Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Earth 2 Annual #2 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Tom Taylor
Art By: Robson Rocha, Scott Hanna
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 29, 2014

The Man Behind The Mask.

What a week we have ahead of us.  Not only do we have this Annual, but we have Worlds' Finest's first Annual as a nice companion.  Earth 2 goodness for all of us to sink our teeth into, so let's get to the meat of the matter.  This issue we finally have the reveal of the new Earth 2 Batman.  But if you follow the site you'll know that a couple of months ago DC accidentally let the ball drop when they released the new Batman's action figure.  So whether you know the secret or not, this is a crucial issue for Earth 2 readers.  Last issue we saw Batman recruit his team to help take down Superman, and in the end Red Tornado, Hawk Girl and him retreated to the Bat Cave, for what seems to be a little story time.  Here we go, the origin of Batman.

Explain It!:

This story begins the way all Batman origin stories should begin, in Crime Alley with two bullets.  We all know this story, but take your knowledge on the subject and leave it at the dock because we're going into uncharted waters.  To tell this story we'll jump ahead to Batman (Bruce Wayne) investigating the death of Joe Chill.  Apparently Chill is the fourth victim in a series of murders that involves head crushing.  That's right a serial crusher.  Who Batman believes to be a big freakin' guy.  The only connection to Chill's death is that the first three victims all worked for the Francavilla crime family, so Batman figures he'll put the pieces together by going after the head of the family; Frankie Francavilla.

Batman confronts Francavilla about Joe Chill's death, and how it's connected to him.  Francavilla tells him that he hired Joe Chill from time to time for jobs, but the only connection would have to be Thomas Wayne.  Dun Dun Dunnnn!  Turns out that when they were young men Thomas Wayne saved Frankie's life after he was shot in a drive by.  So now that Frankie feels indebted to Thomas he starts throwing parties for his savior, and Thomas falls in with a bad crowd.  So a lot of drugs, and a lot of partying.  The only real good thing to come of it is at the first party he meets his future wife Martha Kane.  But the fun can't last forever because Martha went and got herself pregnant.  So Thomas's party days are over.  But when he tries to tell Frankie this, his friend isn't very happy about it.  See Thomas would get drugs from the hospital, and it made them a bit of money, even though they were both rich. lousy hoity toity assholes could just share with everyone else.  So later to send him a message, he sent the three guys that ended up getting their heads crushed to give him a little beating, but luckily for Thomas Jarvis Pennyworth (Alfred's father) was a rather large man, and kept a retractable baton with him.  So since the message was lost in transit Frankie ended up sending Chill to finish him off.  Lucky for us Frankie finished his story right as the serial crusher shows up to crush Frankie's head.  Batman and him fight, but the masked man is too much for Batman, and throws him aside to make his escape.  But the night's not a total loss, Batman was able to get a Bat Tracker on him.

Batman tracks the crusher down, and in a shocking turn, the crusher is revealed to be Thomas Wayne.  To make sure Bruce would be safe, Thomas got his friend Dr. Leslie Thompkins to fake his death, and went into hiding.  Batman doesn't take the news well.  We find out that Thomas Wayne has been taking Miraclo a strength enhancer he got from a colleague Rex Mason, to help him seek his revenge against Frankie Francavilla, but on top of that he's a junkie as well.  Bruce realizing that his whole life, his whole purpose has become a lie leaves Thomas, telling him that he should of stayed dead, and that he doesn't want anything to do with him.  After all the revelations of the night, and all the hurt feelings, Thomas finds himself back at the Francavilla estate, and finishes what he started.

In the end we are left with the new Batman telling his story to Hawk Girl, and Red Tornado, so they know the type of man they are teaming up with.  He continues to tell them that he has taken on the mantle of the bat to honor his son, and if he fails along the way to honor him, he has no one left to disappoint.  Wow.

Bits and Pieces:

The long wait is over, and we're given the secrets of the new Batman of Earth 2, and it was satisfying.  In this issue we are given a in depth look at the man behind the cowl, and the darkness, and regret that fuels this Dark Knight.  One thing I wish we could of had though is the stunning artwork of Nicola Scott, but Robson Rocha does a fine job filling in.  So Taylor does it again, and we're one step closer to understanding the world of Earth 2.  Go get your issue, and enjoy this fantastic series.



  1. Been enjoying your reviews as a DC guy myself (I got back into comics about 2 1/2 years ago strictly to collect just 8 DC titles, but I'm now up to 48 titles, many of which are independent, but still heavily weighted toward DC).

    In any event... the bad guy's name in this one is Frankie Falcone, not "Francavilla." I think you confused him with the artist of the same name. :)


    1. I've gone through spurts though my life where I quit comics, but eventually found my way back. I started collecting again when I heard DC was doing Earth 2, and it's still my favorite read month to month. Also something I didn't realize when I did the review was that the physical copy of the book had Falcone, and the digital was Francavilla. I thought while reading it that Francavilla was a weird choice, but that's what happened. Glad you've enjoyed the reviews.

    2. That's so crazy about the difference between the digital and print versions. I stand corrected!

      Looking forward to your reviews of this week's comics. I don't know how you guys read so fast! I still have three left from last week that I'm trying to catch up on.

    3. Last week was tough with all the comics that came out. My wife and kids just have to take a backseat to the reviews!