Earth 2 The Gathering Review by Deffinition
Justice League Origin was the perfect way to kick off the New 52. If you’ve read my recent review on the graphic novel then you know that I thought the pacing, action and artwork were sublime. It scored a perfect 10/10 ranking it as one of DC’s best in my opinion. Everyone got to be a hero and the day was saved.
But what if that never happened?
What if every hero died that day?
That’s the question that Earth 2 The Gathering is here to pose. Using the multiverse as their conceptual platform, DC have posed the question ‘what if the Justice League all died saving Earth from the clutches of Darkseid?’
I’m a huge fan of The Injustice series and tend to applaud it whenever the creative team do something out of the ordinary and unexpected. That’s why I’m really excited for Earth 2. It holds a wealth of potential.
But will it deliver on it? That’s another question! (More questions in my intro than ever)
So with that out the way.
Let’s dive in to Earth 2 The Gathering.
Death to the Justice League
Darkseid won. Picking up during the epic war that was waged during Justice League The Origin, one by one the group fall, sacrificing themselves in order to stop Apokalips.
It’s an intense opening that really cements just how heroic our heroes were. As they fall there is a great sense of despair that and it’s good to see the appearance Of Steppenwolf here, which perhaps hints towards his role in the upcoming Justice League movie. He brazingly murders Wonder Woman and Superman and feels like a real threat instantaneously. If you’d never heard of him before then this is definitely going to lodge the character in your memory.
I had a blast with the opening but in the wake of their death the roles need to be filled.
The New Guys
We are introduced one by one to Alan Grant, Jay Garrick and Hawkgirl. They all feel slightly out of their depths in these introductions and honestly I didn’t connect with their Earth 2 counterparts that much. Perhaps that’s bias towards the main stays but it took me a while to really find anything to interesting about these new incarnations.
Eventually they won me round but initially the Billionaire, College loser and Alien Warrior were a hard sell.
One of the biggest controversies of this book is that Alan Scott, the new Green Lantern, is gay. Whilst I can imagine this to be very shocking at the time I’m happy to say in 2017 that it doesn’t feel controversial for controversies sake. It’s weaved into the story seamlessly and Alan Scott’s relationship comes to a bitter end in a truly tragic way. Proposing just before his train derails it really feels unjust and is a modern update to the ‘tragedy’ that must befall all Superheroes in their origin story. This was a step in the right direction for comics and this was the moment that truly made me start to respect and relate to the characters.
“There Is A Darkness Coming”
The latter part of the book deals with the team forming as one and taking down the near unstoppable Solomon Grundy. Honestly, he feels like a one dimensional character that really doesn’t live up to the bar that was set in the mirror storyline ‘Justice League Origin.’ Whilst in that tale, Darkseid was threatening, sinister and overpowering, Grundy feels weak, unintelligent and easily containable. He ravages Washington but it feels shallow and due to this I lost interest in the main threat.
The introduction of the Atom is a slight saving grace, he’s bold, brash and feels like a republican ideology in a book filled with a democratic mind state. Tasked with taking out Grundy and ‘cleaning up the mess’ aka killing the new Heroes, He adds a dynamic that keeps the pace somewhat fresh. However, he really seems like a drone that puts orders above all else, due to this he is unlikable. In the end book doesn’t really feel like it has the engaging heavy hitters that are needed for a title that at one point featured the Trinity.
The team work together to take down Grundy with Green Lantern being the main reason they manage to. He gets an emotional call back to his dead boyfriend that really shows that the writers are capable of having the reader invest in their characters and it’s a valid conclusion to his arc. In contrast because so much focus is given to Green Lantern, the other characters are somewhat overlooked.
They really don’t feel fully fleshed out and the book ends on a dull not that doesn’t really inspire me to pick up any other volumes.
It may be unfair to compare this story to Justice League Origins but how can one not when it directly takes elements from it and puts in it’s own spin. This story pales in comparison on every level. The characters are not as gripping, the action is not as epic and the drama feels like a step behind the Cyborg storyline we got in the superior book.
This arc will be remembered for introducing the first gay DC character and not much else. It begins really well but fizzles out the longer it goes on. I understand this book had to provide several origin stories at once but there isn’t much room to fit all that and an engaging villain plot. Due to this it feels underdeveloped and I would only recommend this tale to diehard DC fans who’ve already traversed Injustice.
That’s why it gets a…