Welcome to The New 52 Earth-2 by James Robinson. Robinson has apparently been given a completely blank page in re-imagining the Golden Age heroes he is most closely identified with. The only rule seems to be to tie this world to Earth-1's Justice League and the invasion of Darkseid from Apokalips.
When I first saw that Robinson was going to be writing
a new Earth-2 book the biggest question I had was: How is he going to
do it? Since 1940, these characters have been tied to World War II,
Hitler, Preseident Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the magic that kept
most of the classic, Golden Age heroes from taking the Axis down and
winning the war. What would James Robinson be bringing to these
characters - as well as bringing these characters to - that Geoff Johns,
David Goyer, Roy Thomas and a host of creators before him hadn't to
make these characters fresh and interesting? I was curious, because of
what he had famously done with Starman. He's made several attempts since
Starman to see if lightning would strike twice. His Cry For Justice was
savaged by critics. His run on Justice League of America was the final
run before The New 52 reboot, and featured sidekicks and Teen Titans in
their mentors' roles. His latest effort, The Shade twelve-issue
maxi-series was nearly cancelled by issue eight. I was wondering if
James Robinson had reached a point in his career like my other favorite
writer, Marv Wolfman, where there was an end of words.
I am thrilled that that is not the case.
I'm following Earth-2 and, my good friend, Sean Elks' reviews of the book.
new All-Stars have come together not to fight the European Axis of
Evil, including Adolf Hitler; but, to fend off an apocalyptic invasion
by Darkseid! Here, there is no Trinity - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman.
Sidekicks Robin and Supergirl are Earth-1's Huntress and Power Girl.
There doesn't appear to be a Hawkman. Earth-2's most brilliant mind,
Terry Sloane is also the most dangerous one as well. Green Lantern Alan
Scott is gay. Al Pratt isn't much of a "Tiny Titan" when he grows to
Goliath-size as an Atom Smasher. More familiar, but just as mysterious is
Hawkgirl and her connection to Pratt. Jay Garrick still seems to be a
bit of a slacker. It will be interesting to see how these heroes come
together to beat the new incarnation of Solomon Grundy. More interesting
will be to see the new Earth-2 recruits.
Jay's now ex-girlfriend
left him to start over on the West Coast at Tyler Chemical. It should
be interesting to see The New 52 version of Rex Tyler. It will be interesting to see what's become of Terry Sloane's doppelganger, Michael
I am very interested to see what Robinson has in store, on
Earth-2. This isn't the Justice Society anymore. It's not Infinity, Inc.
Or, Young All-Stars, or All-Star Squadron or All-Star Comics. Near the
end, the Justice Society of America's roster bloated to epic
proportions, Gog and the Kingdom Come Superman were introduced, and
I'm hoping that Robinson keeps the core cast as
small and as tight as he did in Starman and adds some guest appearances
and cameos sparingly. There are a couple that I am looking out for.
is Larry Jordan. The Golden-Age Air Wave. Larry was an attorney by day
and a masked mystery man by night. His powers were radio based. That was
mainly because as a Golden Age hero, radio was the big deal. Larry sort
of faded from heroics, because film, television and roller blades have
become equally to more relevant and important in pop culture that radio.
has certainly changed since Larry was an All-Star. Cell phone
technology and communications are industry leaders in modern times. I
could see Robinson re-imagining Larry Jordan as a communications giant
like Bill Gates or the late Steve Jobs. Oracle was an incredible,
invaluable character, not just to Batman, but to the entire DCU at the
time. I could see Larry Jordan starting out as a broadcasting engineer
and developing into a near equal to Alan Scott. Alan Scott can have a
television and maybe a radio broadcasting empire. Larry Jordan could be
an Air Wave with a communications empire. The television series 24
capitalized on the use of cell phones and computer information searches
and data transfer to keep the action moving. That was a background point
that was developed to the forefront. I'd like to see Air Wave return
and look cool.
other hero I'm looking to see make a comeback is Will Everett's Amazing
Man. There are way too few cool black super heroes in comics. So far,
Michael Holt is the lone hero of color or ethnicity on Earth-2. Will
Everett was a bold move by Roy Thomas introducing a black super hero
during World War II. Times and race relations haven't changed much.
Amazing Man made a brief comeback on Captain Atom's Extreme Justice.
wouldn't really see a lot of change in Everett. His absorbing powers
are unique, if a bit redundant considering Marvel's Absorbing Man. He
might be redundant considering the powerhouse that Al Pratt has become.
think it is important to bring Will Everett back as almost Earth-2's
version of John Henry Irons or Luke Cage. An average, blue collar,
working class individual with amazing abilities. Someone to balance the
Jay Garricks of Earth-2 against the Michael Holts and Alan Scotts. Ted
Grant's Wildcat has not made an appearance in Earth-2, yet, so maybe
Will Everett can fill that gap. Maybe Robinson can reimagine Everett as
an Olympic-level athlete that becomes a team strongman. Like Arn "Iron"
Munro was for the Young All-Stars.
New 52's Earth-2 is part of DC Entertainment ushering in a new comic
book age. We've seen the Golden, Silver and Bronze ages all come and go
with different heroes making their mark in each age. Jay Garrick and
Alan Scott have become timeless heroes alongside Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne
and Diana Prince. This revival could either be landmark or epic fail.
I'm excited. I'm hoping that James Robinson returns to his Earth-2,
Golden Age roots and is able to revive these characters and bring on a
new golden age. Hopefully, his efforts will keep these characters fresh
and relevant to a modern audience.