Earth 2 #1 is really one big fight. It might not focus much on the heroes of this book, but it does lay the groundwork for the rest of the series. James Robinson gives the big fight an epic feel, which makes the rest of the issue hit that much harder. But where most of these characters (spoilers) don’t survive the issue, most of the issue seems like a moot point. The fight would have worked better if it didn’t take up two-thirds of the issue. Another idea would have been to keep the fact that these characters were going to die. Robinson does a good job of making these characters similar to their Earth 1 counterparts, but differentiates them enough to warrant this book. The few small changes add up to make the reader want to read more of these characters. Another bad decision was having two of the most interesting characters fly off to another book. It’s never good to say “See their adventure in (insert title)!” It really puts the reader off and seems like a cheap way to gain more money.
Robinson has his work cut out for him for next month. The book sets up one hero, but that is really it. To see most of the people who appear in this book, you have to go to World’s Finest #1. The purpose of a #1 is to bring new readers in and keep them here. Dial H did that well, and most of the new 52 did that well. So what happened here? This issue will work great in the long run, as it’s just one step in a long walkway of a story. Jay, the one hero who is shown, is sympathetic, and one of the reasons that most readers will be back for #2 next month. This book has a lot of press behind it, so it will no doubt sell a lot of copies. But if Robinson want’s this book to be a hit to both the critics and fans, he needs to improve the pacing of the story.
One shining point of the issue though is Nicola Scott. Her pencils are beautiful. And while the fight lasts way to long, it does give Scott plenty of panel space to pencil a huge fight. The action scenes help sell the epic feel that Robinson is going for. It’s clear in the character’s eyes that they know they won’t be surviving the battle. While Jim Lee designed the costumes, Scott pencils them nice. When doing alternate reality stories, it’s always best to change the costumes slightly. If you change them to much, it sours the story to a degree. Because the costume represents the character, and if the costume is wildly different, the reader thinks the character is wildly different. But these strike the nice balance of new, but also similar
Earth 2 #1 could have been a hell of a lot better, but it also could have been worse. It’s a book to watch in the future, to see if it’s quality improves.
Earth 2 #1 gets 3/5.
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