Review: Earth 2 #17 by Tom Taylor and Nicola Scott

Earth 2 #17 Superman vs Batman 1

Earth 2 #17

Written by Tom Taylor

Art by Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott, and Pete Pantazis

 

The short of it:

Superman returned, once the greatest hero, now a herald of Darkseid. He brings with him death and destruction, tearing apart the World Army, the Wonders, and even Steppenwolf. He cut a scar across Eurasia, and the death toll is large enough that they don’t even try and clarify it for us. Everyone is trying to pull together something to stop him, and the World Army has a last attempt. The Red Tornado android, which hasn’t been tested in its current programing, may be their best hope. Because Sam Lane had his daughter’s mind uploaded into it. Lois Lane, the Red Tornado, but Superman is already there.

Commander Khan, Terry Sloane, and the remaining Wonders try to come up with a strategy, but it seems that Fate is their only option. Sam Lane is interrupted by an alert that someone has broken into the lower levels of their facility, where they hold prisoners in stasis. He wants the intruder dead, or the prisoners dead. Either way, he doesn’t want them out. Too bad he doesn’t have enough men to stop The Batman. Just like Fate doesn’t have the power to stop Superman…I mean, he teleports out to fight him and is instantly pummeled until Flash has to rescue him from Superman trying to crush his face with a boot. Khalid breaks, Fate is gone.

Superman brought the ground down around him, however, and in the collapse the Red Tornado has begun seeking her father, only to find him buried in the rubble. He blames himself one last time, admitting that he knew Clark was Superman, and he apologizes to his resurrected daughter one last time before dying.

Something that The Batman will not allow, as he intends to unleash the prisoners of the World Army to fight back against the brutality that is the Man of Steel.

 

What I liked:

  • Red Tornado Lois is actually a pretty cool little status quo. It either gives a reason for why, for the first time ever, Red Tornado won’t be fodder; or, it might provide an even harsher kick to the crotch when Superman dismembers the robotic version of his late wife.

  • The art is freaking gorgeous. Nicola Scott is one of the elite artists in the industry today, and it’s about time she receive some more recognition. There is some fantastic character work, the action looks amazing, the detail work is phenomenal, and this is easily one of the best looking books I’ve read all week.

  • I mean, just look at the design for evil Superman and tell me that doesn’t look badass.

  • I want to see Batman’s army of crazy people, that sounds great.

  • I always love the little things in this book, the name drops, the inclusions of new versions of everyone. I mean, Sonia Sato of the World Army makes me miss Judomaster, and I didn’t give a damn about Judomaster before!

  • This is one of the stronger examples I’ve seen in recent memory of a writer coming in and picking up right where the previous guy left off. Now, I know it’s just one issue, but he took the universe that Robinson had been building and moved things into all out chaos, which really is his forte. I’m really eager to see where it goes. Like, REALLY eager. An end of the world status quo? YES PLEASE!

 

What I didn’t like:

  • Every time we get Batman on a cover, he gets a page or two near the end. How about upping his part in the book or putting someone else on the cover?

  • If Alan is already dead, then I’m going to call ‘weak’.

  • One thing that this issue doesn’t do well at all is establish locations. The book has a global feel, but at any given time I have no idea where people are supposed to be. I thought Superman was fighting people in Dherain, but then he’s over the Arkham base, and all of the sudden everyone he was fighting in Dherain is there too. And Sam Lane AND Batman are there too!

 

Final thoughts:

Fate is broken, and as gaspy as that may be, I’m not hating it. I love the concept of Fate, but I’d been hating the version that Robinson had introduced. If this leads to an alteration of his status quo, or the inclusion of a new Fate, I’ll be happy. Hell, if it means that there will be no Fate, I’ll be happy.

Man, I’m picturing this book with an M rating and it would be so awesome. I say this as I look at a panel of Superman holding two halves of the same poor schmuck.

Mr. Terrific, both of them, need more love.

Tom Taylor did the impossible. He found a way to make me give a damn about the Red Tornado. Kudos, Tom!

When does Injustice come back? Can we do an Injustice/Earth 2 crossover where the general populations of both worlds cry as their Supermen fight over who is a bigger monster.

I really liked this book when it launched, like, I loved James Robinson’s attempt at modernizing these classic characters. Unfortunately, after the first arc, the book completely fell apart. I’m not sure if it’s because James tried to go too big too fast, or maybe he discovered his frustration that led him away from the book a bit earlier than expected. Regardless, the stuff with Fate was boring, and the buildup to the all out war was too slow, and I was fully prepared to cut ties from this book after his last issue.

Tom Taylor is someone I had never heard of before he was announced as writing the Injustice comic, which I only scoped out because I bought the game. Fast forward several months, and his name is what sold this issue to me, because that Injustice series was GREAT! Like, I can’t wait for it to return from hiatus already great. I’m talking the kind of great that left me perfectly ready and willing to scope out other books he’s written, which led me to this issue. Taylor brought the carnage that Injustice proved that he was more than capable of writing with ease, and he took his angry violent Superman and dialed him up WAY past eleven. It was one thing to see a Superman that wanted to save the world by force, but this Superman wants to slaughter everything and it’s just freaking awesome.

If you haven’t read Earth 2 before, do it now. RIGHT NOW! You won’t be sorry!

Overall: 9/10

Tags: , , , , , , ,