroyed way back in Crisis on Infinite Earths. This brought back alternate characters and storylines for DC as a whole and what was left from the Convergence world was taken by the remaining Earth 2 survivors as their new Earth. A literal Earth 2 for them. During Convergence, Earth 2 Batman (Thomas Wayne) was killed and Earth 2 Dick Grayson, after being paralyzed, has become the new Batman. Which is where Earth 2: Society begins. Several writers and more than a few bad stories later. Hence my hesitation. Welcome to comics.
So imagine me surprised when Robopocalypse writer Daniel Wilson takes the reins of this cluster and actually manages to tell a rather intriguing story. It all begins one year after "Planetfall" with the new Batman chasing baddies (as all Batmen do). Back and forth from this we go to the world after Convergence as the population begins to land and/or crash its way to their new planet while the remaining heroes all try to figure out how to start over. Grayson is definitely the start of this issue as he is "rescued" by the heroes in the past and saving the day in the present. In the present, he catches up to the new version of Johnny Sorrow and thwarts his attempt on the life of Terry Sloan; Mr Terrific, baddie of the world and all around douche. We end the issue with his running and Grayson wondering what has the most powerful man on the planet scared for his life.
This was not a train wreck. That's a very good surprise and a very good thing to read. Novelists tend to have a little trouble transitioning from their native narrative to a sequential one and Wilson is no different but it didn't lag in the way most do. The pacing was a bit off but not in a distracting way. The ending was a bit rushed and in fact, not much of an ending at all but as a whole, it's a solid and promising start to a title that really needs some consistency and direction, both of which have been sorely missed since Robinson left. Here's to hoping DC has pulled their heads out of their asses.

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