By Tom Taylor and Nicola Scott
James Robinson had created a nice little world with Earth 2. It felt fresh and exciting; something The New 52 sorely needed. After the initial arc, there was a long period where the book wasn’t really going anywhere, but it still retained a certain charm. Now that Robinson is gone, Tom Taylor has stepped in to try and breathe new life into the series. His work on the Injustice tie-in has been wildly popular and he seemed like the perfect fit for a title like Earth 2. So how did he do?
Let’s start with the good. The big shocker that Robinson gave us at the end of issue 16 was Brutaal revealing himself to be Kal-L, the Earth 2 Superman. He then proceeds to murder Steppenwolf and beats the living crap out of everybody. Taylor picks right up where Robinson left off and allows this now evil Superman to be downright terrifying. There’s many questions to be answered about Supes, but it looks like Taylor may be going for a slow burn, which is fine.
Batman also plays a bigger role, entering the World Army base, attempting to release an army of super villains. This is also a character that will need fleshed out, and so far, Taylor seems up to the task. Don’t worry, even though Supes is back and a new Bats is in town, Taylor still gives proper time to the characters who made this series special in the first place. In many ways, this just feels like business as usual for Earth 2.
Now it’s time for the bad. There really isn’t anything too bad to say about this issue. However, right off the bat it starts to feel a little too much like Injustice. Heck, we even have an evil Superman! Another problem is the characters have seemed to have lost a little of their wit and clever dialogue. Heroes like Jay Garrick sound stiff and a tad boring in certain scenes.
Nicola Scott’s art is mostly pretty sharp. The art in Earth 2 is always a treat. The action scenes have been and still are powerful and amazing sights to behold. With Pete Pantazis on colors, Earth 2 continues to look unbelievable.
For Tom Taylor, this is an honorable first crack at Earth 2. Even the setbacks are things that be corrected after he gets a few issues under his belt. Earth 2 has always been a fun ride. It’s terrific to see that this trend will continue.