Saturday, 16 March 2013


An Amazon 4* review

Parallel Earths have been a major part of DC's continuity on and off since the early 60's (they disappeared for many years after Crisis On Infinite Earths). The first and most fondly regarded was Earth 2 on which heroes first appeared just before World War 2 (as, of course, they did in the comics of the time) and those characters became a firm part of DC's continuity (even after Crisis altered the continuity so that they had always been on Earth 1) and stayed there pretty much until the massive reboot which is DC's New 52 when superheroes only appeared about five years before the timeline of the new 52 comics begins.

So what DC has done is effectively wipe out those much loved (by older comics fans at least) Golden Age characters. Now writer James ('Starman') Robinson has created a new Earth 2 but this time (and there are other differences), the diversion from Earth One's timeline is the invasion by Apokolips when Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman (Earth 2's only superheroes) died saving the world. It's now five years later and new superheroes (or 'wonders' as they are called on this world) are just appearing. This first installment features new Green Lantern, Flash, Atom and Hawkgirl whose alter egos are the same as the original Earth 2 characters so that link remains. They are, however, often very different to their originals -media magnate Alan Scott (GL) is openly gay. They are brought together to fight a new Solomon Grundy whose origin is a bit too close to the New 52's Rot for my liking, but that's a minor quibble.

Writer Robinson produces his best work by far since his memorable run on Starman, creating interesting new characters with a lot of potential. The society in which they live is different with ample room for exploration -as a result of the invasion, there's now a world army. The pace of the narrative is fast and furious as GL and The Flash discover their new powers. The artist is (and at this point please feel free to imagine an imaginary chorus singing 'Hallelujah!') the wonderful, the awesome Nicola Scott of pre-New 52 Birds Of Prey fame who draws with energy and dynamism. And full marks to Trevor (no relation) Scott whose inking does justice to Nicola's pencils.

Simply, this is one of the best titles to come out of the New 52 and only misses a 5 star rating by a hairsbreadth. Essential! 

No comments: