Should Jay Garrick be Stuck on Earth-2?

Earlier this week, a reader asked me what I thought of DC’s decision to move Jay Garrick out of the mainstream DC Universe and put him in a separate universe (specifically Earth 2) with no links to Barry, Wally and Bart.

At first I was disappointed to lose the legacy aspect of the characters. I think it adds a lot to the Flash mythos to have Jay, then Barry, then Wally and Bart as a series of heroes inspiring and mentoring one another. On the other hand, the old scheme of tying the Justice Society of America to World War II and the Justice League to the present has been getting harder and harder to maintain over the last couple of decades. From that standpoint, I’m OK with them returning to the multiverse approach…as long as they treat the alternate reality as a first-class setting (like the Ultimate Marvel universe), not as something expendable. (How many characters did DC kill during Countdown to Infinite Crisis just because they weren’t from “New Earth” and therefore didn’t matter?)

Moving Jay Garrick to Earth-2? Sure, I can handle that.

But I’m not so sure about this Earth-2.

Over the past week, as we’ve started learning about Earth-2 — in particular the new takes on Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman — just about every new piece of information makes me less and less interested in the series. It’s all about death, all about heroes who kill — and that seems to be the selling point. I’m sure “What would you have to do to teach Superman to kill?” could be a fascinating story. But it’s not one I’m interested in reading as an ongoing. (That, in fact, is why I haven’t read Mark Waid’s Irredeemable — by all reports it’s a great story, but not one I want to read.)

I hope the teasers we’ve gotten over the past week are about a jumping-off point, rather than representative of the tone of the series. That the other heroes of Earth 2 aren’t going to be surrounded by and dealing out death, but rather carrying on the legacy as their world’s trinity fails. A dark, Flashpoint-like take on the Justice Society could be interesting, but if this is the only place we’re going to see Jay Garrick for the foreseeable future, I’d much rather it be in a setting where the Flash can be the kind of hero who tips his hat in respect to each person he saves.

Update: Just a day later, DC revealed Jay Garrick’s new costume and more information about his role in Earth 2.

6 thoughts on “Should Jay Garrick be Stuck on Earth-2?

  1. Josh

    Well said. I, too, am getting less and less interested in the EARTH 2 series for the very reasons you cited. I was hoping that EARTH 2 was a book I could read to escape from the Image-ification of the DC Universe, rather than an intensification of the Image-ificiation of the DC Universe that it seems to be shaping up to be. I was devastated to lose Jay Garrick and Alan Scott in the reshuffling of talent that DC called its reboot, but I’d rather never see them again to see Jay turned into something dark and vicious.

    I am encouraged only by the fact that Robinson is writing the series. It was Robinson who, in the seminal story THE GOLDEN AGE, wrote the single line that has defined Jay Garrick for me: “The world’s gotten too fast for the Flash.” Since then I’ve always loved the idea that when he isn’t superhero-ing, he’s slow and deliberate and has unequaled equanimity and a kindness of spirit that simply can’t be contained on the page.

    Here’s hoping for the best for our beloved Justice Society characters in a book that’s looking less and less about hope and therefore, looks less and less about what the actual Justice Society stood for.

    Reply
  2. Ethan Jones

    I agree with you on this. I personally think that they should do with Earth 2 what they are doing with Earth 1, using it in a similar way as Marvel’s Ultimate universe to bring fresh background stories and designs for new readers, in fact, they look good enough that I might stop reading the new 52 Batman and Superman and start reading Earth One: Superman and Earth One: Batman.

    I’m glad you featured this after the email you sent me. It is a good opinion.

    Reply
  3. Kyer

    Amen.

    If Earth-2 is just another way of saying Grim & Grittier Elseworld I’m totally not interested. Flashpoint turned me off not only because what it meant for the world I loved, but because the rampant slaughter going on was sickening. I outright hated what scans I saw *except* for those few and far between acts of goodness like Barry giving the letter to Bruce.

    When is the release date? How much longer before we find out if it’s going to be a disaster or an as yet unpolished gem?

    Reply
  4. Phantom Stranger

    I’m okay with losing Jay Garrick to another universe. The JSA characters were getting very long in the tooth and it was becoming ridiculous trying to fit characters from World War II into modern times.

    Reply
  5. Lia

    Most of DC’s post-reboot stuff doesn’t appeal to me, for a variety of reasons. I like the Shade series, which is an LS and won’t go on much longer, and Demon Knights and Wonder Woman. That’s it. I’m giving serious thought to dumping everything else, including the Flash, and you don’t know how agonizing that is for me.

    I don’t have anything to say about Earth-2, but I won’t be reading it.

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  6. Eyz

    Honestly, I’ve never liked the concept of Earth 2. I’m a big Post-Crisis DCU fan. And I always preferred to have the various legacy heroes that way.

    I mean, the JSA, JAy Garrick, Alan Scott, etc. were DC’s Golden Age heroes (minus Bats, WW and Supes). Throwing them away on some parallel world is a way to hid their legacy, ignore them. Having a parallel world were they are the current Flashes, GLs, etc.. isn’t just the same as having them properly ACTUALLY BEING the Golden Age heroes, the originals, the mentors of later generations.

    Also you lose a lot of great story opportunities with the Flash family and the GL mytho.

    Reply

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