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Mild Mannered Reviews - "Earth 2" Comics

Earth 2 #18 Earth 2 #18

Earth 2 #18

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 4, 2013

Cover date: February 2014

"The Dark Age - Part 2"

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

The World Army is in tatters due to the devastating effect that is named Brutaal. Commander Khan has been impaled and the Flash has decided to engage Brutaal in an effort to distract him from further destruction. Meanwhile, Batman is attempting to release "monsters" with Major Sato as his only obstacle. A brief engagement demonstrates that Batman is more than human, as he survives a bullet to the head with no issue. He succeeds in releasing "Aquawoman," Jimmy Olsen, and then terminates the Joker with extreme prejudice. The Flash's gambit proves ill-advised, as Brutaal is able to secure him despite his great speed. Superman signals Bedlam to open the fire pits, and the Earth is populated with parademons once more.

3Story - 3: The review was originally a 2, but it's probably best to hold off on such slating and see if Taylor can successfully pull this story back from the abyss. It's not that the story is bad, it's that there is little apparent, plausible way out of this situation. There aren't any heroes remaining who can effect a change in the events. Brutaal is efficient, powerful, and altogether peerless at this point. Batman has released players who ostensibly don't seem to provide much in the way of a solution, let alone the conjecture of an answer. Plainly put, it seems out-and-out hopeless, and that isn't very appetizing towards further reading.

The absence of hope does a strange thing to the human mind and heart. It robs creativity, resolve, and discipline. If there's no hope of losing weight, why exercise? If there is no chance that she'll love me, why bother to get out of bed? There would be little surprise if we saw the world on bended knee in complete capitulation. Earth 2 barely survived the onslaught that was Apokolips and it cost the three greatest wonders they had ever known. Now, with no defense to speak of, they have to do it again, and without any of the second tier wonders that this excellent series was once about. Certainly Batman has a plan, but he'd have to be clairvoyant to have a contingency for this.

It still irks me to see Brutaal, once the greatest force for good, slathered in darkness, murdering people, and ridding the Earth 2 of two things: hope and trust. No one will ever trust Brutaal should he regain his true nature (if there is one) and while you can struggle for a rose-colored result to this mercilessly god-forsaken vista, there just isn't one at this point. That really makes me wonder what the outcome can be from this send-up, as in all "actuality," Earth 2 should be property of Apokolips by issue #20. It makes me wonder if the resolution can be one of merit, or one that can only be enjoyed if you suspend not only belief, but reason. It makes me wonder when this winter of discontent with comic books being anything other than dark and deadly will be over?

4Art - 4: It's hard to compliment art without seeming to insult it, and Scott's line-work really brings out the despondent nature of this tale.

4Cover Art - 4: Misleading, but dynamic nonetheless.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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