Friday, May 4, 2012

Earth 2 #1

It's funny that I have only limited interest in the heroes from the Golden Age of comics (the 1940s and '50s).

That's mostly because they're from before my time, so I have no real nostalgic link to them.

But despite that, I'm a huge fan of the Justice Society of America. I was first introduced to the characters in the pages of the '60s Justice League of America, as the concept of Earth-1 and Earth-2 was first devised (the JSA lived on the latter).

There was something unique and inspiring about these heroes who were the "Greatest Generation" of super-heroes, and I looked forward to their annual crossover with the JLA.

The JSA has had its own comic at various times in the modern era, and most of those issues were quite good, too - some were exceptional. But the team never quite seemed to fit with the "modern" DC Universe (which it was forced to after the original Crisis on Infinite Earths combined all the alternate Earths into one).

When the "New 52" started the JSA were noticeably absent from the lineup - an oversight that has been corrected with the new title, Earth 2.

It's written by James Robinson, who has thankfully recovered from some struggles and is back in top form. He creates here a modern world where the only heroes seem to be Superman, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin.

They're fighting a losing battle against the forces of Apokolips, and things look bleak. We meet an assortment of characters in passing, all of whom will no doubt figure large in the issues ahead - it's going to be fun to watch the team come together (again) for the first time.

It's a brilliant stroke to go back to the original alternate Earth concept, and to use the "New 52" setting to reboot from the beginning (something the rest of the line should have done, as far as I'm concerned).

Some fans will not be happy about removing the team from its World War II-era origins - and I understand that - but the logical choices are to either set the comic in the past, reboot the characters or make them all immortal - and apparently rebooting won.

The artwork by Nicola Scott and Trevor Scott is terrific, with an original style that seems to owe something to craftsmen like George Perez and Jerry Ordway. The issue is loaded with stunning action scenes and great character designs.

This is the kind of story where you don't know what's going to happen next, but there's a limitless horizon ahead.

I loved it - this issue is going right to the top of my reading list.

I can't wait for the next issue!

Grade: A


No comments: