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Written By: Dan Abnett Art By: Tony Harris, Wade Von Grawbadger, Angel Hernandez, David Calderon, Travis Lanham Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: August 10, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Holy Shit, did you see how fucked up Captain Steel got in the previous issue? I mean, one of Ultra-Humanite's brainwashed children just went and tore into his insides until that they became his outsides and I know that we're only dealing with comics here, but I was mortified as hell by that scene. The thing is though, I don't know anyone who really loves Captain Steel as a character and I don't know if putting him on death's door was a way to get people on the Captain Steel trolley or if Dan Abnett simply doesn't like the character either and is killing him off to free up some panel play for some likable characters....... This isn't a Captain Steel book though so let's get down to business. In the previous issue we saw our Wonders take on the Ultra-Humanite's genetically altered children and goddamn did our heroes get their asses kicked. It seems that everyone wants to get their hands on Fury's Pandora Casket....... formerly the Pandora Vessel, I don't know why they changed the name of it, but that doesn't matter. What matters is, whoever gets their hands on Fury's box will be able to reshape the world to however they see fit............ somehow........ Fury's box...... ha ha. Let's jump into this issue and check it out.
Our issue picks up exactly where we left off last issue, with Dick Grayson coming face to face with his son John, who's now known as Firepattern and has been genetically altered to have superpowers and be a teenager now. Even though Ultra-Humanite orders the child to kill Dick, Firepattern refuses because he's his daddy........ and man is it a good thing too because as we saw in the last issue, Dick's Bat suit is fucked up and our Dark Knight of Earth 2 can't even freaking walk......... and not that it really matters, but it's also weird as hell seeing this adult looking John Grayson, bleeding down his face and saying "Daddy" over and over again. To transition our story out of this, Fury shows up and John hightails it out of there in a weird scene that doesn't make any sense to me, but we have to transition somehow, right?. One of the best things to come out of this issue though is when Huntress comes over to Batman to make sure he's okay and she instantly goes after John once Dick tells her to because he simply says it's his missing son. It's just a really nice moment that I wish would have been built up better because even though we had the two talking last issue, we haven't really seen Huntress and Batman having any kind of real interaction, but here it seems that the two appear to be very close and Huntress goes off on her own to do Batman a favor and all it took was a "please". It's a really cool scene, but after that it's all about regrouping and wondering how and why they just got their asses kicked as bad as they did.
After a brief argument about whether or not they should destroy the Pandora Casket because of the trouble it could cause, Flash comes along and shuts everyone down by making them feel like shit when he informs them that Captain Steel might not make it. Luckily the story picks back up from this downer moment when Alan Scott realizes that Ultra-Humanite is the one involved and even though we never saw any of these heroes take this villain on or even talk about him, they all seem to know his history and the fact that he's probably up to no good........... maybe this is the Earth 2 legacy that we just never got to see because everything pretty much went to hell after we got these character's origins in the series.
In the end, with the hunch that the Ultra-Humanite is probably monitoring all frequencies, Alan Scott opens up a channel and the villain and our former Green Lantern have themselves a conversation about the future of the world..........which ultimately just turns into Ultra-Humanite taking control of Alan and making him will his ring back, making him the Green Lantern again and the most powerful person on the planet........... who's under a mad genius' control. All I know is, if our heroes got their asses kicked by a bunch of kids last issue so they better have a goddamn plan going forward because now they have to contend with the power of a god.
That's it for this issue of Earth 2: Society and I was surprised how much I liked this issue for how little went on here. It's pretty much just a whole bunch of arguing that is always on the cusp of leading to fisticuffs, but never do.......... that is until Alan Scott goes and gets himself turned into Ultra-Humanites sock puppet........ Then there's a whole lot of ass getting kicked. Really though, we have one of the biggest moments in character depth in my mind from this series here and it's simply a look between Huntress and Batman that gets her to spring into action and beyond my understanding, it's powerful as hell. The reason it's beyond my understanding is because the first portion of this book's art is just terrible. Usually, I really hate saying anything disparaging about someone's artistic style, but this looked terrible to the point where I was half expecting the characters to start melting. It does get better as the book goes on........ because we get an artist change, but goddamn is this book jarring as hell when you first open it. Overall, we have a strange issue that is pretty enjoyable, even though not a lot goes on and half the issue looked like it just stared into the Ark of the Covenant. I continue to look forward to where this series goes because since I've been in the thick of things for this long, I might as well tough it out and get some kind of reward........... I'm going to get a reward, right? Reward or not, I need to know how DC plans on fixing this series for when it gets renumbered.
Bits and Pieces:
If you're still invested in the Earth 2 series then I feel bad for all the shit you had to go through to get here, but luckily it looks like things are starting to come out Milhouse because while the book seems to be getting padded out to maintain a title as a place card....... or whatever reason DC might have for prolonging this, it does seem to be getting interesting and with this story arc I can't help but care where this series goes. The only bitch of the matter is we're getting multiple artists now and it's killing my reading experience.