Friday, November 8, 2013

Earth 2 #17 Review

Warning this review contains lots of spoilers

I'm going to start by saying that we Earth 2 fans have been incredibly spoiled.  The book started off with an incredible writer in James Robinson and once he left the book gets picked up by another amazing writer in Tom Taylor.  I'm incredibly grateful for having our heroes in such great hands, and the art by Nicola Scott is not too shabby either (despite my issues with the Helm).  

On to the review; as many others have said Tom Taylor does a phenomenal job of picking up where James Robinson left off.  He makes the book his own by throwing in some awesome twists such as the new identity of Red Tornado.  I'm sure she will play a huge part in Superman's downfall.  The entire book reads almost like a horror flick.  As I was reading it, the story gave me that same feeling in my stomach I get when watching an intense scene in a horror movie.  You could feel the panic in our heroes as they are dealing with a Superman who is bent on their destruction.  I don't think I've ever seen superheroes backed into a corner like this.  The last time might have been when the Spectre lost control and was hunting and killing magical beings.  Our heroes are scared, as they should be because this Superman is scarier than any monster one could imagine.  We've seen Superman lose control before but this is an entirely different beast.  

The scene with Khalid/Dr. Fate is especially poignant.  

You can feel Khalid's fear, reluctance and sense of duty in these panels.  His hesitation in that whisper is so powerful.  This is what makes Tom Taylor such a great writer, you connect those human emotions to these characters.  Khalid is scared out of his mind but still knows he has to at least try to stop Superman.  I can also almost imagine Nabu inside the helmet yelling "WTF, Khalid? Shut your F'ing mouth! Are you trying to get us killed?"

Another plus for Tom Taylor, is that in such a powerful scene, he still manages to inject some wit into the situation to make it feel lighter, even if it is just for a moment.  Khalid dawns the helmet and teleports outside where this happens:

Superman catches Dr. Fate before he can react and promptly disposes of our hero.  Before Superman can inflict a killing blow the Flash is able to rescue Dr. Fate.  When taken to safety Dr. Fate's helmet is removed and Khalid has another prophetic vision, but he delivers it in a cryptic fashion that is difficult to understand.

In the comic we are also reintroduced to the new E2 Batman who is planning to release all of Arkham's inhabitants to deal with Superman.  

Overall Earth 2 # 17 was amazing.  Great read all the way through.  However, I do have a couple of issues (wouldn't be a fanboy review if I didn't), I would have liked the Superman/Dr. Fate fight to be a little longer.  I would have liked Dr. Fate to put up some kind of fight against Supes.  After all, Dr. Fate, new to the game or not, is still one of the most powerful beings in the DCU.  For him to be disposed of so quickly didn't feel right.  I would have also liked to hear what Nabu is telling Khalid throughout the battle.  Nabu was very quiet the entire time.  It's not like him to be so quiet,especially in such a crucial time.  Lastly, I want to see Khalid come into his own.  I know he manned up and went out to fight Superman (took a lot of balls to do that) but I'd like to see him show more strength, like Jay did when he goes back after rescuing Dr. Fate.  I know this is pretty much Dr. Fate Year One we are reading, but his predecessors showed much more resolve than this kid.  I mean, Kent V. Nelson went to Hell to fight as his first mission and he didn't even have the benefit of Nabu's guidance.  Come on Khalid, have some confidence in yourself kid.  

Despite said issues, I give Mr. Taylor's first issue with Earth 2, two thumbs up.  Can't wait to read more.   


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