In May, two new comics reintroduced the Multiverse into the New 52 Universe. Earth 2 is a globe spanning epic starring an ensemble cast of potential young heroes living in the wake of a great tragedy. Meanwhile, Worlds’ Finest follows two refugees from that parallel Earth stuck on a strange new world, trying to adapt while trying to find a way back home. Both books are relatively new but they have already offered a number of memorable moments and characters. This month, the series’ expanded on their respective first issues with interesting developments that should prove important in the months to come.
Earth 2 #2
Written by James Robinson, Penciled by Nicola Scott, Inked by Trevor Scott, Colored by Alex Sinclair and Pete Pantazis, Lettered by Carlos M. Mangual, Cover by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Rod Reis, Edited by Sean Mankiewicz and Pat McCallum
After the violent and bloody opening chapter, James Robinson and Nicola Scott slowed things down a bit in Earth 2 Issue 2 to give readers a wider look at this new parallel earth and the potential heroes who populate it. Jay Garrick learned to run and made a new friend in the process, Mister Terrific arrived on Earth 2 and was rudely welcomed, and Alan Scott crashed right into his destiny. In a way, everyone kind of did here. Lots of traveling and running and crashing going on in this comic, all towards a new life and purpose. The foundation that the creative team is laying down here is looking to be a strong one, populated with intriguing heroes and villains alike that are slowly beginning to converge. It’s fun rediscovering these old characters and seeing how different or similar they are to their previous incarnations. Its also fun to see Nicola Scott’s new designs for these characters. Her Flash definitely looks like a modern hero, with all the seams and complications on his uniform that is popular right now in the industry, but there are enough recognizable elements that connect him to the old Jay Garrick. She, along with her inker Trevor Scott did a great job all around, with action and character drama alike. There’s a softness and versatility to her style that fits Robinson’s story well. The coloring by Alex Sinclair and Pete Pantazis was excellent as well, full of depth and mood. The only knock I have against the comic is that it lacked the Excitement and drama of the first issue. Then again, if every issue kicked off with a brutal massacre of its main characters, the series would grow stale quickly. But overall Earth 2 #2 was a strong followup that showed the concept is going to have some legs going forward.
Worlds’ Finest #2
Written by Paul Levitz, Illustrated by George Perez, Scott Koblish and Kevin Maguire, Colored by Hi-Fi and Rosemary Cheetham, Lettered by Dezi Sienty, Edited by Will Moss.
“Rebirth Part Two” picked off where Part One left off, with Earth 2 refugees Power Girl and The Huntress fighting living radioactive nightmare Hakkou in the present day, while back in the past they continue to figure out their place in a world not their own. The lighthearted yet sometimes contentious relationship between the two heroes continued to be the one of the core strengths of the comic along with the excellent art from George Perez and Kevin Maguire. Perez brought the action, while Maguire handled the quieter moments where his penchant for character interaction and diverse facial expressions could take center stage. Unfortunately, Hakkou was a pretty boring one-note villain, screaming cliches in between attacking the two heroes. Levitz’s story was pretty perfunctory but with a strong central relationship and nice art, that was okay. For now.
Worlds’ Finest is the weaker book of the two here, but it’s smaller, character driven focus contrasts nicely with Earth 2′s global setting. It’s also not nearly as serious as Robinson’s ongoing epic, which is defintely a good thing. The two series are more or less independent of each other right now but they compliment each other well. In the coming months, Earth 2 will introduce more new characters while Worlds’ Finest continue to develop the relationship between the main characters, and I’m definitely looking forward to both developments.