May 20, 2012

Crisis In Multiple: A Review of DC's EARTH-2

In all honesty, the "new 52" from DC has left me rather....well, blah.

There are some personal preferences, admittedly (like Demon Knights), but for most of it, it feels like I'm back reading comics in the 1990s. Lots of high end drama, but nothing really going on creatively. Granted, DC in the '90s had both poorly written books (Justice League: Extreme Justice, anyone?) and intelligently written books that built upon and played with history (Starman, Chase). So with the creative team on Earth-2 (James Robinson's writing, Nicola Scott's art) stirring some interest - along with, admittedly, my own fanboyish love of Earth-2 - I checked the book out with an open mind.

It's safe to say that we probably won't be reading another Starman from James Robinson - not so much because that's his creative "peak", but he deserves the opportunity to stake new ground. Thankfully, this book is no Justice League: Cry for Justice...but it's also not really unique and original, either. In fact, the only change is that...well, DC had a slightly better spin on this premise a few years ago, called 52. Plus, there's a very slight sense of editorial self-sabotage, limiting the history of this world. I don't expect a carbon copy of past efforts, but when an episode of Smallville manages to recontextualize the JSA in modern times (and I wonder - is "recontextualize" even a real word?), staying within narrow parameters just seems...well, like he's not even trying. But for a first issue, it's fine.

However, the one part of this book I cannot criticize is Nicola Scott's art - I thoroughly enjoyed her work for Secret Six and Birds of Prey. It's a pretty solid fit, and quite honestly, was the more enjoyable aspect of this book. What will be interesting to see is how all of these factors play out in the coming months.

So far, I have to say that the only people looking forward to this series fall into one of two groups: retailers and old school DC Fanboys like me. Retailers may defend this series, but then again....they have a stake. Old school fanboys....may not like it, but at the very least, should keep an open mind.

It's good enough to warrant me checking out issue 2, but quite didn't grab me. DC can - and should - do a lot better. 

No comments: