Review of Earth 2 #2

“You sure took your time getting here”

***Contains Spoilers***

There is a lot going on in this issue. We meet some new characters and we see some of the characters from the first issue go through some changes. First off we have Mr. Terrific arriving on Earth 2 where he quickly meets Terry Sloane. Now for those of you that don’t know Terry Sloane was the original Mr Terrific in the old continuity. He and Michael even teamed up on a couple occasions(don’t you just love time travel). In the New 52 it seems that Mr. Sloane is more of a super villain than a super hero. He claims to be the smartest man on the planet. TO back up his claim he says he knew where and when to find Michael, just as he was transported from an alternate Earth. And he had a prepared, custom tailored means of stopping him. So, Michael is in trouble.

Then we get to see Jay’s origin story continue. Mercury explains that the other gods perished aiding Wonder Woman against the hordes of Darksied. Jay, being the good natured guy that he is, insists on getting someone to tend to Mercury’s injuries. Jay is told that there isn’t time and before he dies Mercury passes his speed powers to Jay. It is this point that the Army decides to show up. Not surprising, I am guessing they tend to monitor things that crash to the Earth, especially given their past. Jay decides to run for it, and run for it he does. He easily outruns the helicopter and learns that his new costume is controlled by his mind. When he wants it on it comes on, when he wants it off, he goes back to street clothes. He tries experimenting with his new abilities, learning that he can run up walls and jump from rooftop to rooftop. He is in the middle of enjoying his new found power and freedom when he hears a cry for help. Jay rushes off to fight his first foe as a super hero, the dreaded Apokorat(dun dun dun). They do look nasty, and every hero has to start somewhere.

Feeling mighty good about saving the nice young couple Jay decides to test out his new powers and see just how fast he can go. He also learns that stopping can be a little tricky. He ends up carving a ditch into some Polish farm land where he is met by a winged woman aimed a crossbow at him and she seems to have been expecting him. So, is this Hawkwoman a friend or foe? Nothing is certain when it comes to Earth 2.

Then we have Alan Scott. He is young, rich, and good looking, every girl’s dream. Well sorry ladies, Alan is gay. We see him meeting up with his boyfriend in Hong Kong. His boyfriend, Sam, tells him they are going on a romantic get away via a bullet train. Everything is going fine, Alan pulls out a ring and begins to propose(things are different on Earth 2) when an explosion in the front car throws the train off of a bridge. Again for those of you who are not long time readers of the JSA, Alan Scott got his powers in the old DC continuity when he was a train engineer and he was holding a lantern that was fashioned from the Starheart(left over willpower from when the Guardians made the Central Power Battery)when the train crashed. So, I am guessing that train crash+ Alan Scott + starheart??? = Green Lantern. Also, fun fact: the Starheart originally feel to Earth and landed in China. Hong Kong is in China. That is all.

So to sum up, Mr Terrific is on Earth 2, but got his ass handed to him with in the first 5 minutes, Jay is now the Flash and has met Hawkwoman(still not sure if she is hero or villain) and Alan is about to be Green Lantern. Mr Terrific, Green Lantern, Flash and Hawkwoman would make a good core group for the new JSA. Terry Sloane could be a very good luthoresque arch nemesis for them. I like this issue and I have a good feeling about the upcoming issues.

I do have a few things I am not thrilled with. Jay’s costume. I think it is the helmet. I get that DC wants to do the fresh, new look, and that is fine. I mean granted Mercury’s helmet was RIGHT there and he could have given it to Jay. Still I like the young Jay character and while his origin is very different, I like it. Alan is gay. I have nothing against homosexual people, either in real life or comics. I have nothing against a member of the JSA(or any other team for that matter) being homosexual. Maybe it is because I have been reading JSA comics for years and I am so used to the old character of Alan, but this felt forced to me. It didn’t feel like a natural facet to the character. I know it was only a few pages, but it did not feel right to me. If they wanted to include a character that happened to be gay I think it would have been better to make a new character rather than alter an existing one.

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2 Responses to “Review of Earth 2 #2”

  1. Robert Hulshof-Schmidt Says:

    Great review, thanks. I have to admit that as a gay man and as a long-time Alan Scott fan I had very mixed feelings. I did think the re-introduction was handled well, though. Alan being gay isn’t much more change than Jay being an insecure college student (or Terry being a villain…)
    Writer James Robinson indicated that part of his motivation for changing Alan’s sexual orientation was that Obsidian (his gay son pre-New 52) doesn’t fit in continuity anymore, so this balanced the character scales.

  2. There are lots of changes, it is something I feared since I first heard of the New 52. I have been reading these characters for so many years, that some of the abrupt changes strike me as odd. Not just Alan, but all the other examples you mentioned. I think that as time goes by it will all normalize in my head. Thanks for the comment.

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