Review! Earth 2, Vol. 1: ‘The Gathering’ [No Spoilers]

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Zany antics abound in our first glimpse (sort of) of the New 52 Multiverse, and James Robinson and Nicola Scott give us a weird, quasi world government, a lot of saint language to celebrate the fallen Trinity (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, of course), and a new use for a B-list villain that can only provide just the right degree of adversity to bring together, hopefully, the fledgling team of new “Wonders” to protect the world.

Earth 2 Vol. 1It sounds like a scaled-back mega-plot, and to some extent, that’s exactly what it is. The plot revolves first around the Earth-2 version of Darkseid’s Parademon invasion, the tragic aftermath that martyrs a more-experienced trio of Wonders than the Earth-Prime version we encounter in Justice League, Vol. 1: Origins , and a struggle that unifies a trio of apostate and new metahumans, including a college-age Jay Garrick (the Flash), a Hawkgirl on the run from the World Army, and a brand-new, totally different Green Lantern. Robinson hurries to fill in a lot of the gaps in the 5-year jump forward in time that comes as part of this catch-up volume, and as such, the size of the conflict that the story centers on never feels quite as big as they want it to be. Ultimately, we can be sure that there is much more to come, a larger conflict and a more robust roster of Justice League members (or whatever they’re going to be called) in the issues to come, but as that’s the expectation that we take away from the story, the end of this first arc falls somewhat flat.

The artwork, however, is stunning. Nicola Scott sketches up a beautiful, detailed world with expressive, easy-to-follow action sequences and impressive settings, especially on splash pages or other large panels. She also gives the story some of the most expressive facial models that I’ve seen in a while, especially in issue #1, as the entire issue revolves around the final moments of Darkseid’s invasion. The drama of that issue lends most of its power to the art of Nicola Scott, as does much of the overarching narrative.

BACKLOG PRIORITY
7.5/10 – Even as the storytelling stumbles towards the end of the collection, the artwork gets better and better, and as such, is worth checking out.

– Vandal

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2 thoughts on “Review! Earth 2, Vol. 1: ‘The Gathering’ [No Spoilers]

  1. I was hesitant to pick this one up, as I tend to not enjoy the complications of multiverse/alt realities/time travel storytelling (they get confusing and messy), but I have to say that after reading this one, BATMAN/SUPERMAN VOL. 1: CROSS WORLD, and then the first part of TRINITY WAR, I’m very glad I did.

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