Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Tomás Giorello
Colorist: Nathan Eyring
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Editor: Pat McCallum
Six years ago on Earth-2, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman undertake a mission to neutralize the Apokoliptian “rapture generators” that control parts of the world. Their ally, Mr. 8, a.k.a. Terry Sloan, has a far more sinister agenda – to destroy those areas under the control of Darkseid and all those that live there. Sloan’s actions create the massive firepits that scar the Earth to this day; he escapes, branded a villain by his former friends but living as a hero in his mind…
Page 1: “Six Years Ago.” This story takes place a year before the events depicted in Earth-2 #1, when Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman sacrificed their lives to defeat Steppenwolf and the forces of Apokolips.
This is the earliest chronological appearance to date of Mr. 8. He first appeared, as Terry Sloan, in Earth-2 #2.
Pages 2-3: “It’s been three years almost to the day since the armies of Apokolips burst through their portals, seemingly with one goal.” Thus, Darkseid’s forces attacked Earth-2 approximately nine years ago, and the Apokolips War ravaged that Earth for around four years. Shortly thereafter, they attacked the Prime Earth and faced defeat at the hands of the world’s greatest super-heroes, as seen in Justice League #1-6.
This is the earliest chronological appearance to date of the Wonder Woman of Earth-2. She first appeared in Earth-2 #1.
The Superman and Batman of Earth-2 appear here after the events depicted in Worlds’ Finest #0.
In reading this issue, one learns what fate the Prime Earth would have in store for it had the founding members of the Justice League not come together to save the world. Enslavement to the Anti-Life Equation just seems like the tip of the iceberg…
Page 6: This flashback story makes me wonder if we are ever going to the how the “ternion” – Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman – came together on Earth-2. I am also curious as to why these three heroes have analogues on Earth-2, while Hal Jordan, Barry Allen and Arthur Curry do not seem to exist there.
“There are five other heroes, making eight of us in total. Robin, her mother Catwoman, Supergirl…” Note that these eight wonders were never all active at the same time. As seen in Worlds’ Finest #0, Robin and Supergirl only met and began working together after Catwoman was killed, hence her absence from this issue.
Robin and Supergirl of Earth-2 appear here after the events depicted in Worlds’ Finest #0.
“…oh, and two others. One who I’ll refrain from mentioning now (for reasons that all who know this world and this war will understand)…” So does this seventh wonder have a connection to Apokolips? And when will we meet him or her?
Page 7: “‘Mr. 8’ – the eighth and final wonder.” Did he call himself “Mr. 8” because he was the eighth wonder of the world? And if so, it exemplifies how humble he is.
|Man, Sloan is more insufferable than Batman on a bad day...|
Page 11: “We all know Superman’s weakness, Batman. Kryptonite will kill him, Ruby K will transform him…” Ruby K must be the Earth-2 version of Red Kryptonite, which has a different effect on Superman every time he comes into contact with it.
|Ruby K must be the Earth-2 version of Red Kryptonite, which has a different effect on Superman each time he comes into contact with it. To my knowledge, this is the first appearance of Opal Kryptonite in comics, movies or television.|
Page 12: “…I instead uncovered other dimensions different and apart from everything. One of them…a bizarre and wonderful place, showed me visions of possible futures” This dimension sounds like the Probability Matrix that Michael Holt, a.k.a. Mr. Terrific, discovered in DC Universe Presents #0. It was revealed in that story that Sloan posed as Holt’s dead brother “Aaron” so that Mr. Terrific would travel to Earth-2, which occurred in Earth-2 #2. It seems that Sloan wants to kill Holt for his knowledge. Nice guy.
|Just destroy them, is that all? Gee, and you wonder why people don't like you, Mr. Sloan...|
Pages 16-17: Remember those fire pits that Alan Scott flew over back in Earth-2 #1? Well, this is how they formed, not because of fierce battles during the Apokolips War, but because Terry Sloan wiped those places off the face of the Earth.
“We must show Steppenwolf we’ll do whatever needs to be done.” Yeah, that’s showing him!
|Earth looks so much better with plumes of fire streaming from its surface, now doesn't it?|
Page 20: “For they will win this war after all, I can see that clearly.” Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman did win the war against Apokolips – at the cost of their lives – as seen in Earth-2 #1.
“But in ways that only I foresee, that same victory will weaken Earth later on, when it must face an evil far, far greater than the gaudy hordes of Steppenwolf.” There’s all that talk of this upcoming “evil” again. Is the Earth weakened because of the loss of these “wonders,” or for another reason altogether?
“If the world is weak, I will make it strong. I will save it from itself.” Someone has been taking advice from Adrian Veidt lately…