Friday, November 11, 2016
Top 5 Fridays: Top 5 Things to Make Earth 2 Great Again
Welcome to another exciting edition of Top 5 Fridays. This week we finally had a rebirth for Earth 2... kind of. While it did not carry the Rebirth name, The alternate Earth was reborn thanks to Fury's Pandora Casket. I'm excited for what comes next in this new reborn earth. Eric and I are veterans of the Earth 2 series, and I'm sure we both agree that Earth 2 needed this. Now I'm not going to act like I'm a big time comic book writer, but for this week's list, I'm going to go over advice I would give Dan Abnett as we proceed forward. I know he probably has a plan but consider this therapeutic. This is an opinion-based list, which will be pointing out what I found wrong with all the Earth 2 series, so if you don't like it, I apologize. With that intro out of the way, let's dive in.
5: Keep the Plot Straight and Narrow
Do you want to know what I noticed when we entered the end of the first Earth 2 series? There were many different storylines that we ended up having to follow. On paper this would make sense, it is an entire earth after all, but one of World's End and the beginning of Society's biggest issues is choosing certain storylines over others and making those others pointless. Prime example is in Society's first volume. We have the murder of Terry Sloan, THE OVERARCHING ANTAGONIST OF THE ORIGINAL EARTH 2, and instead of stepping into that and trying to solve the mystery, we spent our time focusing on our the heroes adjusting to their time on the new earth 2. While we got to solve the mystery and stop the bad guy(anticlimactically if I may say so), this has happened to many story arcs in all three Earth 2 series! What happened to the heroes that Constantine recruited? What happened to Yolanda Montez and how did she survive Alan absorbing her red avatar essence? What's the story of Commander Khan using his adopted Father's bayonet to hold his ground against parademons?! We'll never know!!
4: Carefully Decide What Past Comes Back
What I mean by this is that while there were fantastic moments and characters in Earth 2 as a whole, what comes back should be heavily considered, especially with characters. I don't just mean step into the spotlight; I mean brought back in general since Commander Steel has already come back. There are a few characters that I would love to see return, and a few I felt should be left behind. An example of a character to bring back? Al Pratt. He wasn't used nearly enough, with his most memorable moments was having his arm popped off by Brutaal and his death in World's End. His backstory was great, and while it's never explained what happened between him and Hawkgirl, he never got the chance to reconcile with the non-world army Wonders for turning on them in the first volume. An example of a character who should NOT come back is Terry Sloan. Terry was a great villain, but time and time again he was made the cause to almost everything bad on Earth 2, becoming a writer's easy pass. Who killed Alan's fiancé? Terry Sloan. Who brought Mr. Terrific here? Terry Sloan. Who sold out all of Earth 2, causing 2 Apokolips wars?! YOU CAN GUESS WHO! Speaking of wars, though...
3: NO MORE #%^*ING WARS!
Let's count the wars the wonders of Earth 2 have been in! First, there was the Apokolips war, which while only a handful actually took part in, all were affected by it. After five years of 'peace,' the wonders then go to war alongside the World Army to take on Steppenwolf and the country he had taken over. Not even 2 hours after that war ended, the wonders faced the threat of Apokolips again in a second Apokolips war. This one being the longest, taking up three volumes of the main Earth 2 series and an entire weekly series. After the wonders LOSE this war, they are sent to another planet and are forced to fight in the Convergence War. Finally, after all that, they finally get a new Earth 2...and soon after war breaks out for resources, wonders joining different sides. That's five wars in the span of fewer than ten years on their earth and nearly five years since the first issue hit store shelves. We get that the JSA are supposed to be veterans, but these wars just beat the idea over and over, leaving us with just a dark book with different versions of them. Speaking of the Society...
2: The Society over the League
These are three quotes spoken by the Trinity about the JSA during Geoff Johns' 2007 run of the Justice Society comic:
"The Justice League is a strike force. The Justice Society is a Family." -Batman
"A lot of [superheroes] need to learn what you taught us. They need a moral compass."
"The world needs better good guys." -Superman
Does ANY member of the Wonders sound like this? I get that they are all still young. So the mentor angle won't be there, but the only times they've felt like a family are when the ACTUAL family members interacted with each other. This feels more the fault of what I said earlier about all the war that's happened. They never really had time to get to know one another. I don't think some of them know each other's last names. Right now they feel like a strike force, trying to protect Earth 2 and hold it together. With this new start, the heroes have a new chance at becoming the family that Batman has described in the past, by working together and bond at the same time.
1: Keep Hope Alive
Look at the Wonders. We have a man who runs at the speed of light, pulling people out of harm's way, a woman who looks like an angel, heroes that have come back from the dead to help save the world, a Superman and woman, and an avatar that represents all life on the planet. All of these characters should be able to inspire hope to those on Earth 2, no matter how much pain there is. But if it hasn't been made clear, the Earth 2 series has focused on the war between one enemy or each other, leaving little time in between to enjoy the victory. War is going to be a stamp on Earth 2 forever; that much is certain, but how about rather than go from battle to battle, give a chance to breathe. Show us how the Earth is going to be okay after this. How can this be done? Let's look at the last time I felt hope on the earth: The defeat of Bruutal. The heroes have beaten back Apokolips, united with the world army, and the whole team stood together ready for the future. That last image of the Wonders standing triumphantly as one brought hope after all the pain and suffering that happened in volumes 3-5. Next issue, we head right into another war, but that moment of them standing united in the sun gave me hope. We need moments like that. Moments where they triumph and have their heads held high, not holding their ribs and getting ready for the next war. Wonders are supposed to BE hope incarnate, and I hope they can be once more.
That's it for this week's Top 5 Fridays! Are you excited for where Earth 2 will be going? Leave a comment, and I'll see you next week!