Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Earth 2 #3 Review

Welcome back to the Freeze Ray where I have some more comic book reviews for you. Why? Because my real life is empty and meaningless. Just kidding.

Kind of.

Lets pretend that embarassing personal revelation never happened and get moving shall we? Today we are starting with DC's Earth 2 by writer James Robinson and artist Nicola Scott.

This issue picks up right where last issue left off with Alan Scott's train exploding just as he's about to propose to his boyfriend Sam while, in Poland, Hawkgirl drops in on Jay Garrick a.k.a The Flash.

*SPOILER ALERT* Turns out Sam is dead, killed in the explosion. That's kind of awkward, considering DC made such a big deal about Alan Scott being their new gay character then killed off his love interest in page one of the next issue. So Sam may have died but he gets to live on as the inspiration for Alan's new life as a superhero, much like Bruce Wayne's parents. That must be very comforting.

I'm sure gay comic book readers will be totally cool with that and no one will call bullshit on it or anything.

To make a long story short Alan gets infused by the "energy of the earth" becoming the planets new champion Green Lantern. Much like Mercury did in the second issue, the Talking Green Fireball that gives Alan his powers offers some cryptc warnings about a great evil that is threatening the world and then prombtly dies(fizzles out).

In Poland, Hawkgirl decides to test the Flash's fighting skills, stomping his butt in the process. We see The New 52 version of Solomon Grundy make a devastating appearance at the end and that's the issue.

I'v been finding Earth 2 interesting but a little dissapointing. Individually the art and the writing are both very good but they just don't seem to be meshing together that well and as a result the comic feels very stiff to me.

Nicola Scott's style reminds me a little of Ivan Reis. It's what I consider ideal "superhero art" staying true to the very western/classical concept of the idealized superhero body while maintaining a certain sleekness and avoiding figures that are ridiculously muscular. The introduction of Solomon Grundy  and the scenes between Hawkgirl and the Flash stick out in my mind, filled with lots of dynamic engery and characters that are beautiful to look at...OK, maybe less so with Grundy

My point is her style puts the hero front and center at all times but Robinson's scripts give little for her characters to do. Lots of dialogue is crammed into small ballons but the art doesn't follow the beats of the conversation and the characters expressions don't do much to emphasis the weight of the words.

There were also a couple embarassing cases where it looks like the letterist accidentaly dropped a word. This isn't uncommon but at one point we have Jay Garrick incredulously repreating the phrase,"Trust you?! Trust you?!" which no one in in the comic has actually said. Did an entire conversation go missing or something?

The series is just three issues in so far so there's more than enough time for the creative team to get a good rythm going. The good still out weighs the bad in my opinion and the characters, the designs, and the concepts are all intriguing enough to keep me reading.

What did you guys think about this issue? Feel free to post your thoughts below. Also, this isn't hugely relevant but I am loving the new Hawkgirl. Anybody else?

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