Thursday, July 5, 2012

Earth 2 #3 - A Review

Earth 2 #3 is primarily focused upon Alan Scott and his becoming The Green Lantern.  So far, it's been interesting seeing how James Robinson has taken the base concepts for these classic characters and tweaked them slightly for a new universe.  The big change here is that the energy used by The Green Lantern (which was always rather ill-defined in the original Alan Scott stories) is clearly defined as the power of The Earth itself. 

This is an idea that is so simple it is brilliant and while previous writers have made the connection between the Green Lantern energy and the creative aspects of fire, this is the first time that "The Green Energy" has been given an environmental context.  There's also something of a nod to the Green Knight concept of Arthurian Legend here.  And I dare say that it also ties in to Alan Moore's concept of "The Green", as the awakening of Earth's new champion also awakens a champion of "The Grey" a.k.a the spirit of decay.  I won't spoil who this champion is save to say it is a character with a connection to the classic Green Lantern whom Robinson has worked with extensively in the past.

While I still share some reservations about the fact that Alan's origin story involves the death of a "fridged" lover, I do like how Robinson carries off Alan's assuming his heroic identity.  His first thoughts are of his would-be fiancee and when asked to chose a token to focus his power, he suggests the engagement ring he was going to use to propose without hesitation.  There's some powerful symbolism in that, given the nature of rings as a symbol of both love, infinity and power and it does say that while Sam may be dead, he will never be forgotten.  I also like that Alan's sexuality is just a footnote to the story and not his major defining personality trait - a frequent problem with gay male superheroes in the past.

The rest of the issue continues the story of Jay Garrick and his first meeting with the Hawkgirl of Earth 2.  We don't learn very much about her, save that she's a skilled combatant, easily able to handle Garrick despite the advantages his super-speed gives him.  She also apparently knows someone named "Fate", who gave her directions to start looking for others like herself due to a coming crisis that will require a new band of heroes.

I've said before that Nicola Scott is one of my favorite artists and this issue is a fine example of Scott's work.  Her pencils are smooth, full of detail without getting cluttered and she draws a fine figure of a hero.  Inker Trevor Scott does a good job defining those pencils without making things too shadowy, perfectly contrasting the scenes where the only illumination is the glow of the green energy.  And the coloring team of Alex Sinclair and Pete Pantazis make everything look vibrant and radiant.

This title has grown on me, despite some worrying early on.  I'd recommend tracking down the first three issues while you can and picking up the rest as they come out.  This book is one to watch!

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