Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

EARTH 2: THE TOWER OF FATE by James Robinson & Nicola Scott

James Robinson Earth 2 vol 2 cover

I was blown away by James Robinson’s first Earth-2 book, but not so much the second. The first graphic novel collection seems like it moves quickly, introducing a ton of idea and world building.

This second volume has a ton of world building too, but it’s like it’s been exposed an Ice Age. There are a lot of words on the page, a lot of machinations, a lot of panels, but not much movement. Sure, we get introduced to the new Doctor Fate (and his mysterious Tower), but it’s only eventually. Then the battle with Wotan takes place. And I actually felt like the baddie should have been plumb tuckered out after talking to Jay Garrick’s mom so long about how he’d been looking for the Tower and everything. I know I was tired.

James Robinson Earth 2 vol 2 page 01

I look back over the graphic novel and I try to figure out exactly what happened and I’m not certain. I know that Doctor Fate and Wotan fought, I know that Jay Garrick inspired Khalid to become a hero even at the risk of losing his sanity, and there’s a lot of stuff Wesley Dodds, the Sandman, was doing.

We just didn’t get introduced to enough new stuff in this book. Alan Scott is still pining over the loss of his lover, goes to see his lover’s dad and kind of makes peace there, only to find out that there’s a mystery surrounding the train crash.

James Robinson Earth 2 vol 2 page 02

Hawkgirl still hasn’t quite settled in for me, and this graphic novel didn’t help much in that regard. I know she was involved to a degree with Khalid and the search for Nabu’s helmet, but I’m not sure if she’s cool with being a hero now. And she’s left hanging in the wind at the end of this book too, which doesn’t make me happy. Thankfully I’ve already bought the third volume so I’ll load it up into my iPad soon and hopefully get more of the story figured out.

I do like Nicola Scott’s art a lot. The breakdowns and the action are some of the best I’ve seen. Even though not a lot was going on and Scott didn’t get to draw as much of our main heroes as I would have liked, the pages look fabulous. I like her take on Mister Miracle and Big Barda a lot, and the new female Red Tornado (that’s gotta be who that’s gonna be) looks cool.

James Robinson Earth 2 vol 2 page 03

I also like the fact that Jay’s mom is in on his secret, and that they’re now moving in with Alan Scott while he tries to figure out what to do with Jay now that he’s been outed. I’m sure they’ll come up with something, and seeing the dynamic of all those people under the same roof should be interesting.

I don’t much care for Alan Scott’s wallowing in grief. Not when the world is in trouble. Grief is something that takes place on your downtime. I want to see him being the hero. The whole getting summoned away and leaving Hawkgirl behind while she works on figuring out who attacked the train bothered me. He could just as easily have taken her with him.

The pot is certainly boiling now, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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