Monday, July 16, 2012

EARTH-2 #2

“Age of Wonders”

Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Nicola Scott
Inker: Trevor Scott
Colorist: Alex Sinclair & Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Editor: Pat McCallum


Mister Terrific arrives on Earth-2 only to be confronted by Terry Sloane, who sees Michael Holt as a threat to his plans and incapacitates him.  Jay Garrick tries to rescue Mercury, but the Roman god imbues Garrick with superhuman speed, transforming him into the first of a new age of heroes.  Garrick uses his powers to save some people from Apokorats, and then accidentally races to Poland, where the new Hawkgirl greets him.  Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, Alan Scott proposes to his boyfriend Sam while riding a bullet train, but their trip is rocked by an explosion…


Page 1:  

Mister Terrific, real name Michael Holt.  First appeared in Mister Terrific #1.  First historical appearance in The Spectre (third series) #54.  An Olympic-level athlete with a genius-level intellect who utilizes flying robotic T-Spheres of his own design.

Mr. Terrific was last seen in Mister Terrific #8, entering a quantum tunnel that has led him to Earth 2. 

Pages 2-3:  “-Never forget them, for they gave us back our planet…”  This is Alan Scott, from his narration in the documentary of remembrance, as seen in Earth-2 #1.

Italy Still Burns.”  We saw this in Earth-2 #1, when Alan Scott’s plane flew over Italy, still ravaged by firepits from the Apokolips War. 

“Wonder Woman Memorial Delayed.”  The half-finished memorial to Wonder Woman can bee seen in the background.

“- Steppenwolf still believed to be hiding somewhere on Earth -”  Steppenwolf is Darkseid’s uncle, and the leader of his nephew’s forces in the Apokolips War.  Presumably, he is believed to still be on Earth.  Now, if Darkseid attacked Earth 2 after he attacked the Prime Earth (as seen in Justice League #1-6), then this might be true.  Otherwise, if the Earth-2 attack came first, then Steppenwolf got away.  The exact chronology of events still seems a little fuzzy. 

“- Supergirl’s heroic sacrifice -”  As seen in Earth 2 #1 and Worlds’ Finest #1, Supergirl and Robin vanished into a Boom Tube and materialized on the Prime Earth, where they now operate as Power Girl and Huntress.  They are, however, presumed dead. 

“- NASDAQ rose six points with TylerChem’s acquisition of WayneTech -”  With Bruce Wayne presumably dead, WayneTech would be ripe for a takeover.  I assume that TylerChem is run by Rex Tyler who, in the pre-Flashpoint DCU, was the original Hourman.  Joan Williams went off to Los Angeles to work for the company in Earth-2 #1. 

“- Five year anniversary of Batman and Robin’s deaths -”  Again, as depicted in Earth-2 #1 and Worlds’ Finest #1. 

“- Celebrating the anniversary of V.A. Day -”  I assume this is something like “Victory over Apokolips Day.”

There is an upcoming Grant versus Montoez fight.  In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Ted Grant was the Wildcat, and Alex Montez was the brother to Yolanda Montez, who became the second Wildcat. 

(It occurs to me, hours after I posted this originally, that "Montez" more likely refers to "Mauler" Montez, Yolanda and Alex's father, who befriended Ted Grant.  Slip of the mind, there...) 

The All-Star Shop is homage to All-Star Comics, the series in which the Justice Society of America debuted in 1940.  

First appearance of Terry Sloane.  First historical appearance in Sensation Comics #1.  The world’s smartest man.  In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, he was the original Mister Terrific; time will tell if he was ever a costumed hero on Earth 2. 

So, I get that Sloane is pretty smart, but how did he know that Holt would arrive where he did, when he did?

“He’s dressed like a wonder or…or from Apokolips.”  On Earth 2, superhumans are known as “wonders.”

Page 4:  “Not yet, but when you understand my intentions, you’re certainly not the type who’ll look kindly upon them.”  So what are Mr. Sloane’s “intentions,” hmmm?

Mister Terrific’s T-Sphere’s have a variety of functions.  They can project holograms, link with other electronic devices, allow Mister Terrific to fly by bearing his weight, and can be used as weapons, by generating electric discharges, exploding with concussive force or by striking as a flying projectile. 

Page 5:  “Unbeknownst to humanity, my brethren, all of them, died helping Diana… Wonder Woman as you knew her…defeat the hordes of Steppenwolf.”  As seen in Earth-2 #1.

Page 6:  “For these half-score years I’ve been held a prisoner.”  Wait, hold on a second…the Apokolips War was five years ago, as we keep getting told.  And a score is 20 years; making a half-score 10 years.  So was Mercury held captive for 10 years, and then jumped back in time another five years to come to find Jay Garrick…or is he just confused abut how long he was captive?  Does a “score” mean something different on Mount Olympus?

“Not Apokolips…a greater danger…greater…darker still.”  And what is this “greater, darker danger” this is coming for Earth?  Something old and rebooted, or something brand new?

Page 7:  Note that Earth-2 had its own Trinity, referred to as the Trinity of Wonders – Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.  Were there any other active heroes, besides, Supergirl and Robin around this time?

Page 8:  

First appearance of the Flash of Earth-2.  First historical appearance in Flash Comics #1.  Real name Jason Peter "Jay" Garrick.  Able to move at superhuman speed.  

James Robinson has stated in several interviews that many of Earth-2’s heroes will have more magic-based origins, which I think is cool.  Too often in the past, the “legacy heroes” are too similar. 

Both Jay Garrick and Barry Allen received their speed powers from science experiments gone wrong, and were connected to the Speed Force. 

While Alan Scott was not a member of the Green Lantern Corps like Hal Jordan, his Starheart-derived abilities were connected to the Guardians of the Universe. 

Even the reincarnated-throughout time Hawkman and Hawkgirl gained their powers from Thanagarian Nth metal.

So it’s nice to see some differentiation between the alternate versions of these heroes, so if and when the heroes from multiple Earths meet one another, they aren’t carbon copy clones. 

Page 9:  The World Army was seemingly organized in the wake of the Apokolips War to better protect the world.  How it will react to this new emergence of wonders remains to be seen.

Page 10:  Note that, just as Barry Allen was the first hero of the Silver Age of comics, Jay Garrick is now the first hero of a new age on this Earth.  (Yes, an argument could be made that J’Onn J’Onzz, the Martian Manhunter came before Barry and was the first Silver Age hero…humor me.)

Page 11:  “How was Beijing?”  As seen in Earth-2 #1, Alan Scott has some business to attend to in China.

Sam is Alan’s boyfriend.  Since he doesn’t seem to have a last name, I guess he’s someone known by only his first name, like Madonna, Leo or Prince.

Page 12:  

Yep, Alan Scott's gay.  And the Internet is still around.  Who woulda thought?

Personally, I don’t care about Alan’s sexual orientation that much.  It’s part of who he is and informs his personality and decisions in life, but I don’t think that he’s now the “Gay Green Lantern.”  He’s a businessman.  He’s a hero.  He’s gay.  No big deal.

“Why not, it sounds magical…”  As noted above, these heroes will have more mystical origins than on other Earths. 

Page 13

What signs?  What is this guy seeing?  And who is he anyway?  Some random nutjob or someone important in the grand scheme of things?
The Flash's costume responds to his thoughts, appearing and disappearing at will.  

Page 14:  "Makes doing my Parkour way easier - "  Parkour is a physical discipline and non-competitive sport that focuses on movement around obstacles.  It teaches participants how to move through their environment by vaulting, rolling, running, climbing and leaping.  I think that it’s cool that he’s a practitioner of this, and will incorporate his speed into his Parkour, making the way Jay moves quite different from how Barry Allen does. 

Page 15:  I imagine that Apokorats are the result of the Apokolips War five years ago.  According to what Jay says about not thinking that they had invested “this far inland,” they must congregate on the coasts, near water.

Page 16:  

As Jay races towards us, we see the blueshift around him.  It's the decrease in wavelength and the corresponding increase in frequency caused by e relative motion of a source (in this case, Jay) towards an observer, as described by the Doppler effect.  If he were moving away from us, then we would witness a redshift.

Page 17:  “Invader!  Parademon!”  Okay, he looks a little strange, but does he really look like a Parademon?  I don’t think so…

The Silesian Beskids is one of the Beskids mountain ranges in Outer Western Carpathians in Southern Silesian Voivodeship, Poland

Page 18:  

First appearance of Hawkgirl.  First historical appearance in JSA Secret Files and Origins #1.  Real name Kendra Saunders.  Able to fly, has enhanced strength, vision and regenerative abilities, and is a fierce combatant.

It remains to be seen if Hawkgirl has any connection to or derives her abilities from Nth metal.

“…And you sure took your time getting here.”  How did she know about Jay?  What’s with the know-it-alls on this Earth?

Page 19:  Awww, Alan’s proposing.  How sweet…

Page 20:  Alan Scott’s Golden Age origin involved a derailed train, an explosion, and a green lantern.  So the bullet train leaping off the tracks in a fiery blaze was not unexpected…

And I’m thinking that we’ve probably seen the last of Sam.  Don’t quote me on that, though…