Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Earth 2 Annual #1 - A Review

Earth 2 Annual #1 is an amazingly good introduction to the world of Earth 2 for new readers.  Why should that be amazing?  Isn't the whole idea of the Annuals to do a big story that will attract the attention of those who haven't been reading the series?  One might think that's the case, particularly since the cover of this issue boasts the introduction of a new Batman.  Yet most of the annuals DC Comics has published in the past year have involved continuations of plot threats that started in the regular series, immediately creating a wedge between the story and any potential new readers. 

At first that seems to be the case with this issue, but - as per usual -  James Robinson seeks a greater depth as he spends most of this issue recalling the origin story of Captain Al Pratt a.k.a. The Atom.  We'd already seen the bare bones of Pratt's origins earlier in the monthly Earth 2 title but this story gives Robinson a chance to explore Pratt's character in greater depth.  Robinson also introduces a number of new elements, such as the new Batman promised on the cover and the revelation that another of Jack Kirby's New Gods villains - Kanto the Assassin - is loose on Earth.  For my money though, nothing tops the revelation that Gotham City is now a savage land filled with dinosaurs in the wake of the disasters that reshaped the world five years earlier.  More, Gotham has become a home of sorts to Mister Miracle and Big Barda

The art team of Cafu, Julius Gopez and Cam Smith prove an acceptable substitute for the regular penciler/inker duo of Nicola Scott and Trevor scott.  I've enjoyed Cafu's previous recent work on Action Comics and we see more work of that caliber here.  I'm unfamiliar with Julius Gopez, but his work here impresses as well.

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