I saw this issue coming, but I wasn't sure of when it was going to come. In fact, I was thinking of asking Tom Taylor via Twitter when we might be seeing an issue like this but he beat me to the punch. Earth 2 #20 was to the Earth 2 series what the Injustice Annual from last year was to the Injustice series; a respite from the intensity of an insane story line. Filled with tons of humor, but not lacking in action, this issue was a much needed break for the reader giving everyone some time to catch their breath.
The issue actually starts off where Earth 2 #19 left off, with some of our heroes making a break for it and trying to get to a safe point away from Darkseid’s Parademons. We see Aquawoman display some of her awesome water controlling power to defeat said Parademons. The story line picks up once our heroes make it back to the Batcave where Batman is introduced to Red Arrow and a shell-shocked Dr. Fate. This actually sets up the first humorous interactions of the comic with Batman asking why Dr. Fate is repeating the “Boom” sound. Red Arrow answers with: “I’m not really sure. It could be prophecy. It could be dubstep.”
As the focus of the comic changes to Superman, we see him destroy several religious institutions and declare Darkseid the only god. There is an interesting panel with some social commentary within that sequence that I was kind of shocked made it into the comic, but am glad that it did.
The comic then changes focus once more to our heroes in the Batcave where we get both a touching and humorous interaction with Red Tornado (Lois Lane) and Val as she tries to persuade him to use his powers for their cause. There are some moments that are very reminiscent of the Man of Steel movie within the last few panels that I believe Tom Taylor may have intended as an ode to the movie.
Overall the issue was a lot of fun to read. I’ve read some reviews calling this issue a “filler” issue, which I think it was anything but. It has tons of set up, and lots of humor. People have complained that Earth 2 is too dark, then they get an issue filled with humor and hope and they complain about that. I guess you can never please everyone at once. I for one thoroughly enjoyed this issue and give it two thumbs up and 5 Helms of Nabu (out of 5). It was truly a fun read.
*one last thing…when I saw the solicit for the April issue of Earth 2 I mentioned I was a bit worried for Dr. Fate. I am now confident that Bats’ shadow means he is going to help the good doctor rather than inflict more pain.