Earth 2 #10 takes us into a mystical realm with Jay Garrick, his mother, and Khalid Ben-Hassin. We learn a bit more about Khalid and Kendra’s past, shocking news about the train wreck that Alan Scott survived, and we see the New52 version of the Tower of Fate! This issue has a little bit for everyone, and it continues a series that has easily established itself among the very best the New52 has to offer.
SOME MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD – PLEASE READ THE ISSUE BEFORE CONTINUING!
This issue picks up with a flashback to Kendra and Khalid’s adventure into the tomb of Nabu, sent there by the military to find Nabu’s amazing source of power. We don’t get the full scoop in this flashback, but something apparently happens that transforms Kendra into Hawkgirl while Khalid finds the helm of Nabu. We obviously will learn much more in future issues…but for now we move forward to find Jay Garrick, his mother and Khalid (the new Doctor Fate) dragged into a very strange world by the New52 Wotan. This version of Wotan is very powerful…make that VERY powerful. Wotan explains the essence of magic in this reality (or at least on Earth 2 – remember that science works a bit differently on E2 and magic may or may not be the same here as on the main DC Earth).
We find in the following exchange that Jay is a very brave young man…and that he comes by that naturally as his mother shows a lot of courage in her willingness to verbally confront Wotan. However, Wotan proves to be more than a match for Jay…and sends both he and Khalid straight into the Tower of Fate in order to retrieve the helm of Nabu. Khalid has sent the helm (and most of the power of Fate) into the Tower of Fate in order to seal it away from just the sort of character we meet in Wotan. But, if they don’t return with this power, Wotan threatens to kill Mrs. Garrick!
We cut to Alan Scott, learning something terrible about the train wreck…that Alan was NOT the target of the attack! Alan goes after information as only someone with the power of the Green Lantern can, but hits dead ends. In the end, he swallows his pride to track down Kendra and to admit that even someone as powerful as Green Lantern may need some help.
We learn quite a bit about the Tower of Fate, where immense power is sealed away…and in the end Jay and Khalid come face to face with…something you will have to see when you read the issue!
Just a couple of notes about Wotan. In past continuities Wotan has alternately been written as male and female. In this version, it appears that Wotan has aspects of both genders and possibly identifies as neither. And, just as in the way Robinson has handled Alan Scott’s sexual orientation, this is treated as simply one aspect of an amazingly well-written character. It also appears that Wotan is immensely powerful and is more than a worthy adversary for Jay, Khalid, and all the other Wonders for that matter. When Wotan says “Do. Not. Mess. With. Me!” you really believe it!
James Robinson has written another exceptional issue, and the team of Nicola Scott and Trevor Scott deliver amazing artwork once again with colors by Alex Sinclair. This series has become one of my favorites, and I find myself anxiously awaiting the next issue. Once again, if you are not reading Earth 2 you are missing out on one of the best comics DC has to offer!
I find it hard to believe that James Robinson is writing anything good these days. I’ll have to check out the book
Earth 2 itself didn’t grab me when I tried the first few issues, but I really liked his recent Shade series (the one just released as a trade this week). It was much more the James Robinson of Starman than the James Robinson of Cry for Justice.
I wonder if he’s one of those writers who just does better when he’s away from the publisher’s more tightly-controlled flagship books. The Shade took place entirely in the fringes of the DCU, such that you could easily set the story in the New 52 or the post-COIE continuity, and of course Earth 2 is its own universe.
Just picked this one up today. I’m a few issues behind but can’t wait to read it!