Earth 2 is essentially the book that DC is releasing in order to please fans of the JSA without introducing the concept of ‘legacy’ characters to their new, fresher and younger DC Universe. So what does that mean? Well for one, we get the JSA back; albeit in a very different incarnation. Those ‘old timer’ superheroes we’re used to seeing on the JSA roster have been de-aged just like their standard New 52 counterparts, so the JSA characters are all in the 25 to 35 year old age range. The book starts off with Earth 2’s versions of Batman, Superman and Wonderwoman taking on Steppenwolf and a hoard of Parademons, although they are hardly the stars of the issue. Without giving too much away, the focus shifts from the ‘big three’ to their sidekicks, Supergirl and Robin, who are nearby for support until a strange dimensional gateway opens and sucks the two of them into it (more on that in my review of World’s Finest!). Our focus quickly shifts from the now dimensionally displaced sidekicks to a barely recognizable young ma with blonde hair that quickly establishes himself as billionaire playboy Alan Scott. Yes, you read that right; Alan Scott is pretty much Iron-Man now. We’re introduced to a fresh out of college Jay Garrick, who has just been dumped by his college sweetheart after graduation. The issue ends with a cliffhanger that certainly leaves you wanting more while also fulfilling any expectations you may have had for this book.
In short, Earth 2 is the best single issue read since Justice League premiered back in September. Writer James Robinson reinvents the JSA in this new Earth 2 universe wonderfully, keeping enough familiar elements to please fans while also making enough new and different to keep it interesting for newcomers. This book reminded me a lot of the first time I read a book taking place in Marvel’s ‘Ultimate’ universe. It felt familiar, yet different, but in a very awesome way. Robinson’s script sets Earth 2 in a bold new direction and reinvents the members of the JSA for a new generation. On top of being one of the best written books to come from the ‘New 52’, Earth 2 is also one of the best looking books DC has released in years. Nicola Scott’s artwork is superb (as always) and brings a certain flair to the book. While most of the new costumes seen here were designed by Jim Lee, it’s fairly obvious that Scott had a lot of fun drawing them and brought her own sense of style to them. If you only buy ONE of the ‘Second Wave New 52’ books, be sure it’s Earth 2. This book shows a lot of promise and looks to be one of the best ongoing series DC Comics has to offer.