Comic Book Review: "Earth 2 #3: Jade Night"
The world of Earth 2 continues to change into a chaotic place in lieu of a new darker evil approaching in DC Comics second wave in Earth 2 #3. “Jade Night”, written by James Robinson with art by Nichola Scott and Trevor Scott, shows the transformation of Alan Scott from a wealthy CEO injured in a train crash in China into the world’s mighty protector: Earth 2’s Green Knight: the Green Lantern. Plus, Jay Garrick makes a friend and out of the darkness a grey, rotting adversary of the earth’s green life resurfaces.
“Jade Night” begins in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, at the site of the tragic train crash. Alan Scott is pulling himself out of the wreckage. He is in absolute pain: blind in his left eye, his arm broken and skin burned. He calls out to his boyfriend Sam (whom he had just proposed marriage too before the crash); there is no reply. In the darkness, he sees a green light. Believing it a rescue team, he follows it. Instead he finds a green bonfire. A voice from out of the fire tells him that he, Alan Scott, is “the one”. Alan asks what the Green Flame is. The fire tells him that it is light, fire, energy; it is the power of the world. The Green Flame mends Alan’s injuries, healing him completely. It explains to him that it saved him from the crash, because he is destined for greatness against the evil which is to come.
Alan asks if the flame caused the crash. “No”, it tells him. The crash was caused by someone else; the green flame simply saved Alan. Sadly, poor Samuel did not survive the crash. This Green Flame is the embodiment of the Energy of the Earth. Whenever there is a great crisis a champion is chosen by the earth itself. Scott asks about the Apokolips war: where was the earth’s chosen hero then? The Flame replies that the world had a sun god then: Superman. But, now the earth needs a hero. The Green Flame will pass the earth’s powers on to Alan Scott. He must stand in Superman’s stead; the Great War to come needs him.
In the Silesian Beskids Mountains of Poland, Jay Garrick is talking to the winged lady. She introduces herself as Hawkgirl. Jay asks how she knew he’d be there; she says “fate” showed her the way to him. He tells her about getting his superfast powers from the Roman god Mercury. She says that’s great and asks him if he knows how to fight. She then shoots arrows at him. Garrick super-runs around her back, and he grabs her. She easily throws him off. She says he’ll need a lot of training. Running fast isn’t going to save the world. Suddenly everything around them (the tress, leaves, and grass) is dying.
Back in China, Alan agrees to accept the earth’s power. He won’t stand by and let another war destroy the earth. The Green Flame tells him that he will be the energy conduit of the planet. It will be visible as green energy. This energy can take any form; limited only by his imagination. The green energy embraces Alan Scott and he changes into earth’s one true knight: Green Lantern. (Alan subconsciously created a green costume for himself during the transfer of power). The Green Flame tells him having an alias in wise. The flame warns him to be careful of his enemies; they might try to use this new power of his against him.
In Virginia, the forest and animals begins dying. A disembodied voice proclaims that “The Green” has found a champion, and in the name of “The Grey” he must rise.
The Green Flame tells Alan he will need a token to focus the power through. He chooses the engagement ring he had proposed to Sam with. The flame tells him that it will serve to protect earth and honor Sam’s memory. Alan ask what he should do now; save the people of the train crash? Search for earths enemies? The flame tells him that there are many evils to face while awaiting the Great Evil to come and Alan’s heart will tell what to do next. The Green Flame dissipates; leaving the new Green Lantern alone in the darkness of the train crash.
In Washington DC, the disembodied “Grey” voice drains all the life out of the surrounding greenery of the White House.
Green Lantern uses his new powers to rescue the survivors of the train crash. He finds Sam’s body and tells him that he’s doing all this for him; to honor him.
In Washington D.C., on the National Mall, everything that is green is dead. The disembodied “Grey” voice is draining the life from everywhere is hopes of catching the Green Knight’s attention. As the entire National Mall is engulfed in rotting tree trunks, a body is formed from the rotting wood. The “Man of Grey”: Grundy. He calls out to Green Lantern. He says that he will kill him again; as he did before.
The Golden Age origins of Alan Scott’s Green Lantern are different from this new origin story. Before, it was: A mystical “Green Flame” (meteorite) was found in the China millennia ago. It was forged, throughout time (over the centuries) into different lanterns. It was eventually found by a railroad engineer named Alan Scott, after a train crash. The Green Flame tells Scott how to forge a magical ring to help him find and capture the people responsible for the crash. He then becomes the crime fighter Green Lantern (his only weakness—wood). The China, Green Flame, and Train Crash parts are there. However; the source of the power is the earth, instead of an extra-terrestrial rock. It remains to be seen if wood is still a factor of weakness (It’s possible, since Grundy is formed from the rotting trees and branches). Jay Garrick’s and Hawkgirl’s meeting takes a backseat in this issue to let Alan Scott’s transformation into Green Lantern shine brightly. As for the “Earth 2” series so far, bit-by-bit and piece-by-piece, the world is being re-filled with heroes (and villains). It’s nice to see these Golden Age characters receive new life and have new adventures.
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