Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Earth 2 #24 - A Review

I remember having a conversation at a convention a few months back, describing Earth 2 to a skeptical comic fan who loved the Golden Age heroes but didn't like much of what The New 52 had offered so far.  He was excited about the concepts as I described them - how they were taking the basic idea of the original characters (man who can run fast, man with a magic ring, woman who can fly, etc.) but creating whole new takes on those base ideas while staying true to the core character.   So we have a Jay Garrick who is still a curious science student who is now blessed with the power of the Roman god Mercury and an Alan Scott who is given the power to harness the energy of the Earth itself through the engagement ring he bought for his lost love.

The part where this skeptic froze up was when I described Jimmy Olsen and how he has a superpower in this world.  He said he wasn't sure that he could get into any series where Jimmy Olsen had powers.  Now, ignoring that Jimmy developed superpowers more than a few times back in the day (temporarily, of course), that doesn't change that Tom Taylor still writes Jimmy like Jimmy.  Indeed, Tom Taylor writes one of the best takes on Jimmy Olsen I've ever read.

Sure, the boy has the power to absorb and recall information like a sponge and is a living wi-fi connection but that's completely incidental to who Jimmy is.  Jimmy is honest.  Jimmy is courageous.  Jimmy is an idealist in a world of cynics. And all of that comes to the front in this issue's most glorious scene, in which Jimmy Olsen delivers a The Reason You Suck Speech to Batman.

And yet, Jimmy is still enough of a fanboy to want to be Robin and enough of an egoist to think he'd be doing Batman a favor.  Hell of it is, I think the kid's right and this new Batman would be lucky to have Jimmy as his moral compass to keep him from going over the edge.  God knows he needs one.

I didn't say much about the artwork of Eddy Barrows and  Eber Ferreira  in all of this talking.  How could my words do it justice without panels to show off right then and there?  Just look at the pages above and I think you'll see for yourself how good it is and why I think everyone should be reading this book.  I said as much then and I'll say it again - this is one of the best books on the stands and everyone should be reading it.

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