In Review: Earth 2: Society #6

A solid story with excellent visuals make this entertaining reading.

The cover: Three of this issue’s villains, Johnny Sorrow, Hourman, and Anarky are on the cover, created by Jorge Jimenez and John Rauch. Johnny Sorrow’s mask is slightly off so readers might hazard a guess as to who he is, but what occurs in this issue will have them making a different guess. Hourman is the new big bad in this issue. He’s strong enough to take on Superman, and he packs quite a punch. Anarky is not a strong villain and doesn’t last too long in this issue’s throw down, but he does look really cool. This issue opens with the villains and heroes fighting, so this is a good introductory image for this book. Overall grade: B+

The story: Doctor Impossible, Jimmy Olsen’s super villain identity, has brought Johnny Sorrow and Anarky to the middle of Cerebus City for them to duke it out with Superman, Batman, and the Flash. Superman goes for Doctor Impossible, Batman for Anarky, and the Flash breaks the mask of Johnny Sorrow with one punch. When the villain looks up at the Flash, and his visage is not shown to the reader, the Flash screams and curls up in the fetal position. Even with the Flash taken out of the conflict, the battle seems to be going the heroes’ way, until Hourman arrives. The battle is interrupted by a flashback to three months earlier in New Gotham with Jimmy Olsen and two others, giving a partial origin of how Jimmy has gained his god-like abilities. That’s justification enough for this story’s title “Godhood”, written by Daniel H. Wilson. I admit to being initially disappointed in not seeing the conclusion of the fight, as this series often interrupts exciting events with flashbacks to up to a year ago, but I found myself growing interested in Olsen and how he began his climb to power and his accumulation of allies. The best bit of dialogue is on Page 17 because it is perfect for the moment, inspiring both awe and dread. This is truly a story of a boy with delusions of grandeur. Overall grade: A

The art: The artwork on this book by Alisson Borges is really, really good. His character work is well done, with Doctor Impossible constantly giving off an aura of power, even when Superman is trying to smack him down. Out of costume, in the flashbacks, Olsen looks like a kid — because he is. He’s too intelligent for his own good and, and he’s always trying to fathom out mystery. The best illustration of the book is the splash on 17; his pose is awesome, while the stance adopted by the other character on the page is unsettling. This issue provided a difficult panel for Borges to create: Johnny Sorrow driving Flash insane. He succeeds wildly, relying on the Flash’s reaction to communicate to the reader how horrendous his face is. The scenes with Superman are very strong, as they should be, and when Hourman becomes involved in the fight the battle becomes even more epic. I really liked the visual at the top of 9 showing the Man of Steel using one of his powers on Hourman. The sequence on Page 12 is also nicely done; no dialogue is necessary to tell the reader what’s going on, so Wilson rightly interjects Olsen’s thoughts into the proceedings. It visually exciting and very fluid in its motion. The top panel on the last page imitates an iconic image created by Michelangelo, and it’s beautiful and terrifying. This book looks great and Borges is to be congratulated. Overall grade: A

The colors: Two colorists are involved in this issue, Alejandro Sanchez and Blond. It’s impossible to tell where one’s work ended and the other began, the work blends so seamlessly. This book has a very luminescent, almost neon, coloring palette: Doctor Impossible uses a light violet to show his strength, explosions are in neon orange and yellow, the Flash’s costume and movement create a vivid red, and the city is bathed in a constant alien green — and this is only for the opening battle! The best coloring is on page 12, with a character making his way to a building at night, with the lit up city behind him. This is beautiful work and I wish other books were as bright. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Travis Lanham creates scene settings, dialogue and narration (the same font), story title and opening credits, sounds, yells, and the tease for next issue. I’d like to see the narration and dialogue have a different font, but that’s the only flaw in a terrific job. I’m grateful that Lanham is allowed to contribute sounds to this issue during the fight, as it makes the battle stronger. Overall grade: A-

The final line: Another fun installment in Earth 2’s saga. A solid story with excellent visuals make this entertaining reading. 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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