EARTH 2 #18

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No... it's... eh? Nah! That's can't be right! For the love of God, that can't be Tom Taylor and Nicola Scott doing their best Superman impression! I'm nigh on positive they told the Publisher: DC Comics, they would never do that again! Especially after that fiasco in December, 2013!!!

Using GENERAL terms, answer the following 4 questions about this SECOND PART of 'The Dark Age'.
  • WHAT'S THE MAIN THRUST OF THIS TALE: 'Don't try and stop me' says Batman to the rather trigger happy Major Soto. 'I'm going to enlist a handful of your cryogenically frozen inmates' he then continues, 'Before standing here, motionless, without saying anything even remotely amusing'.
  • ARE THE MAIN OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED: Well, let just say two new recruits are added to the roster, shall we? A splashy one and a techie one. Despite Red Tornadoes sudden yet abrupt arrival.
  • ANYTHING ELSE HAPPEN: Yeah. Two things actually. Firstly, Mister Terrific attempts to rescue Commander Khan from the wreckage of the Arkham Command Centre. And secondly, the Flash manages to piss off Superman so much; he then has to run away from him pretty damn quickly.
  • HOW DOES THIS STORY END: With a madman getting shot in the face before Armageddon arrives. 

All in all, what is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
Picture the scene. The Flash has just thrown a big boulder at Superman's head -- THUNK! -- and then, mere moment before the Man of Steel can retaliate against him, the Fastest Man Alive timidly looks up and says...

'Oh! This was not so well thought out'.

Ha! I couldn't have put it better myself!  

What are the BEST bits about this issue?
(+) If truth be told, last issue I was very-very pleased with Tom Taylor's and Nicola Scott's noted efforts on this book. In fact, I was so pleased with these two creators; a small part of me was concerned that this time round they might've dipped too far from the creative well. But no. I was wrong. Very wrong. In my estimations this issue was a lot better than last issue by far. Tom's story was both parallel in execution, and intriguing in tone. Where as Nicola's artwork got better and better at every turn of the page. Good on you, Aussie pals. Please keep up the good work. 
(+) I thought Jimmy Olsen and Aquawoman were two great additions to this story-line, because in hindsight, both of them brought a sense of 'the other' where character development is concerned. Turning what was once old new again.
(+) Even though the scene in itself didn't appear directly involved with this particular tale -- well, I don't think it was, anyway -- I still enjoyed that very one-sided confrontation between the Batman and the incarcerated Joker, because from my point of view, it was one of those scenes I'm sure will have some serious ramifications in the near future. Hint-hint!
(+) Oh-boy! That race between Superman and the Flash was a right blast, wasn't it folks? Especially how it started, with Jay jovially throwing a rock at Kal's face, BOINK! Heck, the only bad thing I can say about it...

What are the WORST bits about this issue?
(-) ... was that this secondary 'sub-plot' -- including the Mister Terrific one -- did break-up the momentum of the overall story-line. Giving it that start / stop quality I'm personally not too fond off.
(-) Wait up! What the heck is this new Batman supposed to be? I hope he isn't some sort of mechanized robot -- as implied in this issue -- because that really would piss me off!

What SONG, THEME-TUNE, or MELODY, would complement this tale, or add and extra dimension to it by default?
'RUNAWAY' BY DEL SHANNON: Now I want you to do something for me, pal. I want you to play the following song, and then close your eyes and envision a race where a rampaging Superman is chasing after the Flash. Got it? Good. Then you know why I have chosen to compare this tune to this tale. Ha!

If this story gave off a scent, what ODOUR would it be and why?
OZONE: For those of you who are unsure what ozone actually smells like, please open your refrigerator door and then take in a big long whiff. Go on. Shift. I'll wait here until you're finished.

[Two minutes later]

There. So now you've got that smell in check, all I've got to say about it, is that its one of those smells that very clean, very chemically, and very sterile and pure at the same time. Just like this story in fact. Hmm?

What QUOTE would be appropriate to sum-up this story?
'A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have' -- Abraham Lincoln

Once again, please picture the scene. Me and my mate Andy drinking down the local pub, having a rather nice conversation that kind of went like this...

ME: Are you serious?
ANDY: Yes. Of course I'm serious.
ME: But what you just said doesn't make any sense to me, Andy? Why would DC bring back a new version of Batman and Superman to 'Earth 2', just so they can then transform this title into some sort of 'Worlds Finest' spin-off?
ANDY: Hey! Money speaks, pal! You know for a fact that Batman and Superman can make more cash than the rest of the JSA combined. With them on the book now, the JSA will be bit-players, and Supe's and Bat's will take center stage. For sure.
ME: Well, if that's the case, why did James Robinson kill them off at the start of this series? Why not have the 'original versions' un-dead?
ANDY: Hey! That was James Robinson. This is Tom Taylor. I'm sure he'll have something up his sleeve that'll twist this book into a downward spiral.
ME: 'Downward spiral'? Get out of it, pal! Superman and Batman were a part of the JSA since back in the day! Admittedly, they were only part-timers at best. Yet that's not to say their legacies -- as well as the legacies of the Earth 2 Robin, Huntress, and Powergirl -- hasn't made their mark on this team!
ANDY: Mark my ass! I can't stand this version of the 'JSA' at all. And it just kills me to see it go the way it has.
ME: There! Now you're talking. Your gripe has nothing to do with Tom, Superman, or Batman. What you really don't like is the book in itself. You wanted an original take on the 'JSA', but what you got instead is an 'alternate' take that you can't abide by. 
ANDY: Yeah.  Your right, but...
ME: Hey. No 'but's' Andy. When DC decided to renew the DCnU, even I was mortified with what they did to some of their characters -- particularly the JSA. However, what can we do about it, huh? These are the card's DC have dealt us with, and it's up to us if we want to stick or turn.
ANDY: Me... I want to turn.
ME: Yeah. I feel you, pal. Honestly I do. But please remember, what is one mans Jim Lee is another mans Will Eisner, with a splattering of Miller and Moore thrown in for good measure. Nothing is constant. Nothing is stable. The only thing that stay's the same are opinions and grievances against the flow of change.
ANDY: What the f*ck are you going on about now?
ME: Err? I don't know. Just shut up and have another drink, will you? All of this talking is making me thirsty.


Anyway. That's enough my cr*p for this month, folks. All I have left to say is that this issue of 'Earth 2' reminded me of an episode of the 'X Factor' I wouldn't mind watching. The new contestants appear promising. The production values were very plush to say the least. And overall, yeah, I can't wait to see where this is heading next. 

Nuff said.

EARTH 2 #18 EARTH 2 #18 Reviewed by David Andrews on December 18, 2013 Rating: 5
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