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Mild Mannered Reviews - "Earth Two" Comics

Earth 2 #17 Earth 2 #17

Earth 2 #17

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 6, 2013

Cover date: January 2014

"The Dark Age Begins!"

Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciller: Nicola Scott
Inker: Trevor Scott
Cover: Ethan Van Sciver and Hi-Fi

Reviewed by: T.A. Ewart (aka liheibao)

Click to enlarge



Earth 2 #17 General Lane recounts the events of last issue to an unseen POV. It's revealed that the POV belongs to the android body of a female Red Tornado, who bears the consciousness of Lois Lane. On the battlefield, Amire Khan, commander of the World Army, has ordered a full retreat as his forces are being decimated by Brutaal, who is Superman, now Darkseid's thrall. Terry Sloan sorts that Superman wants something in the World Army's base, while Mr Terrific states the obvious of Superman being unstoppable. Dr Fate believes he can stop Superman with magic. Fate leaves the base and is immediately snatched-up by Brutaal, who proceeds to stomp the Helmet of Fate until it cracks. The Flash rescues Dr Fate, who begins to ramble incoherently. The Flash decides to return to the battle, as he believes he's fast enough to engage, yet avoid, Brutaal. The base is breached, but not by Superman. Batman enters the fray, and makes short work of the World Army guards, who were blocking access to the status tubes below. Batman is blocked by Major Sato, who threatens to blow up the room if Batman proceeds. Batman argues that the world is in peril, and monsters and madmen may be the only hope left to them.

3Story - 3: A couple of notes before going further: 1)I'm going to refer to Superman as Brutaal for convenience. It'll help when Superman actually comes to fight Brutaal as well. 2) If you haven't read Earth 2 #0 and Earth 2 #1, you should. They're the only appearances of Superman in Earth 2 before he becomes Darkseid's thrall... if that is the case. Now, let's do it.

Earth 2 was the story of the old Earth 2 inverted. The JSA were the WWII heroes who defeated the Axis powers, and lived in a pleasant world they had made safe. This Earth 2 is a war torn pit, fighting against a much greater threat than the Axis in the form of Apokalips. The threat that Apokalips poses in this series has never felt more real. Part of that is the destruction we saw in Earth 2 #1, but also in the ultimate sacrifice that was made by Earth 2's triumvirate. However, at this juncture, it really seems hopeless for Earth 2 without some serious help from pre-2011. The World Army was no match for Steppenwolf, let alone the destruction and death that is Brutaal. It's a godless scene that were introduced to, and that is restrictive towards looking forward to what may come. A scene can be bleak, but it shouldn't feel out and out empty. Blame it on Brutaal.

Brutaal is every bit his namesake, and Scott makes no bones about showing him shred men in half, which after shearing Steppenwolf in two, is practically tame. Taylor is the go to man for Brutaal, especially after his work on Regime Superman from Injustice: Gods Among Us. In that story, Taylor had to play within a story that had an established conclusion. In Earth 2, he follows Robinson, surely, but without the fetters of having to make the story fall in line with what must be. Thus far, it's an interesting effort. Brutaal is being established as a match for only Darkseid at this point, right down to the omega vision zig-zagging from his eyes. Kryptonite? Don't play yourself, Brutaal won't give you the chance to use it. Magic? NO MORE MAGIC! Brutaal has cracked the Helmet of Fate no less (which mirrors Ultraman's actions in Forever Evil #3), so forget about casting spells that require any proximity to Brutaal. Red sunlight is left, but there's every reason to believe that Brutaal will show the fallacious nature of that system of attack as well. He's an awe and shock inducing character, but with the level of power he's bringing to the table, how can he possibly stopped by anything the World Army might possess? That's the trap being established.

I expect that Brutaal will be defeated, more than likely killed, but theDeusexMachinathat's going to be needed is potentially outrageous. It can't be love for Lois Lane in an android body, or a Kryptonite bullet. A bruiser like Brutaal is going to require some top writing to make me believe he can be defeated, and here's to hoping that Taylor is up to the task.

4Art - 4: Scott's work is so vivid, it's nightmare inducing. That's a good thing.

2Cover Art - 2: Batman? Booooriing! Brutaal? Double boring. They should allow for a wrap-around so they can convey to a prospective reader all that awaits within.


Mild Mannered Reviews

2014

Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2014

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