Comic Book Review: "Earth 2 #2: Age Of Wonders"
The second wave of DC Comics New 52 continues in Earth 2, issue 2. “Age Of Wonders”, written by James Robinson with art by Nichola Scott and Trevor Scott, shows the quiet Earth 2 beginning to take a sharp turn from a peaceful place into a volatile planet of dark dangers and new heroes. The world has been quiet for the past 5 years since to sacrifice of the “Trinity of Wonders”; it is believed that the dangers to the world are long gone. However, at the warning of the god, Mercury (suddenly reappearing in the world) a new evil is coming. The slacker Jay Garrick is caught in the middle of the mystery and forced into becoming a hero in a world without them. The young CEO Alan Scott is the gleaming beacon of tribute to the fallen heroes of the past; and he is about to become one himself.
“Age Of Wonders” begin in New York. A portal opens in Lower Manhattan and Mr. Terrific (Michael Holt) flies through and finds himself on Earth 2. He realizes that he is on Earth but not the one he knows because of the memorial statue of the fallen Wonder Woman and the Alan Scott documentary being broadcast on large monitors. A man recognizes Mr. Terrific and calls him by his true name, "Mr. Holt". At first, Mr. Terrific dismisses the name, but the man introduces himself as Terry Sloan; the smartest man on Earth (the original Golden Age mr. Terrific). He’s been expecting Holt. Sloan says he can’t let Holt interfere with his plans. The people in the crowd around them notice Mr. Terrific. He looks like one of the “wonders” or maybe someone from Apokolips suddenly afraid of him (It’s been five years since anyone super-powered has been on the planet, Holt’s appearance is met with distain and suspicion). Holt’s intelligence and technical knowledge of his other Earth (DCNU) could be used to stop Sloan. Sloan knows Holt won’t look kindly on his plans. Mr. Terrific tries to defend himself with his T-Spheres. But Sloan counters with “pixie dust” from the fingertips of his gloves (it is really an airborne nanites virus) that turns the T-Sphere against Mr. Terrific and electrocutes him.
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In Lansing, Michigan, at the crash site of the god Mercury, Jay Garrick is still confused by Mercury’s warning of a new evil and the need for heroes. Mercury tells Jay that he is dying. He was imprisoned in a black void for the last five years by an evil darkness. He had to use all his powers to escape; however doing so has cost him his life. The world needs heroes; since the “Trinity of Wonders” is gone, let a new age of heroes begin. He is glad he found such a hero as Jay Garrick. Jay says no hero, just a 21 years old loser. Mercury rebukes his self-depreciation and before he dies, he plans to pass his powers onto Jay. He reaches out his finger and a spark of lightning hits Jay and he flies back onto the ground. Mercury has given him “The speed of a god”. As Garrick stands up, his clothes have changed into a red and blue bodysuit with a silver helmet with Mercury wings on the sides. Suddenly, the World Army arrives, in helicopters and searchlights, to inspect the crash. They spot Garrick and demand that he, “Stop. Don’t move!” Jay is frightened and asks Mercury what he should do. He tells him to run. Jay quickly dashes off at super speed just as Mercury dies.
On the other side of the world, CEO Alan Scott arrives in Hong Kong and meets his boyfriend Samuel. The two embrace and kiss. Alan is looking forward to relaxing at the penthouse after his meeting in Beijing, but Samuel has planned a romantic getaway for the two of them in the mountains at a lodge hotel. They can take the bullet train and get there is a few hours. Alan thinks “it sounds magical”.
Back in Lansing, Jay Garrick is quietly walking through the streets. Jay notices that he has the ability to change between his super suit and his street clothes at will. He overhears a homeless man babbling about the end of days and new evils coming from the skies. Jay feels uncomfortable with this and wants to get away from the nut job, and bolt off in a flash. He can run up the sides up buildings and the speed feels great! He suddenly hears people crying for help. He sees a couple being attacked by “Apokorats”. He quickly sweeps up the rats into a garbage can, telling them he’ll save them in “a flash”. Then he runs off again. His new powers feel amazing as he speeds off. He realizes just how fast he’s running and tries to stop. He causes a huge dirt ditch by the time he stops. He asks the person there where he is. And they scream amazement in Polish; he thinks Jay is a parademon. Suddenly, a winged, costumed woman flies down from the sky. She tells Jay that he is in Poland and that it took him long enough to get there.
In China, on the bullet train, Samuel tells Alan about how great the view of the forest from the lodge will be. Alan tells Samuel he has a gift for him. He wanted to wait until the business trip to be over, but now is just a good of a time as ever. He wants Sam to move his office from China to America, so the two of them can be closer to each other. He then produces an engagement ring, and begins to propose marriage. Suddenly, there is an explosion on the track in the front of the bullet train and the train is derailed over a huge gulley.
What do you think of Alan Scott being a homosexual?
The storyline of the Earth 2 heroes is similar to the heroes of the mainstream DCNU: heroes suddenly appearing (with a five year time gap) and the world being apprehensive and suspicion of them. The difference here is that there were already once heroes (that died saving the world from an extraterrestrial evil), and the people of the world have become docile and complacent. However; it would appear that someone people (Terry Sloan) are aware of the “other” Earth, and want to keep Earth 2 superhero free. This is the big issue for the DCNU; with the reveal of Alan Scott is a homosexual. The behind-the-scene story is that since the revamp makes all the characters younger, Alan Scott’s son, Obsidian (who‘s a gay character), no longer exists. The writers felt that it was important to keep a strong gay character, and decided it should be the father in place of the son. As for the story, thing are starting to get interesting: What are Terry Sloan’s plans? Who is the Winged Lady? Who or what caused the explosion that derails the bullet train in China? The end of this issue teases that Green Lantern is born in the next issue. Since the Golden Age Green Lantern had nothing to do with the modern Green Lantern Corps, but a mystical green meteorite, it will be interesting to see the modern origins of the classic Alan Scott Green Lantern in Earth 2, issue 3.