Nuclear explosion cliffhanger, I’m not sure that you can possibly top that but last time I checked the book hasn’t been cancelled so that means the heroes are still alive in some horrific fashion.With the sheer amount of death and punishment being bombarded on this book, the question needs to be asked. Can this bleak world become even bleaker? What else can the deadly combo of Tom Taylor and Nicola Scott possibly cook up in their minds to twist the arms of our heroes? Will there be some some ray of light? The answers to those questions are yes….and no. Let’s dive in and find out together.
The nihilistic tone continues with the opening scene with The Flash being tortured by the ghost Beguiler. While the scene starts out as heavy, it’s actually has a small tone change with Flash actually questioning how a being like Beguiler can exist. It’s definitely refreshing to laugh a small laugh. Taylor reminding us that the characters do have personalities despite the end of the world occurring.
Switching back to Gotham, the book catches up with Green Lantern and Hawkgirl and proving how powerful he is, his construct survived a nuclear explosion. A great way to display his powers without Alan proclaiming anything. From a writing standpoint Taylor includes a reference to Watchmen that took a bit out of story.
Considering the lines of dialog used, it simply felt weird coming out of Alan’s mouth. It seems he got a bit more arrogant over the past thirty days. Nicola Scott does a great of showing said arrogance with the subtle smirk gleaming off of Alan’s face. Perhaps the power is changing him a bit?
Taylor transitions to Amazonia with the rest of the escaped heroes, and this small scene is what I like to to call the X-Men team building exercise, in which team members will yell at each other to come closer as a unit. This scene in particularly involving Val, Jimmy, and Batman. Nicola Scott art is what makes this tense situation all the more lovely to watch.
Val’s helplessness comes through with his body posture. His slumped shoulders and the way he reaches for himself almost as if he was rubbing his arm to make the pain go away. It’s with Batman though that we see him go from angered to down right ashamed after Olsen gives him the tongue lashing of a lifetime. Almost makes you feel sorry for the guy, but then you remember what he did and you don’t.
The next few pages are what can been summed up as power showcase for Green Lantern. He bears most of the fight allowing Hawkgirl to rescue Flash. This is the first real power display for him since the Grundy fight, and even that fight didn’t show case what he could do. The panel of the camera looking underneath Green Lantern and seeing all the parademons reminds me of John Bryne’s depiction of Wolverine in the sewer, the use of shadowing and blacks and his posture is what I see similar.
The very same image that solidified his badness, hopefully this moment proves how cool Earth 2 Green Lantern can be.
Instead of closing on yet another bombastic finale, Taylor closes with a character moment between the Val and Jimmy. Clearly calling to classic friendship of the regular Superman and Jimmy Olsen. In this case the roles are reversed with Jimmy giving Val advice. It’s an excellent homage and even if you don’t understand the subtlety, it’s still an great scene of a growing friendship.
The final page by Nicola Scott is a interesting look into Val revealing his symbol for the first time. He looks unsure of of himself and you can see the fear in his eyes. It’s the complete opposite of what that moment is supposed to be. Yet it’s still a powerful piece of artwork.
Earth 2 this month was nice breath of fresh air from the defeats of the protagonist over the past several months. Maybe this is a turning point for the series itself? Only time will tell.
Earth 2 #24 earns a 4/5
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