Hello everyone! Chris Renshaw here again from Obsessive Comics Disorder (http://ocdcast.com) with a new digital comic to share with you guys.
A bit of a disclaimer up front: I am a HUGE DC Comics fan. I've been in love with all the great stuff that has come out of the new 52 push that they have been doing since September. I do love other comics as well, so I will make sure that next week's pick will not be from DC. However, this weekend I happened to be at my local comic book store for Free Comic Book Day and one of the titles that caught my eye was "Earth 2" (DC Comics, $3.99) by James Robinson, Nicola Scott, and Trevor Scott. I decided to wait on it for the time being, as I mentally added it to my "I'll wait a month and get it for a $1 cheaper on comixology" list. Yet, for the rest of the day it kept nagging at me, so I decided to take the plunge and buy it early on comixology for the regular $3.99 price.
With the "Second Wave" of the new 52, DC cancelled a few books that were not doing so well and replaced them with different titles. Two of these titles, Earth 2 and World's Finest bring back the idea of the multiverse to this newly rebooted DC Universe. "Earth 2" is the designation for another Earth in another universe that is much like our own (if you remember the TV show "Sliders"....it's kinda like that). The book titled Earth 2 gives a look into this world and its superheroes. The book starts out with a storyline much like the first arc of the new "Justice League" book by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee; with demons from Apokolips coming to take over our world. In the main DCU, this is what brought the Justice League together in the first place. For Earth 2, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman have been around for quite awhile before meeting these forces. By the end of the book, circumstances arise where a new breed of superheroes may be on the horizon, yet these characters may be familiar to those that have read DC books before.
From the beginning, I loved this book. It has everything that you would want from an alternate universe tale: characters that we are used to acting from a slightly altered point of view. For instance, we get to see a very touching moment between Batman and his Robin (who in this universe is his daughter). Yes, it is very cliche, but at the same time it isn't because it's Batman we are talking about, and we aren't given the chance to see his fatherly side come out that much.
In addition, the story doesn't spend an eternity dragging out the Apokolips War - if you want that you can read "Justice League". No, the story quickly wraps up and proceeds to introduce us to these "new" characters - which is the most interesting part to me. A bit of back story: in the past, the entire premise of Earth 2 has been that it is where the "Justice Society" lives - heroes like the FIRST Flash and Green Lantern (Jay Garrick and Alan Scott). Earth 2 originally was DC's way of retconning what happened to those heroes and why we have a Barry Allen Flash and a Jay Garrick Flash. When DC smashed all of their universes together, these older heroes were now the Golden Age heroes who would later inspire the Modern Age heroes such as Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman.
Now, we are given a story where these heroes do not even emerge until after the War is over and the planet is hoping for a new wave of heroes to emerge. It's a twist on the characters and idea behind Earth 2 and in my opinion it's executed very well. It serves as a mirror counterpiece to Johns/Lee's Justice League, with the art and style looking very similar, especially when dealing with the extra-terrestrial look of the Parademons from Apokolips.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5. Just about anyone can pick up this book and have a good understanding of this book. Those that have read Justice League will see the connections to that book and those who have been fans of the Justice Society will want to see the new take on these characters. As always though, it might be worth waiting a few weeks until this book drops to $2.99 -- depends on if saving a dollar is more important than reading the book now.
Am I wrong? Let me know; either in the comments below, via email (email@example.com), or send me a message via Twitter (@ChrisTheProf).