The New 52 Earth 2: Better for Women?

After giving up on the rest of the DC New 52, I thought I’d give the superhero comics another chance now that they’re reintroducing the multiverse to their continuity. With alternate worlds, maybe there’s a happier one, less focused on big fights and gross, blood-soaked images.

Earth 2 #1 quickly showed me that assumption was wrong. The company has been very close-mouthed about the book and its premise, so forgive me for discussing SPOILERS following.

Darkseid attempts to invade Earth, and the big three — Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman — are presumed dead after battling him. This will lead to the formation of a new hero group, some of whose members are shown briefly in this issue. Writer is James Robinson, who is far away from the guy whose work we all loved on Starman. Did he have brain surgery? Replaced by a doppelganger, like those old “Paul is dead” rumors? Simply burn out? Art is by Nicola Scott and Trevor Scott.

In order to get there, though, these heroes have to die. Superman, portrayed much the same as the character we used to know, gets this:

Earth 2 Superman panel

Batman, still the strategist, is presumed gone after a heartfelt farewell to his daughter Helena and another explosion. Helena is Robin, before becoming the Huntress and moving into the pages of Worlds’ Finest (see below). But Wonder Woman, the bloodthirsty warrior, is lovingly impaled in this half-page:

Earth 2 Wonder Woman panel

Worlds Finest 1 cover

I suppose, if I was being charitable, that I could infer that we see the woman’s death in such detail to show how down-to-earth a hero she is, how her character is less cosmic and less mysterious than the other two. But I’m really tired of the bloodthirsty warrior as the driving motivation behind Wonder Woman. There’s so much more to her than that, but that’s all the writers these days seem to want to focus on.

Worlds’ Finest #1 is a much better read, featuring the Huntress and Power Girl (who was previously Supergirl) as buddies trying to survive a difficult situation together. They’ve been thrown into another world, and they’re trying to get back home. That makes for a nice, simple motivation most can relate to, if a bit of a departure from traditional heroism. It’s a real pleasure to see two women starring in a DC superhero series, without worrying about them flashing body parts at the (presumed male) reader to keep their interest.

I’ll be following this series, written by Paul Levitz. I like the double art structure, too, with “present day” illustrated by George Pérez and Scott Koblish and flashbacks drawn by Kevin Maguire. I’ve missed seeing his clean lines.


7 Responses to “The New 52 Earth 2: Better for Women?”

  1. Chris G Says:

    Things like this make me feel good about not buying any of DC’s monthly comics since 2008 or so.

  2. James Schee Says:

    I pretty much expected the 3 to die, just sort of wish it had been done in a couple of pages so we could get to the true stars. Way too many drawn out stories these days.

    We’ve seen Jay, Alan, and Al so far. Hopefully we get to see the female characters next issue.

    I still wish Power Girl had a more modern look, but the first issue of WF was great.

  3. Terry Webster Says:

    Now I understand the story that the new 52 was leading up to — somewhere out in the Multiverse, the position once filled by the JSA Earth 2 has now been taken over by the New 52 Earth 2, possibly shunting into another position or sharing the same space as Phantom Girl’s Home World does. While this catastrophic phenomenon was happening, a horrific disease spread throughout the universe infecting the Grand Costume Designer of the Universe, the “Couturier Cosmic,” it began affecting all good costume designs across the multitude of worlds.

    Darkseid, who had only recently taken an online fashion design course, saw it was centred around this new Earth 2 and was deeply offended. He dispatched Steppenwolf to put an end to this affront with his Parademons destroying all but a few (what horrors must he have endured). Luckily, only the Supers and Robin remained probably because they had not been too severely infected with bad taste. Robin and Supergirl fled Earth 2 hoping to start afresh on Earth 1, little realizing they had brought the disease with them.

    It slowly spread through the super-hero community on Earth 1, but it was poor Supergirl who had been the worst infected. She tried making it as Power Girl, but it was too late — alas she created the hideous outfit she wears on Earth 1.

    Otherwise, I liked it.

  4. Argo Plummer Says:

    I bought both Earth 2 and Worlds Finest based on my love for the pre-crisis Earth 2 characters and my respect for the creators. I like Nicola Scott’s art and this is my first regular exposure to it. I love James Robinson, though admittedly it’s been a while since he’s written something I really liked. Starman, the Golden Age, and Leave it to Chance buy a lot leeway in my ledger though. Worlds Finest has a writer I like and my two favorite artists of all time working on it–though both their recent track records make me nervous about how long they can last on this book.

    Both issues, along with Dial H #1 are still waiting for me to read them. I will check back in once I’ve read them. I appreciate your point about the way WW’s death is treated as opposed to the other two but hearing about the role Hawkgirl is supposed to play I hope you hang around long enough to see if that works for you and I hope Robinson doesn’t drag out her introduction for too long.

  5. JoseVCC Says:

    Earth-Two #1 had everything Justice League #1 lacked; in many ways, this was a much better introductory story. Nicola Scott’s art was amazing, and I loved every one of the characters.

    Please check my mini-review here:

    http://bit.ly/IpBehw

    Comments and feedback are always welcome!

  6. Jim Perreault Says:

    Thanks for the warning. I now know to avoid Earth 2. I had strong doubts about the series, and you’ve confirmed them.

    Jim

  7. JoseVCC Says:

    Worlds’ Finest #1 was great. Both the past and present sequences were fun and superbly illustrated by Maguire and Perez. I can’t wait to see the girls in their new adventures and what they have been up to for the past five years. Since Huntress and Power Girl are new to this world, I wonder whether they ever acted as Robin and Supergirl during the five year gap. I’m sure everyone hates PG’s costume; the one in the original solicitations was much better, but I’m sure this will be corrected soon.

    Please check my mini-review here:

    http://bit.ly/Ksu825

    Comments and feedback are always welcome!




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