Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer


James Robinson Earth 2 vol 1 cover

Buy At Amazon: Earth 2 Vol. 1: The Gathering (The New 52)

James Robinson and Nicola Scott are blowing my mind with Earth-2. The reimagining of the Justice Society (or maybe this is kind of a slipstream Justice Society since the New 52 is in effect) is just amazing. The new/old heroes are a welcome shock to the system, and the emphasis on the more supernatural aspects of the main characters’ powers (Alan Scott’s Green Lantern and Jay Garrick’s Flash) are awesome.

I have to admit, using a young Jay Garrick in this series is a stroke of genius. Jay has long been a part of the Flash world, but readers have never gotten to see him as a young man. Of course, he reminds me a lot of Wally West, but that’s fine. There’s a distinction between this version of Jay and the Wally West that existed before the New 52 came along to stir the pot.

James Robinson Earth 2 vol 1 01

However, I’m not a fan of the new Alan Scott. Yet. The emphasis on the love story was way uneven. First Alan loved Sam, then he got over him, then he was tempted to lay aside the hero mantle when Sam was kinda, sorta resurrected. Especially when it wasn’t Sam and the resurrection was totally false.

Al Pratt’s portrayal of the Atom was pretty cool overall, especially when he first powers up and lands as a giant, not the six-inch sell long-time readers would expect. His background felt incomplete, though. There’s still a lot that hasn’t been sorted out about him and about the new Hawkgirl, but that’s kind of okay because it leaves story threads that will undoubtedly be fleshed out as the series progresses. The idea of linking that power to the Green, which is a mystical riff on the whole Blackest Night/Brightest Day that spun out of the Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) series is cool as well.

James Robinson Earth 2 vol 1 02

I especially enjoyed Alan Scott’s Green Lantern powers coming from the Flame. A lot of present-day readers may not know that Scott wasn’t a member of the Green Lantern Corps like Hal Jordan and the others. His origin was supernatural, not scientific. Likewise, I like the change in Jay Garrick’s entry as the Flash being supernatural as well. The initial idea of heavy water somehow giving Jay powers might have been cool back in the day, but it got weird before it was over with.

I also liked Solomon Grundy as the chief villain in this graphic novel. Grundy is a long-time Alan Scott/Green Lantern villain, and his new powers are really great. Linking him to the Gray, again the supernatural side of the DC Universe, is a good idea and is a better origin than was presented back in the beginnings of the character.

James Robinson Earth 2 vol 1 03

Earth-2 has got to be one of the most innovative/yet familiar series in the New 52. I understand that other characters are going to be introduced into the book soon and I can’t wait to see how they manifest. And I’m curious to see what this new/evil Terry Sloan is up to, as well as the new Sandman and his powers.


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