December 9, 2013

Review: Earth 2 Issue 18

Surprises galore are in store in the latest issue of the Earth 2 under new writer Tom Taylor in his sophomore effort. A shocking ending caps off a decent story as you won't believe who bites the bullet!

Issue 18 of Earth 2 certainly has it's cup filled to the brim of action, intrigue and surprises, which isn't anything new from former writer James Robinson's run.  This time around, Taylor inserts more recognizable counterparts of DC Comics' superheroes on this world as opposed to the Golden Age ties Robinson had frequently utilized before.  The new Dark Knight figures heavily in this storyline, as he proceeds to help the World Army and the remaining wonders, gather aid in stopping Superman and his allies from conquering the planet.  The changes with the new characters would be jarring for most longtime readers with the shift in the use of more familiar heroes to gain a wider audience. It's still too early to see what Taylor's plans are with the previous Golden Age theme but suffice to say, the cast is continually rounding out with more modern wonders than before. Even the base of operations used by the World Army has a familiar name, with "Arkham" littered throughout most of the scenes it pertains to.

Mr. Terrific caught up in the action

If there's any consistency left for longtime readers, it's the beautiful work of artist Nicola Scott, whose own interpretations of the modern heroes remain vibrant and stunning as before.  The amount of detail Scott utilizes in each panel is a joy to view with each turn of the page.  There are a few wordless panels that just speak volumes in terms action and activity. The intensity of the color work really bring the pages to life with the dark tones mixed with the bright costumes of the wonders. Although don't be surprised if you aren't sick of the color red by the end of this story!

With the shift to modern interpretations of their other-world counterparts, long time readers may be disappointed as I was with the surprises that lie ahead.  The covers by Ethan Van Sciver seem stiff and marketed to casual readers as was the case for the previous issue. I fear the Golden Age heroes may be limited in further appearances and interpretations.

Final Verdict: 7/10

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