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Mild Mannered Reviews - "Earth 2" Comics

Earth 2 #22 Earth 2 #22

Earth 2 #22

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 2, 2013

Cover date: June 2014

"The Kryptonian" - Part 2

Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciller: Nicola Scott
Inker: Trevor Scott
Cover: Andy Kubert & Brad Anderson

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

Click to enlarge

Alan Scott, the Green Lantern of Earth 2, is reborn amidst a field of skulls, after being beaten to death by Brutaal. In the Batcave, Jimmy Olsen tries to make sense of Dr Fate's monosyllabic rambling. Lois Lane, now the Red Tornado, continues to bond with Val, a newly discovered Kryptonian held in secret by Terry Sloane. Bedlam gains from Sloane the information needed, and Brutaal goes off to find Val, but is more interested in finding the Batman, once he sees an image of him, not knowing that it's Thomas, not Bruce Wayne, who wears the cowl. Above ground, Lois takes Val on a flying lesson, which is quickly disrupted by the arrival of paradaemons and Brutal. Brutaal quickly dispatches Val, while the paradaemons slowly encroach upon Hawkgirl and Lois Lane. Lois yells "Clark" and Brutal pauses from the coup de grace about to be bestowed on Val. Lois identifies herself, and Brutaal pauses to respond: "Lois".

3Story - 3: One step forward, and by that, it really is one step. The confrontation between Brutaal and Val goes as it should, which is actually heartening, but let's save that for later on. The meat of the story takes place on the last page, an absolutely confounding act, as it works as a cliffhanger, but reveals how absent and empty the rest of the story is. Green Lantern's return is flat and questionable, as one must wonder if the Earth will bestow more might this time than last, and the asides between the characters are time and panel killers, as glacial move towards the inevitable crossover continues. Characters such as Hawkgirl, Jimmy Olsen, even Val, are all but wasted, as they serve no purpose other than filling up the panels and word bubbles. There's a lot of potential in the characters of Earth 2, but that potential won't be fulfilled until Brutaal, the Batman, etc. are no longer the major players of the game.

If there is one refreshing thing to view in the latest installment, it's the fight between Brutaal and Val. Too many times in too many mediums, new Kryptonians gain Superman's abilities within minutes, and master them in under an hour so as to pose a threat to him. Villains, of course, get the advance in power, as they have to threaten the heroes, and knowing this it's totally understandable why Val is handled as he is. However, it's the fact that Val poses no threat at all, and can be dispatched with ease that is, in a completely ironic manner, enjoyable. It's doubtful that this example will be followed or last, as the hero needs to win, and Val needs to do something heroic eventually, but he shouldn't pose a challenge and it's good to see that he doesn't. No, the true threat to Brutaal's reign is, of course, the Batman. Why Batman could and does pose such a threat isn't worthy of consideration, it's enough to have the cowl and a bat on the chest, with those in tow, no obstacle, realistic or otherwise is beyond you. It's telling that Batman looked at Val as Earth 2's best hope, and Val was defeated handily, while Brutaal views Batman as the threat, when nothing can stop him. Comic books.

Lois Lane's scene above ground with Val is well-done, and altogether moronic. Why they are exposing themselves when the entire planet is under siege just doesn't make sense, especially not the flying. It would make more sense it they were try to get him off Earth, and thereby closer to the unfiltered yellow solar radiation that is the Sun, but the scene is remarkably light and altogether senseless. When they're found and attacked, the urge to wag one's finger like the archetypical mother, is extremely hard to repress. The area where the battle occurs looks great. There is plenty of greenery and sunshine in stark contrast to what we've seen of the planet thus far. The irony shouldn't be lost that we're looking at Gotham City, or at least its suburbs, so the crime ridden city has shaken that moniker for at least this issue. The whole experience is akin to consuming an air-pie until the very last page. It's then that the story finally takes shape, but the why of it all is extremely telling.

When Red Tornado, (and it's extremely confounding to have to choose between Tornado and Lane, as they're both established characters; it's akin to placing Sherlock Holmes in Superman's body forever) reveals that she's Lois Lane, and Brutaal actually responds to being called "Clark", it's a great moment and a reminder of the relationship between Superman and Lois; a relationship cannot be dulled or erased with all of Darkseid's machinations. It's also a relationship that DC has been running from since the start of the New52, and to be frank, it's surprising that it would be used here at all. It's doubtful that Lois can turn the tide of events, so it's a wait-and-see venture from here on to how the reveal will affect things... especially Brutaal. Still, Lois and Superman remains a fixture that writers draw on, even when it's no longer a fixture.

So goes part two of "The Kryptonian" and again, there is little connection to the title, which is more a personal desire to be seen than anything else. I do want to know who the titular Kryptonian is and why, but like all else with Earth 2, it's time to wait. Again. Some more.

4Art - 4: The last panel was a perfect full stop on Scott's impressive pencils this month. She hit every mark out of the park this month. Just look at panel 2 as opposed to panel 5 on the last page.

1Cover Art - 1: Green Lantern fights paradaemons? Right.

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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