Wednesday, November 21, 2012

EARTH-2 #5

“Welcome to the Grey!”

Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Nicola Scott
Inker: Trevor Scott
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Editor: Pat McCallum


The crisis escalates as Grundy’s power threatens to destroy the Earth.  Despite his better judgment, the Atom joins with the Flash and Hawkgirl against the Grey’s servant, even as Green Lantern travels within the world to negotiate with the Grey itself.  The Grey can’t control Grundy, but they want Green Lantern join with them, and offer him a chance to reunite with the deceased Sam.  Meanwhile, the World Army, under the advice of Terry Sloan, has decided to launch a nuclear strike on Washington, DC, ending the Grundy threat once and for all…


Page 1:  

First appearance of Commander Dodds and his Sandmen.  First historical appearance (of Dodds) in Adventure Comics #40.  Real name Wesley Dodds.  Current powers and abilities unknown, although he/they seem to have some sort of teleportation ability.  I am assuming that the “Sandmen” are artificial life forms created by Dodds, but that has yet to be revealed.

“Lightfoot” is presumably the Secret Service codename for the President of the United States.

Pages 2-3:  It is revealed here that Commander Dodds is Canadian.  Go Canada!

First appearance of Commander Amir Kahn, current head of Sentinel, the intelligence branch of the World Army. 

“Chief Marshall Vodchenko, with all due respect…shut your mouth and listen to me.”  I like this Kahn guy already…

Kahn needs to recap the current crisis for everyone because there has been a month-long gap in this story line, what with the zero issue and all.  Darn flashbacks...

“…apparently by new Wonders.”  Wonders are, of course, what super-heroes are called here on Earth-2.

“The ‘Hawkgirl.’  One of the World Army’ own team of fledgling Wonders.”  In Earth-2 #4, it was hinted at that Hawkgirl and the Atom had a past connection.  It seems that both were products of the World Army’s attempts to create their own Wonders.

“Sir, the Atom landed on Grundy!”  This took place in Earth-2 #4.

Page 4:  “Don’t know what kind of power you’ve got, big guy?  Can’t say I care…’specially as my own atomic energy apparently makes me immune to it.”  So why is the Atom immune to Green Lantern’s power?  

Page 5:  

The Flash continues to combine his Parkour skills with his super-speed to use his abilities unlike any other speedster before.

Page 6:  “Oh yeah?  Bully!”  This is an ironic comment from the Flash given that, at his normal size, the Atom is about five feet tall.  Not exactly the prime height for a bully, you know?

Page 7:  “The Atom.  Yeah, there’s some history.”  Like, old friends history, or something more?  Do tell…

Page 8:  

This is what happens when you assume that the undead plant monster is actually dead just because you squashed him.  

Page 9:  

I'll give Grundy this...he's very committed to his job...

Page 10:  Though he’s completely overwhelmed by the current situation, the Flash finds inspiration and comfort in Green Lantern’s presence.  In a world without a Superman, Alan Scott has stepped up to become the de facto leader of this next generation of Wonders, whether he wants to be or not. 

Page 11

It seems that the energies of super-humans -- I mean, Wonders -- feeds Grundy, empowering him.  Thus, in retrospect, throwing a group of Wonders at the guy doesn't seem like that smart of idea, does it?

Page 12:  

In Earth-2 #2, Sloan used airborne nanites to take control of Michael Holt's T-Spheres.  It seems that he has similar nanites that can dissolve matter.  

Page 13:  “Hey man, how you doing?  I’m Jay – No, I’m the Flash.”  In Earth-2 #2, Jay saved a couple from an Apokorat attack, and they misheard him, thinking that he called himself the Flash.  This information was reported in Earth-2 #4, in a telecast that Jay saw, and he has since called himself by that name. 

“Good for you.  Now shut up a minute.  My head’s killing me.”  Man, someone’s a grouch today…Besides, Al, what do you expect when you take on an undead plant guy all by yourself?  You’re bound to get your head clocked every one in a while…

Page 14:  

"Always," hunh Alan?  Kinda presumptuous of you, don't you think?  I mean, you've known this Grundy guy for what, a few minutes, and you just assume that he "always" re-forms after you smash him apart?  Have you adequately tested this smash/re-form theory of yours?  Is there a control group?  No, I didn't think so...

“Hawkgirl’s a wanted fugitive…”  Though the circumstances of Hawkgirl’s origin have yet to be revealed, Kendra is a fugitive because went AWOL from the World’s Army’s team of Wonders. 

“…and you and Speedy Gonzales are what?”  Speedy Gonzales is a mouse that was featured in Warner Brothers Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies series of cartoons.  “The Fastest Mouse in all of Mexico,” Speedy could run extremely fast and spoke with an exaggerated Mexican accent.  I assume that Al compares Jay to Speedy because of their super-speed, and not because Jay sounds like he is from Mexico

“Yes, little big man, and we can go again if you want but now isn’t the time.”  Little Big Man was an Ogala Lakota, a fearless warrior who fought under and was rivals with Crazy Horse; he later fought at the battle of Little Big Horn and was suspected of involvement in the murder of Crazy Horse. 

Little Big Man was also a novel, and later a movie, that chronicled that life of a white man raised among the Cheyenne nation in the 19th century and how he crossed paths with many of the West’s most notable figures.

In no way, shape or form do I think that Alan was comparing Al to either a Native American warrior or a novel about the old West.  I think he was just being snide and calling him a “little big man.”  But I do like to go off on tangents and all…

Page 15:  “Thing is, for me to do this, I’ll have to leave my body here on Earth…Bond with the internal matrix within the world where the Grey resides.” How long has Alan had these powers?  A few hours?  And he seems awfully sure of himself even though he didn’t even get an instruction manual on how his powers work…

Page 16:  

Man, you are just begging to be killed off, aren't you?

“Whatever, ‘team spirit,’ don’t think I’ve forgotten you pulling a Ted Grant on me a moment back.”  In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Ted Grant was known as Wildcat; he was also a heavyweight boxer.  A poster seen in Earth-2 #2 advertised a bought between Grant and Montez.  Al is referring to the fact that Jay walloped him across the face on Page 6, slapping him around just like Ted Grant would. 

Pages 17-18:  Alan travels through a trippy, Ditko-esque world to communicate with the Grey.  Probably not the best idea in the world, but who am I to critique?

Page 19:  See Alan?  You try to commune and negotiate with a vast, cosmic intellect that only wants to eradicate humanity and all they want is for you to join them, and they’ll even throw your dead boyfriend in to sweeten the deal.  Don’t fall for it, man, it won’t end well…

“Yes, genocide!  He’s a maniac, a third of my country was destroyed when he wiped Pakistan off the globe!”  To be fair, Sloan only destroyed Pakistan and the other countries because their inhabitants were hopelessly under the control of the Anti-Life Equation…not that Kahn really wants to hear all about that right about now.  Check out Earth-2 #0 for more information.

“Come on, Kahn, Red Tornado is unfinished, and Captain Steel is halfway around the world.”  Presumably the Red Tornado and Captain Steel are two more Wonders developed by the World Army.  In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, the Red Tornado was an android built by T.O. Morrow that was inhabited by the Tornado Champion and developed cyclonic abilities; he later joined both the JSA and the JLA. 

I am taking a guess that Captain Steel is the Earth-2 version of Hank Heywood, formerly known as Commander Steel, who was enhanced with mechanized steel devices after an attack by saboteurs left him for dead.  Like life hasn’t been rough enough for him, it looks like he’s gotten demoted as well…

And as for the other Red Tornado…yes, there was Abigail Mathilda “Ma” Hunkel,” one of the first female heroes in comics, who also fought crime as the Red Tornado.  She threw on some long johns and an cooking pot to protect her head, but I really hope that the Earth-2 Red Tornado is a bit more sophisticated than that. 

Page 20:  “…the missiles left their Kings Bay silo 67 seconds ago.”  Kings Bay refers to the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay located adjacent to the town of St. Marys, Georgia.  It is the U.S. Atlantic Fleet’s home port for the U.S. Navy Fleet ballistic missile submarines armed with Trident nuclear missile weapons.  Said missiles, after the third stage motor fires, travel at around 13,600 mph

Now, according to Yahoo! Maps, the Kings Bay silo is about 683 miles away from Washington, DC.  Thus, it will take the missiles approximately two and a half minutes to reach their target in the nation’s capitol. 

Damn. If Flash, Atom and Hawkgirl don’t want to become atomic ash, Green Lantern better get a move on…

Oh, wait.  Hold up... 

Never mind.  They’re screwed.