Well that was a crazy 25th issue wasn’t it? Taylor continues to raise the stakes higher and higher for the Wonders of Earth 2, leaving only a sliver a hope to remain. This appears to be the conclusion to that really stems back to issue one. One can’t deny that this feels like the closing of a chapter to a gigantic book with an even bigger adventure waiting on the horizon. So what exactly does Taylor have planned for this issue? What magnificent art does Nicola Scott have up her sleeve, with this being her final issue on the series? Grab your popcorn and let’s finish this bad boy!.
Taylor opens the issue up with the wreckage of the Kent home after Superman’s abrupt leave last issue, with Lois flying towards the battle field. After a brief description of what the current situation is and what their objective is, the charge to save the Earth has begun. This opening sequence has that sense of dread that any climatic battle scene should have. It’s heroic but given how solemn the characters look, it gives weight to the battle.
Of course Nicola leads off with Batman punching down a gigantic animal of Apokolips. Who knew Thomas Wayne had that much punching power?
Cutting back to the fight between Val-Zod and Superman, Taylor uses this as a showcase for Val’s heroism. Plus I couldn’t help that Taylor was putting on a bit of meta commentary while Val calling Superman boring for being all violence, rage, and death. It’s reaching but it came to mine, lucky it doesn’t hinder the story. Superman manages to see through the diversion only to be stopped by Lois, who serves a diversion for Val to stop Superman.
Even if that scene wasn’t meant to be humorous that’s how it comes off and it helps due to intense action surrounding the issue. Make it grim and gritty, but tell a joke as Joss Whedon once said.
Which all leads to the climatic confrontation between Bedlam and the Queen of Atlantis. Being deceptive Taylor has the fight start off on the wrong foot, but soon Bedlam is dead with know explanation at the given time. The art isn’t clear and only until Batman says what happened to Bedlam, do we know how awesome the move against Bedlam was.
The problem is that it’s telling not showing of a cool moment. There should have been some indicator on what took place, but it’s only through exposition does the reader understand what happened. Nothing wrong it the idea, but at the end of the day the execution failed. A minor slip up.
However this all leads to the biggest disappointment of the issue and recent events in the series. As the fight continues between Val and Superman, Superman begins to turn gray and his body deteriorates. Leaving Lois to proclaim that it was never Superman, and by judging by Bedlam’s exit it’s safe to say that this Superman was a mere construct, and lost form when Bedlam suffered a stroke.
This one single moment takes the impact of all the previous horrible crimes that were apparentdly committed by Superman. Having it be Superman made the situation have more weight and made it feel more terrifying. It’s an attempted twist that ultimately did more harm than good. Perhaps the Superman of Earth 2 did die, or not. Who knows, maybe he’s the Superman in Future’s End now, or it’s Val Zod. That’s neither here nor there so time for the finale.
Nicola Scott gets the final heroic pose page as the “JSA” stands united for the first time. It’s a classic shot that Nicola does with justice, there by closing the chapter on the particular saga for Earth 2. However it looks like Bedlam is alive and next time he’ll have Fury (Wonder Woman’s daughter) and Big Barda to help him next time. October can’t come soon enough.
Earth 2 #26 was a fantastic conclusion to this arc. It was bombastic, keeping the reader on the edge of their seats only letting up when emotional moments needed to be hit, and even then those scenes were tense. Thank you Nicola Scott for your work on this, I speak for myself when I say I enjoyed each panel on each page. Also much love to Yildiray Cinar for his issues as well.
Earth 2 #26 earns a 4/5
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