Earth 2 #8
This month’s issue is another one-shot which introduces the “Last Amazon” of the Earth 2 universe. Moreover, this issue provides insight into the disappearance of Steppenwolf and gives more depth into how other nations dealt with the war against Apokolips. This issue is certainly setting the stage for things to come.
What I liked
· Classic Robinson pacing and dialogue: James Robinson knows how to direct a scene, pace a story and write realistic dialogue, the latter being something even the most critically acclaimed writers slip up on. I could go through the intricacies of James Robinson’s craft but it would be a disservice to his talent, by claiming to understand that which is t is clearly the result of years of honing his writing abilities. Suffice to say, despite this issue being a break from the regular team-building efforts of the previous issues; it was a welcome one which was necessary to achieve a mood within the Earth 2 universe.
· More characters: In this ever expanding universe more characters are always welcome, but only if they are well rendered (which of course they are). This issue features the first appearance of Fury, alongside an extended scene of Steppenwolf. I can see some people complaining how this issue is basically a single extended scene, but it is so much more: it is an extended scene with the villain of the story whom we have not spent much time with at all throughout the course of this now nine issue series. I believe this to be a very modest pay off. Steppenwolf seems to command all the presence of Darkseid, yet with a more humanly sinister and relatable character.
· More threads: What we are beginning to see in the background of the Earth 2 narrative is the beginnings of certain factions and alliances. This current issue begins to explain how Steppenwolf is not without allies and is still a danger to Earth 2.What is easy to forget, however, is that Steppenwolf is not the “threat” which is coming – or so we are told at least; this means that when said threat does arrive everyone will probably have a stake in defending Earth from it. It will therefore be nice to see where these emerging factions end up in the future.
· A welcome break from the heroes: Behind every great hero is a great villain. Behind every great team of heroes should be an even greater villain. So why not have an issue about them? Good idea! There are a lot of unknown quantities in terms of “bad guys” in the Earth 2 universe, so it is nice to see some in action.
· Comfortable read: With most New 52 titles I always have a constant nagging voice at the back of my head saying “okay... when is this going to fall flat on its face” – with Earth 2, this is never the case. I feel as though I am in safe hands from start to finish.
What I didn’t like
· Convenience for action’s sake: This is me being a nitpicker – and avoiding a 10/10 grade purely because I don’t believe true perfection exists (yeah, how harsh is that!). There is a scene in which a tank shoots at Fury, stunning her and then waits to deliver the finishing blow. Fury, of course, uses this pause to get the upper hand. It made for a very nice piece of action but seemed only the tiniest bit forced.
· The introduction of the Last Amazon: This isn’t much of a complaint, more of a cautionary notice. If you are naive enough to still believe comic book covers, it does give the impression that Fury will be explored in some sort of depth. This isn’t really the case, she is given a few lines, we see her in combat and we get the briefest of insights into her origins.
This issue just goes to show how good the universe of Earth 2 is. In essence James Robinson still remembers what makes up a good comic – depth. There are so many plot threads and factions beginning to emerge that you simply can’t help get excited for the coming year of Earth 2. This specific issue simply acts an introduction to a much grander story and there is promise for the series to get even better. By far one of the top issues DC has to offer.