Sunday, April 21, 2013

EARTH-2 #10


“The Tower of Fate: Part 1”

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

Synopsis

Wotan holds Mrs. Garrick hostage and forces the Flash and Khalid to enter the Tower of Fate to procure the Helmet of Nabu.  When the two enter, they are hopelessly out of their element in the winding, twisting hallways that eventually lead them to a massive creature known as the Great Beast.  Meanwhile, Alan Scott learns that the explosion on the train was not an attempt on his life, but rather Sam’s, prompting him to track down Hawkgirl to ask for her help…




Notes

Page 1:  This is a flashback to Kendra and Khalid from two years ago, the day they both received their powers.

Note that there has, historically, been an Egyptian connection for both Hawkgirl and Dr. Fate’s powers.  Nabu the Wise was a Lord of Order who came to Earth to battle the forces of chaos in Ancient Egypt.  He allied himself with Prince Khufu and Princess Chay-Ara, who would later be reincarnated as Hawkman and Hawkgirl. 
 
The circumstances of Kendra's "transformation" and the true origin of her abilities has yet to be revealed.

Page 2:  That’s the Helmet of Fate.  Pretty, no?

Page 3:  In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Nabu was, as I previously mentioned, a Lord of Order who came down to Earth and inhabited a human vessel to battle the servants of chaos.  In the New 52 DCU, he was the greatest mage on Earth.  I assume that the Lords of Order and Chaos no longer exist, which is fine, because most of them were major assholes in the first place…

Pages 4-5:  So Wotan’s first name is…Karel?  A fairly asexual name, don’t you think?

In the pre-Flashpoint DCU, Wotan was born a woman in the Stone Age.  After being raped and beaten t death, supposedly by a “servant of God,” she was determined to discover the reasons behind human existence and the suffering it entails.  To this end, she studied the black arts and became a sorceress, eventually being worshiped as a goddess.  She soon learned how to transfer from body to body and direct her own reincarnation into the man known as Wotan.  Thus, Wotan has a history of transcending sexy and physical form. 

Page 6:  Flash’s super speed Parkour doesn't work so well on Wotan.

Page 7:  

Seems to me that this Wotan character could work at being a little bit nicer, no?

Page 9:  Talbot Mundy (1879-1940) was an English writer who traveled the world in search of adventure.  Some of his exploits, confirmed or rumored, include traveling with a German circus, working as a reporter in Bombay, shooting tigers, going on a trip to Afghanistan, venturing to China and Singapore, serving in the Boer War, and going on a tramp steamer to Australia.  His novels and stories were adventure tales that appeared in pulp magazines dealing with powerful, enigmatic heroes tackling mysticism and exotic locales.  His work later inspired Robert E. Howard, Robert A. Heinlein and Marion Zimmer Bradley, among many others. 

“A suitable vessel for his power.”  As Khalid explains, Nabu resides in the Helmet; thus, those who wear the Helmet of Fate become a vessel for Nabu.

This panel is from Earth-2 #2, Page 13.  Jay saw Khalid standing in an alley, looking up at the sky and talking to himself.  Jay, rightfully so, called him a "nut job."  Well, not to his face.   

Page 10:  Khalid reveals that he is an expert in ancient lore.

The Place of Broken Souls

The Tower of Babel refers to a story from the Book of Genesis, wherein a united humanity, one that spoke a single language, migrated from the east to the land of Shinar where they decided to build the a city and a tower, “whose top may reach unto heaven.”  God, however, came down and looked upon the tower and realized that, as one people with one language, nothing that they sought would be out of their reach.  God confounded their speech so they could not understand one another, and scattered them across the Earth, leaving the city, Babel, unfinished. 

Not sure what, if anything, the Place of Broken Souls, the Mighty Stone or the Mad Ark refer to.  The Great Beast could be a reference to either of the two Beasts mentioned in the Bible, but I doubt it. 

Page 11:  

And who else is a part of this group?  Anyone I know?  Come on, just a little hint...I won't tell...

“I also have a somewhat vested stake in Nabu, but that’s long in the past and nothing you need to know.”  Did you two used to date?  Come on, fess up…

“Ironically, the Flash on the other hand – your powers are magically derived, right Garrick?”  Jay Garrick received his super-speed abilities from the Roman god Mercury.

Pages 12-13:  The interior of the Tower of Fate is all trippy and resembles the works of M.C. Escher.  He was a Dutch graphic artist known for his mathematically-inspired designs that feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture and tessellations.
 

Page 14Wuxi is a city located in Jiansu Province, an eastern coastal province of China.  It has a history of business people involved in Shanghai commerce since the early 20th century.

“You were grieving, Mr. Scott.”  Grieving, yes.  And also flying around Washington, DC fighting an undead monster.  But lots of grieving too, yes. 

Page 15:  “Oh, I don’t approve, Mr. Scott.  I never did.”  Mr. Zhao is being honest; he didn't approve of his son’s homosexuality or of his relationship with Alan.  However, as he states, he’s much rather have his son alive and gay than dead, and he does realize, perhaps too late, that Alan and Sam made one another happy. 

Page 16:  “The target wasn't you at all…it was Sam himself.”  So what was Sam doing that got himself and several hundred people killed?

Page 17:  Bayou Lafourche is a bayou in southeastern Louisiana that flows into the Gulf of Mexico.  Lafourche is from the French word for “fork” and it alludes to the bayou’s outflow of Mississippi River water.

“Only reason I've been hiding out here in this part of the world.”  We saw Kendra’s palatial shack/weapons depot in Earth-2 #9.  She’s been hanging out in Louisiana in the hopes of tracking down leftover Parademon cells. 

Just as Steppenwolf is hiding out on Earth-2, so are scores of Parademons; some, as seen in Earth-2 #2, have been confined to internment camps; others are out in the world, still active.

“Not that it’s any of your business, why the hell are you even here?”   Alan pretty much told Jay and Kendra that he had no use for them in Earth-2 #6.  He was less than polite about it. 

What?  Speak up!  We can't hear you, Mr. all-powerful Green Lantern who doesn't need anyone else's help at all, never-ever-ever...

Pages 18-19:  “Stay behind me and I’ll get us through this.”  Yeah, sure Jay, you’ve had you’re powers for all of what, a week?  Like you’ve had a whole lot of experience with magical towers and alternate dimensions. 

“He chose well.”  Mercury chose Jay to receive his powers in Earth-2 #2. 

Page 20:  

So that's the Great Beast?  Doesn't look so "great" to me...