By Todd Allen
The promised emergence of a gay Green Lantern in the second issue of Earth 2 has been the big news for a couple weeks, except there’s not actually a Green Lantern in this issue. Oh, hype machine, you were just a hair off-target. If you plan on reading the issue and haven’t, spoiler space follows….
That should be enough space.
So, when last we left Earth 2, Superman and Wonder Woman got killed holding off Parademons as Batmen completed a suicide mission to destroy the portals from Apokolypse to Earth, while Supergirl (Power Girl) and Huntress (Robin) got transported to what DC would normally call Earth-1, but can’t because that’s what the new graphic novels are called. Meanwhile a hapless college student named Jay Garrick find the Roman god Mercury crashed to Earth.
Yes, the first issue was largely set-up. Guess what, the second issue is mostly setup, too.
Mr. Terrific from the comic that just got cancelled in the “regular” universe pops up on Earth 2 and is confronted by Terry Sloan. Terry Sloan is the name of the Golden Age Mr. Terrifc, so you’ve got a bit of an Easter egg there, but I haven’t the foggiest idea why Mr. Terrific is dimension hopping.
Jay Garrick is gifted the speed of Mercury before the god dies and warned of both a conspiracy and a force worse than Apokolypse. So the Flash is born, though he’s not actually called Flash yet. The origin of the name “Flash” is set up, however.
The yet-unnamed Flash also runs into a new super-heroine who wasn’t advertised as part of the relaunch.
But you were buying this book for Green Lantern? There’s no Green Lantern is this comic. Alan Scott, the man who will become Green Lantern is in the book. We learn he has a boyfriend. In fact, he and his boyfriend go on a train ride. Yes, there is a panel of a train coming out of a tunnel, for those of you into film symbolism. Scott produces a ring to propose marriage to his man… and the train explodes.
Now, you could take an exploding train a lot of different ways… however, since the wedding ring was on panel just before the explosion, I have a suspicion that Green Lantern’s ring will be that wedding ring transformed by… whatever it is that powers it. In the original origin that’s a magic green flame contained in a lamp that was reformed into a lantern. If you want to have Green Lantern become an angry, motivated avenging figure… the weapon being the transformed wedding ring of his dead fiance (are you technically a fiance if you get blown up before saying yes?) would fit the bill nicely.
Then again, we don’t know that the fiance is dead.
So where are we with Earth 2? We’re still firmly in “setting the table” mode. Next issue will introduce Green Lantern.
It’s still enjoyable set-up, but things are proceeding at a fairly slow, if deliberate pace.
- For all the hype around this issue, I cannot believe that a gay Alan Scott/Green Lantern was conceived as a publicity stunt. The Alan Scott character is being established prior to his origin. The big Green Lantern issue was solicited as issue #3. There is no Green Lantern in #2. It’s bad enough you’re having a press conference that Green Lantern is revealed as gay, but he’s not in costume at all. No, in this case, Green Lantern is revealed as gay and he doesn’t even become Green Lantern until next month. The hype is exceedingly silly. This would be a very odd comic to pick up cold.
- That ridiculous cover image of the new Flash costume is just a poor rendering of it. Particularly the helmet. On the inside, the visor is less obnoxious and there are a variant of the traditional Jay Garrick wings on the helmet. While there is a trail of energy behind them, they sure don’t look like Ant-Man/Giant Man’s antennae, like they do on the cover. I’m not saying it’s the best costume design I’ve ever seen, but the cover sure isn’t the image I would have used to promote it.
For all the slowness, Robinson and Scott are putting a lot of pieces on the playing board for this series. I can appreciate what they’re doing and that they’re taking time to develop characters, but I’d really like the actual plot to start picking up soon. I’m starting to get a “wait for the trade” feeling on this one.
So far, so good, but the jury’s still out until the players are all revealed and we know where this is going.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.