With a book called Earth 2 you’d think having the planet destroyed would hinder the series, but the survivors live on! I check out issue #13 and ask the question: is it good?
Earth 2: Society #13 (DC Comics)
The DC Comics official summary for this title reads:
Can the device that Fury used to bring back the Amazons also provide the means to power up the new Earth-2, a world without natural resources? Hawkgirl thinks so, but given Fury’s background and history, can she convince the other Wonders and the rest of the world? Sides will be chosen as the future of the entire world may very well hang in the balance.
Why does this book matter?
If you ask me, Dan Abnett is one of the best writers in comics right now. He’s done some fantastic things with Aquaman, has had some hits over at Dark Horse and he seems to be writing circles around a lot of talented writers. Stick an entire planet filled with versions of the DC heroes we know and love and you have yourself a chance for some creative genius at play.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue has a good balance between story elements that keeps the pace quick and interesting. In a lot of ways this single issue proves superhero comics don’t need to be punching everything all the time to tell a good story. Abnett cuts back and forth between the political changes afoot and multiple children being scientifically aged and readied for war. The children (some of them are teenagers too) are being convinced to fight for a mysterious villain who is revealed on the final page and it’s at once creepy and frightening. Meanwhile, as the heroes broker a deal with Fury (who is in some ways similar to Wonder Woman) to combine forces, there are plenty of opinions and fears amongst the heroes. By bouncing between both stories Abnett builds toward a looming threat, but proves the heroes are going to need to trust each other if they think they can stop it.
This can’t be good.
With no punching that means there’s a lot of dialogue and Abnett writes it so it’s quite easy to digest. In one very strong sequence two characters discuss the heroes who meet later in the issue. It helps remind the reader who they are, the stakes in play, and how this world (now powered by the last Green Lantern ring) is a lot different from main one. As the characters fill us in they discuss supervillains, or lack thereof. A character is convinced they are a thing of the past, and whether she’s right or not doesn’t matter. It’s still interesting reading.
Federico Dallocchio draws this issue (with some great color work by David Calderon) and there’s some fantastic stuff in this book–a giant invisible jet for instance, or some fantastic layouts to keep the dialogue-heavy scenes interesting. It’s too bad folks don’t give artists more credit for making a dialogue-heavy scene work, but you can see it here with well timed closeups, body language and facial expressions to sell every important beat. The children cutaways are also well drawn as they convey a sense of impending doom, but don’t actually reveal much until we’re ready for it with the cliffhanger. All in all, very good stuff here.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This was my first time reading the series in a while and I had no trouble figuring out who most of the characters were because of the well timed exposition or the names they had. I didn’t know a character or two, but really that’s on me. Aside from that the issue probably could have used some action, but considering the shitstorm heading toward the heroes, I figure the next issue will more than make up for it.
That is one epic double page spread.
Is It Good?
Strong dialogue, art, and pace make this issue sing. It’s good reading and its pace is so damn good you could check your watch against it.