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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: Another Installment of the Grundy Show...[Earth 2 #5]
Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 01:58:54 pm EDT (Viewed 485 times)

Issue five came out last week but I've been too busy to do a review, it doesn't help that as it's progressed I'm not being bowled over by the opening arc here, and the problem hinges on the sheer dullness of Grundy as choice of villain, not to mention the pacing and structure of the storyline...

Last issue left us with the the world being gradually drained of its life energy by the power of The Grey, and their avatar Grundy, Grundy is a sort of reverse-Swamp Thing who shares similar abilities but serves decay and entropy as opposed to Holland serving the Green and growth. Grundy manifest himself in the nations Capitol Washington DC and the disorganised heroes find their way to him as they recognise he is the key instigator of the calamity befalling the planet. So far so good, The Green Lantern is Grundy's newly created adversary, an agent of the earths life force and so diametrically the opposite of Grundy, but being new is he up to the challenge here?

One of the positives in this issue is that we get to see how the governments and World Army (an evolved version of the UN peacekeepers) work, after the Apokolips war all surviving nations marshalled their forces under one unified umbarella and prepare for any possible new incursion from the forces of Apokalips. Monitoring the unfolding crisis the World Army's chief of staff(?) is a pakistani gentleman called Kahn, seen trying to balance the hardline views of his shadowy superiors in the world council who think what the problem need is a nuclear strike...
I get the feeling the World Army is going to be a regular and important feature of Earth-2 as we see Hawkgirl has a history with them as does The Atom, who still works for them. Into this though arrives veteran 'hero' Terry Sloan! The Council have sent for him as they think he is the man to deal with this new threat, Khan is appalled and angry at the suggestion as Sloan's hand is responsible for wiping Pakistan off the map, as seen in the 'Zero' issue last month.
So Sloan is an agent of the World council? Are these people to be trusted I wonder? Given who and what he is it seems likely the World Army may come under his control as a result of this opportunity, and if he does gain this power will he not try to corall these new heroes in the employ of the army and his own ambitions? It would be ironic if so and Intriguing to consider. Sloan is developing as a major force in this book.

Arriving previously in issue #4 to 'resolve' the situation in DC The Atom's still throwing his weight about, his mouth seems to be his biggest weakness, he has the unnerring ability to pee off everybody around him. Having been attacked by this supersized powerhouse in the previous chapter Jay Garrick now loses his cool and gives an impressive beatdown - indeed even Grundy arrives to settle a score with the poor Atom...! \(geek\)
But despite the emnity the Flash and Hawkgirl step in to save him, it's a reassuringly heroic and selfless thing to do given Atom has orders to bring them in. It again reinforces the message that this is an earth hungry for new heroes and that the repercussions of the War have made the conditions right for just such a new generation to arise, people responding to the years of horror and terror by being selfless and public spirited. Earth-2 is a very old fashioned superhero world when you strip away the slick design and modern touches. The people love their superheroes.

The main element of the story is Alan Scott realising he can't beat Grundy by force so he will have to try something more metaphysical by entering the Grey, as with Swamp Thing he can send his essence/Soul into the Green and meet the Grey there. Unfortunatly because of what the Grey represents it ensnares alan with a vision of his dead lover and it looks like Alan falls for it, paralysed and seduced his essence begins to decay...

As an issue this read very average, that's probobly the real reason I haven't given it a review till now, it didn't leave much impression on me. The Grundy/Grey stuff is just another xerox of Swamp Thing, there's little that's original here, the heroes do their heroic thing and the plot is served till the cliffhanger ending and lead into next issue. There's been a great deal of repitition and marking time, not helped by the zero issue breaking up the flow of the narrative. Where the intrigue comes in with this issue was the scenes of the World Army hub and the glimpse of Wes Dodds and his 'Sandmen, he looks very similar to Sandy's look in the 1999 JSA debut. The addition of Terry Sloan is welcome, evil genius or misunderstood anti-hero? I like the ambiguity. But I'll be glad when this opening arc is done and we can move on to something original and exciting for a change... \(beer\)

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