A week ago the first issues of DC’s “Second Wave” hit the stands with four titles, including the much-anticipated Earth 2.
Whoa and Hmmm. If you buy Earth 2 and World’s Finest, read Earth 2 first because you’ll see some of the backstory for WF from a different perspective, and perhaps understand a little more fully the situation the girls are in.
James Robinson and Nicola Scott introduced a world where Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, along with Supergirl and Robin. But that’s it. There is no Flash, Green Lantern, etc. existing on this world. And, while Supergirl is still Superman’s cousin, Robin is Batman’s daughter Helena (no mention of her mother).
Also, they’re all friendly with each other.
Primarily set five years ago, the bulk of the story deals with The Big Three fighting the invading hordes of Apokolips, and their fall as they save the earth from another invasion by repelling Darkseid’s minions. But not without great cost: all three die as victory is realized. Supergirl and Robin follow parademon’s into a boom tube, and find themselves on Earth 1, if that is the proper term to use.
(Side bar: what is it about five years ago? On Earth 1, many of the heroes began emerging or appearing to the public, including several coming together and forming the Justice League in Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s first arc of the same title, which also involved an Apokoliptian invasion!)
All of this serves to set up the current events of Earth 2: we learn the narrator of the story has been Alan Scott, CEO of a major news organization, who had put a piece together memorializing the deaths and victory five years before.
(Side bar 2: Scott is flying over Italy, where giant craters of flame and smoke still exist from the battle. They eerily resemble the flame pits of Apokolips.)
Then, the story cuts to a young Jay Garrick who is being dumped by his girlfriend. While drinking his woes away, a light appears in the sky, streaking towards him and cratering in the ground near by. Hermes has arrived with a warning of danger and need.
I think James Robinson and Nicola Scott did great with this issue. James’ story doesn’t leave you bored, with lots of action, drama, and some mysteries to keep you entertained. Obviously, there is a lot going on here that isn’t fully understood, but I don’t doubt he will superbly craft the new origins of the golden age characters, as they face the new challenges.
Nicola Scott’s art is good as ever. Her characters are well defined, as is her backgrounds and scenery. The expression on Robin’s face, as Batman is killed in an explosion, is full of pain and angst. Overall, the art is very richly detailed and flows smoothly.
A fine start to the mysteries of the DC multiverse.
World’s Finest: Power Girl & Huntress
This book picks up after the just completed Huntress mini-series, also by Paul Levitz. The two stranded girls have flown to Japan so Kara can show something off.
Overall, this story is quiet, with some action near the end. The story dovetails between current day and the moments after the pair arrived on this earth.
George Perez and Kevin Maguire do a fantastic job with the former handling current day and the latter handling the past scenes.
While little seems to be mentioned about their current plans of action, Huntress has obviously been adventuring around the world, while Kara has built an empire and gathered large sums of money for something. Kara has also, somehow, bridged their former world with their new one. For what reason remains unexplained.
I don’t know about this one. The first story involves modern day special ops invading North Korea, only to find themselves fighting with all sorts of dinosaurs, while the second is about a man who privately financed his war on the Taliban because terrorists killed his family. Basically, a faceless Punisher who is in the Middle East.
Thematically, this replaces the Men Of Valor title as the war title in DC’s line, and functionally it will be an anthology book with rotating stories.
With J.T. Krul’s war that time forgot story, I felt a little lost and disoriented reading, wondering what the heck was going on. Perhaps that is something he was aiming for, because the concept is a wonky one to begin with, although it has been played out across different media for decades.
Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray’s story is intriguing to me, but not enough for me to add this title to my pull list.
When first announced, someone suggested that perhaps this was a way of DC renewing their copyrights on the characters, concepts, and names. Maybe. But, wouldn’t it have been easier to just do one-shots or a mini-series? Perhaps I would pick that up, instead, and it would give DC a little variety in their publishing efforts.
Ok, this was a fun story, albeit with some weird and creepy goings on.
The premise of this book is that dialing a number summons something to aid you. What that thing is, how it’s determined to be that thing, is unknown.
The summoned monster reminded me of Jim Carry in The Mask, particularly the scene where he confronts the gang members.
The story starts with two friends arguing over one’s health and what that friend should be doing to better take care of himself, his obesity, and general poor health. However, the concerned friend isn’t doing too well with his own life, as he’s associated with some questionable folks who start beating him up.
Enter the other friend who tries to dial help, hits a few keys, and out pops a frightening but also funny being who puts a stop to the assault.
If Batman, Inc wasn’t returning I might have continued with one of these…I hope they get good support and continue on. Well, except for G.I. Combat…still not sure about that one.