In Review: Earth 2: Society #3

This is the issue that should have started this series.

The covers: You can’t go wrong with either cover this month. The Main cover is a neat shot of Lois Lane, aka the Red Tornado, reporting on at the bottom of some stairs about to be attacked by a group of “Humans Only” citizens. The art is by Jorge Jimenez with colors by John Rauch. The composition that Jimenez created in this is really slick: the reader’s eyes are drawn to the angry people bursting down the stairs and follow them to robotic Lois, who is dressed normally, but looks anything but. The coloring is also really strong, with the shine on her head and skin tops and the tagging on the walls perfect in neon. This works in every possible way. The Variant cover is by Ethan Van Sciver and Andrew Dalhouse. This shows Power Girl taking a swing at Superman high above the city. The Man of Steel is using his heat vision to knock the fellow Kryptonian out, but she’s using her cape to reflect his energy beams. Both characters looks sharp with Power Girl’s face sharp and the details in Superman’s cape stellar. The coloring is also really well done, with the red in her cape and his heat vision drawing focus against the blue and white background. Good luck having to choose which one you’ll purchase. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: This is the best written issue of the series in its short history. Terry Sloan is going psychopath, with Batman unable to stop him. Lois Lane, the Red Tornado, sees the battle and zips over to join in. Power Girl has also arrived to assist, while on the ground Huntress, Flash, and Red Arrow are trying to help the populace down there. The unexpected arrival of Superman creates an instant reaction from Kara, “I told you I never wanted to see you again, Val-Zod,”  who goes after the Man of Steel. This causes Superman to smile and say, “I hope you’re ready to finish what you just started, Power Girl.” Lois is pleading for the pair to keep their focus on Sloan, and then the turn of the page takes the book in a different direction. “Solace” by Daniel H. Wilson is outstanding because it’s the first issue of Earth 2: Society, or the New 52 Earth 2 for that matter, that I’ve read that had a heart. I know just enough of the origin of Lois in this heroic personae to know what’s going on, but Wilson took me deeper into believing what this character is feeling. Pages 7 – 9 have the expected scenes that occurred in the previous two issues (and I’m hoping that these stop soon — they’ve gotten old already. Exposition is enough to relay the information, I don’t need to see it), but they are just gut wrenching. The dialogue on the top half of 7 is horribly painful. The bottom of the page makes it even worse. 9 is incredibly sad. The reveal on 10 – 11 is great, as this character has been one of my favorites and is actually showing the relevance of Convergence. Pages 14 – 16 show something that’s not done enough in comics: a hero does something simple, but heroic. I loved this! Page 18 has a powerful solution to Sloan’s threat, yet has dire consequences for this new world. A great solution and a great cliffhanger. I hope every issue is as good as this! Overall grade: A+

The art: I also really enjoy the work of Jorge Jimenez on this book. His work strongly reminds me of Rick Leonardi at times, such as Lois on Page 1: color her white and add long hair and she looks like a classic Leonardi drawing of Dagger, from Cloak and Dagger fame. Jimenez’s faces look a bit like Kevin Nowlan in close-up on Page 4, but on the rest of the book he’s doing his own unique, wonderful take on the characters. Lois is amazing on the 7 – 9, with the full reveal on 7 brutal, the final panel on 8 so sad, and 9 glorious and longing. Page 9 is going to be a splash that burns its way into fans’ consciousness. The surprise individual on 10 and 11 had me cheer and be a little frightened in the second panel on the latter. The energy streaming off this character is great! 14 is an incredibly strong page where Lois is not the focus. No words are needed to tell the story on this page, but when combined with the text it will echo too many events in the real world’s history. The first panel on 16 gives me goose pimples each time I see it. You feel the emotion pouring out of this image and page. 16’s splash is a spectacular image that recalls a certain similarly colored character from the 1970s drawn by Jim Aparo. This book looks great and I’ll follow Jimenez forever because of what he accomplishes here. Overall grade: A+

The colors: The story and artwork screams somber on many pages, but Alejandro Sanchez doesn’t go dark, he uses several bright colors that perfectly fit into what’s occurring and really gives a punch to the pages. For example, look at the partial double-paged splash on 2 and 3. The characters are brightly colored, while the super detailed background is colored in greens and blues to make the heroes pop. Page 4 has a super/epic violent scene but is colored beautifully. This would be the type of explosions where one would stop in their tracks and “ooh” and “ahh” it. Page 9 has some amazing colors, with some terrific work on the sun’s rays and the shine coming off of Lois’ body. As great as this is, I was completely taken by the greens that appear on 10 and 11. Sanchez could drop the mic and walk away at this point. He’s aces on this book. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Travis Lanham contributes scene settings and character identifiers (the same font), narration and dialogue (the same font), opening title and credits, sounds, screams, and the next issue’s tease. He does a good job, though I really want a different font for scene settings and character identifiers, and I need the narration to be different from the dialogue. Plus, I’d rather Lois’ dialogue be differentiated from others by the font, rather than the shape of the balloon that contains it. And, shouldn’t the character that appears on 10 have a unique font to set him apart from other people? Considering what’s happened to him… Lanham is okay on this book, but could have been better. Overall grade: B

The final line: This is the issue that should have started this series. I felt and saw the emotion on every page. 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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