Friday, February 19, 2016
Top 5 Fridays: Top 5 Moments of the Earth 2 Series
Welcome back to another exciting installment of Top 5 Fridays! If you haven't kept up with comic news, DC has finally explained the mystery of what Rebirth is. In May, we'll be getting "rebirths" of many DC titles in an attempt for the creative teams to bring the characters back to what they were meant to be. Earth 2 is one of these titles, and after a year and a half of nothing but war, death, and betrayal, I welcome it with open arms. With that in mind, I decided to go back and look at some of the better moments on Earth 2 that made the series great in my eyes. As with all my lists, I'd like to remind everyone that it is my list, so if you don't see your favorite moments, I apologize. Let's begin!
5: Doctor Fate vs. Wotan
Lets start this list off with a bang with the first battle with our favorite master of magic. Throughout volume 2, we see Khalid struggle with the thought of losing himself while wearing the Helmet of Fate. Nabu (being the piece of crap we always know him to be) keeps egging him on to put the helmet back on and let him take control, but when Jay's mother is being held hostage, Khalid doesn't only put back on the helmet, but tells Nabu to &*$! off and if he wants to help he can. We then have the two halves of Fate working together to take on Wotan in a stylistic battle above a city, showing off the power of Fate to those new to the character, but also have Khalid grow from a man afraid of fate to the doctor that controls it.
4: The New Batman's Identity
The first issue of this amazing series showed us the death of Batman, so as much of a god-like pedestal people put him on, a lot were confused when we saw Batman back in the world. There was no Dick Grayson to replace him as Helena Wayne was Robin, and Huntress on Earth Prime, so who could it be? The Moment I saw the red in the outfit, I INSTANTLY guessed it was supposed to be Thomas Wayne...and big surprise: it was! However when we learn the background of this new version, it's an interesting reimagining of the Flashpoint Batman with a dash of Dark Knight Returns brutality, AND a sprinkle of Hourman. Before the insanity that was World's End, Thomas Wayne was another great wonder to add to the roster with a tragic history.
3: Green Lantern vs. Grundy
What can I say about Alan Scott? He is awesome, bad-ass, and probably my favorite wonder on Earth 2 before his ascension to near god-hood. In all honesty, this reimagined version of the character made me interested in the Green and the past version of him.
What can I say about Grundy? While I have heard a few complaints about the reinvention of the character, I think he fits PERFECTLY as Alan's adversary. Grundy at his core is the ultimate personification of death, where Alan is at his core the personification of life.
When these two titans clashed, it actually felt like this was a legend in the making; two halves of the same elemental coin fighting for the fate of the world. The end of the battle also fit, not only as a call back to Alan and Grundy's first fight in comics, but also as a bookmark in what would probably have been an amazing rivalry. It's a battle I mark down as one of the greats, and a rivalry I hope returns in the Rebirth.
2: Flash pushes Begulier into Infinity
Volumes 4 and 5 of the series definitely took a very dark turn for the world. People died, religious symbols were destroyed, and our Wonders were pushed to their limits. Jay Garrick was probably pushed the furthest both mentally and physically.
At the beginning of the series, he was a slob going nowhere with his life, cracked jokes all the time. By the end of volume 3, he had established himself as a hero, he still doubted his abilities and purpose when standing next to the magical Dr. Fate, Superman-like Alan Scott, and all the Wonders of the World Army.
Halfway through Volume 4, he was captured and tortured by Beguiler for a few issues before getting saved by Alan and Hawkgirl. When Begulier gets the upper hand and threatens his friends, Jay finally steps up and proves that he is an equal; not to the reader, but to himself. He goes so fast that he pushes Begulier into infinity (which really is like pushing her into a white light that she can't escape from), thanking her for making him into the man he had become through her torture. Jay went from Zero to Hero in a....few volumes of a once great series.
1: Val-Zod steps up to become Superman
In my mind, I feel like the first 5 volumes of Earth 2 came to a full circle for the series. We started with the deaths of the first Wonders (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) at the end of the Apokolips War. Years pass and new Wonders arose, and while they were able to hold their own... The world was missing something... Then the world went to war again... and a new wonder arose to help the others to defend it; Batman, and while Batman is helpful in fighting a war, it isn't what the world needed... With Apokolips returning to finish the job, the world needed hope... and hope came in the form of an agoraphobic young man.
We had a young man who was too afraid of the outside world and himself to believe he could do good, but when the time came a pep talk from the boy who would have grown up to be his best pal inspired him to remove his hoodie and step up to becoming something more...to become Superman. The moment he flew up to face Brutaal (the apokolyptic clone of the original Superman) it made me realize that his was what happened before: Batman and Superman lead a team of Wonders(granted there's a helluva lot more at this point) against the brutal forces of Apokolips...and unlike the the first time...all the Wonders get to live and prepare for a brighter tomorrow that never came. In my eyes, Earth 2 truly ended the moment Val-Zod took his place and lead the group against Earth 2's greatest failure to stop, and that's why it's my number 1.
That's it for this week's Top 5 Friday! What was your favorite moment on Earth 2? Do you want to see lists like this for the other series getting rebirthed? Leave a comment and I'll see you next time!