Comic Book Review: "Earth 2 #1: The Price Of Victory"
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The second wave of DC Comics New 52 begins on a different Earth and in another universe in Earth 2 issue 1. Written by James Robinson with art by Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott and Alex Sinclair, “The Price Of Victory” showcases Superman (Kal-L), Wonder Woman (Diana) Batman (Bruce Wayne) Robin (Helena Wayne) and Supergirl (Kara-Zor-L) fighting the battle of their lives to save Earth 2 from the forces of Darkseid as his parademons, led by Steppenwolf, attempt to invade the planet through towers and boom tubes from their home world of Apokolips. This is the issue where everything changes; heroes die and heroes are born.
"The Price Of Victory" begins with the narrator (Alan Scott) explaining the day that the trinity of wonders (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) fought their last battle for the survival of Earth. Parademons from Apokolips are invading Earth led by Steppenwolf, using towers that control them. All the world countries banded together to fight the invaders. The battle has come to a stale-mate.
Batman finally develops a computer virus that will infect the towers technology and destroy the parademons. He just needs time to get to one of the towers and install it. Kal and Diana with cause a detraction that will buy him time. Superman and Wonder Woman fight horde of evil in downtown Metropolis. As he fights the monsters, Superman is thinking about how much this war has cost him: both the city of Metropolis, which is now a wasted battle field, and the woman he loves: Lois Lane.
Robin and Supergirl are also helping with the battle. Kara assists the World Army in New Guinea. The army is placing nuclear weapons around the world at different locations as a secondary / back up plan in case Batman’s tower computer virus plan fails. While Helena assists her father (in the Bat-jet) by fighting off any parademon who attack him as he scales one of the towers to get to its control room.
Wonder Woman is fighting the hordes when the god Mercury arrives and informs her that all of the gods are fighting for the good of Earth. He wishes to thank her for her service to them and the planet: Earthlings believe in the gods of Olympus once again. He leaves to continue the fighting. As Diana fights the hordes, (in hope of detracting the invaders as Batman infect one of the towers), Steppenwolf appears out of a “Boom Tube” behind her, impales and kills Wonder Woman. Superman screams at him that he will kill him as a group of parademons grab Kal and, using some kind of electricity, explode and kill him. Kara hears this and rushes from New Guinea to Metropolis to help.
Batman finally reaches the top of one of the towers. He tells his daughter to run and leave him behind, but she protests. He tells her that once he installs the virus, the counter-measure of the tower will be to explode before transmitting the virus’s to the next tower. He calls her a good solider, as she cries. He installs the virus; the tower explodes (killing Batman), and passes on the virus to every tower on the planet. Through their combined sacrifice, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman all saves the day and Earth.
As Kara arrives in Metropolis, Robin explains that they are all dead. Kara tells her that they still saved Earth. The virus worked! She shows Robin the dying parademons and the other exploding towers. Suddenly, she sees a “Boom Tube” open and someone going through it. She thinks she sees Steppenwolf. Both Supergirl and Robin decide to give chase, and fly through the portal; and disappear. It is believe they were killed…
Alan Scott, CEO of G.B.C. (Galaxy Broadcasting Corporation) flying over Italy on his private jet, is reviewing this documentary he made about the ultimate sacrifice these brave superheroes made five year earlier.
In Lansing, Michigan, Jay Garrick and his ex-girlfriend, Joan Williams, from college, are arguing/saying goodbye. He thinks they are still together, but she thinks he’s a loser and she’s moving on in the world and he’s going nowhere. She tells him off and that she doesn’t wish to see him anymore. He was fun in college but it’s time to grow up and move on. She leaves. Later that night, Jay is sitting up in the hills, drinking beer thinking about how much of a loser he is at 21. He sees a shooting star. He starts to make a wish when it crashes close to him. He goes to have a look and it’s really the god Mercury. He tells Jay that a new evil is coming and new heroes are needed.
Just as the New 52 reboot gave a new take and origins to the characters in the main DCU, so does this series by killing off the three main characters in the first issue. It’s quite shocking to lose all three Golden Age heroes at once. However; it gives the world of Earth 2 a sense of emptiness and a longing for heroes. By re-introducing the original Golden Age characters of the Flash (Jay Garrick) and Green Lantern (Alan Scott) into a world without heroes, their characters have been given a weight of importance that’s have been lost through decades of revamping. They’ve been written out of the continuity and now they’ve have a new lease on life. It will be interesting to see this new take and origins of these classic characters play out in the New 52 Earth 2.