Review: Earth 2 #18 by Tom Taylor and Nicola Scott

earth2_cv18

Earth 2 #18

Written by Tom Taylor

Art by Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott, and Pete Pantazis

 

The short of it:

In the aftermath of Superman laying all sorts of smackdown on the World Army, the survivors try to pick up the pieces. Mr. Terrific’s, Terry and Michael, are both still with us. So is Wesley Dodds of the Sandman Squad. Commander Khan…he’s impaled. Not dead, just impaled. Regardless, place needs an evacuation, and with Superman flying above they aren’t getting one. Not until Flash hits him in the head with a rock and runs away REALLY fast. He forgot just how fast the Man of Steel can be. Deep below, in the stasis chambers, Batman is talking Sonia Sato into not shooting him, doesn’t work too well, but he’s able to disarm her and she’s able to hit him hard enough to find out that he’s most likely not human. Red Tornado shows up, and Lois manages to drag it out of him that he has no clue who Bruce is, but then Sonia shoots him in the head. And that doesn’t slow him down at all, he’s got people to release. Like Aquawoman.

Flash is still racing away from Superman, and he’s doing well until those Omega style eye beams hit him, and then he opts to break Jay’s ankle rather than kill him. This means the distraction is gone, which means that those in the World Army trying to save lives need to hurry up. Dodds is able to get Khan out, because his impaling wasn’t a mortal blow, but then Superman shows up to say that the Mr. Terrific’s are needed by Darkseid. And that Bedlam should unleash the hordes.

Batman continues releasing prisoners, adding Jimmy Olsen to his list of people to save. Apparently Jimmy is super smart and able to pull up all kinds of information. Thirty seconds with a phone and he’s able to tell them everything that’s gone on, including the hordes of Parademons that are now attacking. This means that this small group of….heroes? I’m going to say heroes, anyway, they need to get out of there. But not before Batman does something very….not Batman like.

 

What I liked:

  • Superman is still Superman, just evil. I had feared they were going to go the mindwipe an new personality route, which isn’t bad it’s just….been there and done that. Having him simply be corrupted, and the knowledge that despite something happening to change him, this is still Superman….that’s kinda awesome.

  • Tom Taylor is a master of organized chaos, and two issues in I already like this book more than Injustice. And I REALLY like Injustice.

  • Batman is super strong, comes back from the dead, may be crazy, knows a LOT, and REALLY hates Joker. Yep, this is a Batman I’m intrigued by.

  • Seriously, that’s how you eliminate the chances of having to do a Batman/Joker story. At least in the short term.

  • I like the design for Aquawoman. Really cool look.

  • Nicola Scott is amazing, it has to be said again, just like last issue. She does a fantastic job bringing this book to life, and it’s as exciting to look at as it is to read. I just wish she was doing the covers, too! Not that I have anything wrong with EVS, I just think her art deserves to be the cover and interior.

 

What I didn’t like:

  • It kinda feels like the new cast is coming in at the expense of the old one. Alan is missing, Jay has the broken ankle, Fate got his skull fractured, and everyone else is just sorta….somewhere. I’m all about the new characters, but it feels weak to spend the first year introducing all of these characters just to bury them for a new Batman and a Lois Lane Red Tornado.

  • Super powered Jimmy Olsen…I don’t have nearly as much love for Jimmy as other people do. I would have been happy with Airwave.

  • I kinda wish Commander Khan had died. I don’t hate him, but it would have been the time to do it and get a character off of the list.

 

Final thoughts:

Well no shit Flash hasn’t had to push himself before, he’s had his powers for like, a month. It’s really easy to forget the timeline of this book, but it can’t have been more than two or three months since the second issue.

With so many penciller/inker combos of husband and wife, my brain keeps telling me that Nicola and Trevor are married or just related, but I can’t find anything online that connects them beyond their work as a penciller and inker team, so it’s just one of those happy coincidences. Unless I’m just completely wrong. Obviously, this doesn’t really matter, but it’s something that I’ve definitely thought of a few times.

So who is Batman? He’s not Bruce, and doesn’t seem to know who Bruce is. He’s obviously not Superman, but he has Superman like powers…well, the strength and durability at least. Not to mention his costume, which apparently made the bullet explode on impact when he was shot in the head.

Superman as an asshole is awesome. So awesome.

Why am I glad this book is what it is and not some JSA book? Because if this were a JSA book we’d just have another generic superteam with nostalgia characters, and instead we’ve got a modern take on those characters in a world that never would have worked with the Golden Age heroes. This degree of organized carnage and mayhem only works in the right scenario, and James Robinson set it up perfectly for Taylor to come in and do what he does. Nostalgia is great, but this is absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Overall: 9/10

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