Someone watched the Avengers movie methinks
Earth 2 does well with its fifth issue as the tension mounts and the situation becomes touch and go as Solomon Grundy's actions now threaten to end all life on Earth. While most would agree that's probably not going to happen given that this is only the first story arc, its telling that I still feel the tension despite knowing this. That's good writing.
First off, I figure I might as well point out that while the stuff with the government people is a pretty blatant allusion to SHIELD, especially the version we saw in the Avengers movie, I still enjoyed seeing it. Having this sort of UN-type military in the wake of the Parademon Invasion Earth 2 had to suffer through really is a logical move and helps to better separate Earth 2 from its mainstream counterpart. I also thought it was a nice touch to see that this Earth's US has a female president.
In addition to the Atom, Green Lantern, Flash, and Hawkgirl (anyone but me seeing the first signs of something happening between those two?), we also get an appearance by this world's version of Wesley Dodds and his new role is, well...truth be told I don't know what to make of it honestly, just that it is cool to get to see him and I hope that he will continue to play a role in the book, even if again, the new direction they've gone with him is an odd choice.
Speaking of which, Terry Sloane finally shows up again, after being absent in Issues 3 and 4. It good to see him again, however briefly, as I must say, this new villainous take on Terry is a vast improvement over the generic superhero that he once was. I also like how his actions during the book's zero issue (also one of the better 0 issues by the way) have not at all been forgotten and are referenced here, which also manages to make the 0 issue more relevant to this book as a whole.
It is, however, quite disappointing that we still haven't seen anything of Michael Holt, who has not appeared at all since Issue 2. I actually really think they need to rectify this soon, because the pacing has already been somewhat botched with that particular character's arc in this book, if you can even call it an arc right now.
Aside from Michael Holt's continued absence, the characterization is the one area where this issue maybe falls a little short. I'm not going to be too harsh a judge on Atom yet since we were only recently introduced to him, but GL and Flash are both starting to come off as somewhat generic and even mildly corny heroes, but at least in the case of the latter its poked fun of twice. GL is also put in a tight spot near the end, albeit via circumstances that are just a little bit contrived. That is forgivable though, due to it also featuring a character I hadn't expected to be seeing again in any way, shape, or form.
Finally, I should perhaps mention how much this issue reminds me of a certain successful superhero movie that came out recently. Let's see...heroes brought together to stop a world-threatening crisis who fight each-other almost as much as they do the threat, a world-wide peace-keeping government group who answers to a bunch of jerks who they only communicate to on a screen, and the ending...am I the only one who thinks James Robinson might have gone to see The Avengers?
In the end, despite some hiccups regarding the characterization of some of our heroes and the unfortunate continued absence of Michael Holt, I would say that Earth 2 still manages to be one of the best and most entertaining of the current New 52 books I'm following by quite a bit. Maybe its just because I'm a sucker for alternate realities and universes (of which Earth 2 is in spite of being an ongoing series) but I've really been enjoying Earth 2 a great deal and I hope it continues to be an entertaining read.
And seriously, I'm totally predicting that Flash/Hawkgirl is gonna happen.