Review & Spoilers for EARTH 2: WORLD’S END #1

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EARTH 2: WORLD’S END #1 Review

“Apokolips Now” (38 pages)

Story by: Daniel H. Wilson

Written by: Daniel H. Wilson, Marguerite Bennett & Mike Johnson
Pencils by: Adrian Syaf & Sandra Hope & Danny Miki; Jorge Jimenez; Eddy Barrows & Eber Ferreira; Paolo Siqueira & Cam Smith

Breakdowns by: Scott McDaniel

Colors by: John Kalisz, Allen Passalaqua & Jason Wright
Letters by: Dezi Sienty
Covers by: Adrian Syaf & Jaime Mendoza w/ Tomeu Morey; Yanick Paquette w/ Nathan Fairbairn
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

 

WWWHHHOOOEEE!!! An all-star array of comic creators! This is as extensive as they come!

I shall examine this book in two parts. Appropriate, don’t you think?

 

THEN:

From the get-go, the Multiversity is addressed! It’s obvious that Earth 2 is well known to readers of the New 52. It’s real neat to see the other Earths in a spiral with a sun in the centre. Any of you catch the cube planet (Bizarowurld)?

Alan Scott, the Green Lantern of this reality/universe is the main narrator. All the pieces start fitting nicely. The flashbacks pull back more layers to what was an explosive debut for Earth 2 #1. Alan is (in)directly party/privy to the coming of the Apokoliptans with wanting to invest in Boom Tube tech discovered by none other than the contemptible Dr. Terry Sloan.

Various vignettes give the major players a chance to shine.

(a)    It’s good to see more time with Alan and his former love Sam since [SPOILER!] he was killed in Earth 2 #2. Sam is the definite voice of reason in Alan’s quest for glory. No good ever comes out of using/accessing alien tech. Any sci-fi movie ever made has proven this!!

(b)   Mention of the 9th Dimension is news to me. I find it curious that Steppenwolf and Fury are biding their time there with former ‘traitors’ Mr. Miracle and Big Barda.

(c)    Batman and Robin have zeroed in on Accountable, the world’s most formidable hacker. He happens to be none other than Jimmy Olsen. Shock of shocks: Jimmy blurts out “Bruce” when the Dark Knight comes crashing in.

(d)   Lois, Perry and the rest of the Daily Planet perish when a horde of Parademons begin the invasion.

(e)    Loss is experienced by the Trinity — Kal has lost Lois, Bruce sees Selina vaporized, and Diana leads her Amazons into a losing battle.

(f)    The World Army is created making all countries of the planet one to fend off against the Apokoliptan forces. Commander Khan is appointed the head honcho.

(g)   The Trinity, along with Supergirl and Robin, meet one last time before their fates are unraveled.

(h)   Dick and Barbara Grayson look in on their son. I don’t see yet the relevance of including them here but it’ll definitely be laid out as the weeks progress. Having been caught up to speed with the main Earth 2 title, I can certainly say that they have never been featured before.

(i)     Jay Garrick loses the love of his life Joan before Mercury bestows him with god-like speed.

(j)     Back to that doom-filled day when Alan was just about to propose to Sam as the train is sabotaged by an explosion. At that very moment, Green Lantern is born.

(k)   Brutaal cuts a swath across the planet and disintegrates Steppenwolf; Green Lantern meets his apparent demise in a ‘godfire’.

(l)     Bedlam takes control of Terry Sloan, Mr. Terrific, and Mr. Miracle.

(m) New heroes Red Tornado and Val-Zod Superman emerge among others as the unofficially/never-named Justice Society is banded together!!

 

Given how this section is mostly a recap of pivotal events from the main book and serves to add more tidbits to sate the readers’ appetite, the writers are in essence displaying a patchwork quilt for newer readers or to entice returning readers. The story is told in simple snippets. Perhaps this is done as to not overwhelm any particular audience especially a casual on-looker of comics. Dialogue is succinct to reveal past details and to advance the plot. There’s nothing particularly memorable in terms of the lines delivered.

Jumping jamboree!! Why such collected effort? Was it release the book on time? Is it to bring out lesser known artists? Is it to visually differentiate the characters as moving pieces on a galactic chessboard? Only the editors at DC have the answers. I’ll keep this quite simple. The art is clean, crisp, and judiciously colored to fit the particular scenes.

Dezi Sienty’s lettering is bar-none! He makes it look so easy to have worked on the entire double-sized issue.

 

NOW:

The action keeps going to varying degrees.

(a)    Flash is scouring the planet gathering intel since the battle with Brutaal destroyed global communications. There is some playful banter between him and Hawkgirl. He gently jabs her when she expresses sympathy at him not being able to find his missing mother. He even goes so far as to ‘ruin’ her reputation. Hawkgirl plays it cool and threatens violence the next time they see each other. Kendra is doing recon over South America awaiting orders from Commander Khan.

(b)   More face time with the Graysons. They’re in a World Army refugee stronghold located in Chicago. Barbara is bemoaning her former status as a cop (future commissioner?) and Dick is frustrated that his days as a photojournalist are over. They console each other since that’s all they need and that’s all they got (along with their son Johnny).

(c)    Helena and Kara come back to their homeworld after a five-year absence. Their Earth is unrecognizable to them and definitely not anything that they expected. The trauma has touched them deeply. Their story continues for a few pages as they spot a new Superman and new Batman.

(d)   Commander Khan is stonewalled by the World Council in terms of getting better resources for his Army. His top priority is to restore the planet’s communications, energy, finances, and infrastructure. What’s scary is that Bedlam is still on the loose after the five-year war. Khan asks Sandman Wesley Dodds (who’s Canadian, natch!) for a sit rep on Terry Sloan. The man is unfindable as well after a half-decade.

(e)    Bedlam still has his trio of ‘terrorists’. Do I ever pity those men!! To be in his thrall after five long years is worse than any torture imaginable. Bedlam will now give them the sweetest release — death — since they’ve outlived their usefulness.

(f)    Barda seems to have switched sides since the amazing escape artist Mr. Miracle remains shackled and defeated. Bedlam comes via a boom tube beckoning Darkseid to finally come.

(g)   Hawkgirl comes across Dr. Fate after Sato has located him. He’s as incoherent as ever and easily evades the winged warrior.

(h)   The final scene has Kara and Helena meet up with their pseudo predecessors. Thankfully there’s no hero-fights-hero scenario. A quick conversation reveals much and an understanding is reached. Kara has an emotional reunion with Lois, her ‘momma’ while Helena is aghast that an older version of Batman knows her identity. The warm fuzzies fade fast when a new emissary of Darkseid arrives on the scene — K’Li, the Fury of Apokolips!!

 

The storytelling continues in the same format. This is the right approach since so many cast members each need a moment to shine in the spotlight. There is fluid movement and no truncation in light of the disparate chapters. I can’t help but wonder if the three writers each have their voice in one of the characters. I speculate that Alan Scott is Daniel H. Wilson, Marguerite is speaking through Kendra and Mr. Miracle’s thoughts are really Mike Johnson’s.

The creative crew keep the machine well-oiled as the art remains ‘consistent’.

Think of this as a pilot episode. There are many more things to come!! The world-building (pun intended!!) has barely begun.

Before I end it all, this is the best bargoon in today’s market: 38 pages for $2.99!

 

In recognition of the Multiversity, I give this issue an Earth-37 designation out of 52 [71%].

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