In Review: Earth 2 Society #10

This is the DC book everyone should be reading. Recommended.

The cover: Batman has launched himself down upon Hourman, who looks up at the Dark Knight with his fists ready. This is a really powerful piece that shows the two characters just before the swinging starts. Emotion on both characters’ faces instantly tells the reader how they’re feeling about the other, and the colors create an absolutely tense mood with strong energy beams behind Batman and the tainted yellows on Hourman. Outstanding work by interior artist Jorge Jimenez and interior colorist Alejandro Sanchez. Overall grade: A+

The story: “It’s wartime,” says Batman, standing atop the sign of Nimbus Solutions. “Start the clock.” What a spectacular beginning to “One Nation Indivisible” by Dan Abnett. Red Arrow and Ted are seizing the company’s warehouse compound to begin the destruction of the corporation, while Bats breaks into Kyle Nimbus’s office to take him down. The businessman is unconcerned by Batman’s entrance through his windows and the claims made against him. Why? He’s got his own “wonder” of his own for “personal protection.” He bushes a button and Hourman emerges. Batman looks upon the super and asks, “Would it kill you to fight on the right side ever?” Before this major confrontation begins, Abnett moves the story to some other heroes who have discovered something of major consequence to their new world. Adding to their predicament is one hero’s decision to do something unexpected, but not surprising as he’s being true to his character. Pages 8 and 9 were incredibly strong stuff; there’s no fighting, just someone making a decision that will change his life forever, and possible that of Earth 2. But Abnett’s not done: Kendra discovers something that puts her immediate danger and will rip alliances apart for this world. Three major plotlines going in this issue and not one seems rushed or cut short. Abnett is spinning all three wonderfully and has created tension at every possible turn. This is how to tell a story. Overall grade: A+

The art: Jorge Jimenez is matching this story’s intensity, panel by panel. The opening page contains a spectacular image of Batman atop a sign telling his allies to begin their assault. Naturally it’s raining on him, but he looks as awesome as Batman’s ever looked in this image. His arrival in Nimbus’s office is terrific, with the room being businessman decadent and the broken glass from the hero’s entrance spilling everywhere. Nimbus is wonderfully smug, as if he’s channeling Martin Shkreli. The arrival of Hourman is delightfully ominous. When the pair are shown fighting in the final pages it’s every bit as epic as one could hope for. Pages 6 – 9 is a meeting in a room, with participants standing or sitting, yet Jimenez makes their conversation interesting to look at by moving the point of view around and having the characters emote beautifully. The pages involving Kendra are riveting. There’s action and suspense a plenty, but it’s Page 16 that left me gasping out of the entire book. This is a page that fans will be lauding long after its publication: gorgeous, forbidding, and deadly. There’s not enough praise I can heap onto Jimenez for the look of this book. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Matching the sizzle of the artwork are the colors by Alejandro Sanchez. On the first page Batman in the rain and it is incredible for its perfect use of black, yellow, and violet. The action of the Red Arrow and Ted at the bottom of Page 2 is made more intense by being colored blood red, emphasizing the work they’re doing. The leap Bats takes into the office uses a deep orange as a background color to show the intensity of the situation. This color provides a great contrast to the overwhelming yellow and gold that proliferates Nimbus’s office, and also foreshadows the dominant color of the hero who’s soon to appear. Gorgeous blues provide the primary background color for Kendra’s environment and also foreshadow the shock on 16. Sanchez is a killer when it comes to coloring. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Scene settings, sounds, dialogue, story title and credits, computer text, yells, and screams are created by Travis Lanham. His dialogue is a slick, thin line that when italicized for emphasis makes the characters’ voices clearer for the reader. The sounds are outstanding, with each matching the action, and that first sound on 3 being excellent. Lanham completes the visuals of this book outstanding. Overall grade: A+

The final line: This is the DC book everyone should be reading. Drama, action, and intensity that’s the envy of other books. Recommended. Overall grade: A+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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