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Subj: Earth-2:Society #6 - Let's See...
Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 04:17:30 pm EST (Viewed 1546 times)
Amidst the chaotic visuals and meandering plot Earth-2:Society #6 manages to conjure a few brief moments of mild intrigue and guest artist(?) Allison Borges delivers a sublime issues worth of the absurd and the brilliant in terms of page layouts.
Society isn't a book I have warmed to, being the end result of the exercise in vandalism that was World's End it has an uphill task in that it has to rebuild the entire mission and setting of the Earth-2 concept and do it by being saddled with a less than ideal artstyle and mediocre writing. As a result of these factors and two years worth of deconstruction here is a book slowly sinking into irrelevance. It was a brilliant sharp reinvention of DCs most famous parallel earth, now it is set on an alien planet with a mish-mash of survivors from a relaunch of the series that isn't even four years old yet.
In line with World's End writer Daniel H. Wilson continues the policy of characters undergoing inexplicable personality transplants and now acting completely contrary to how they were introduced and established - Take Helena Wayne. Stranded on Earth-1 for five years with best friend Power Girl Helena was the half of the Worlds Finest team who was content to accept her new fate and throughout the 32 issue series had no appetite to dwell on her dead past, nor to return home to Earth-2, unlike Kara. Here in Socieety #6 we catch up with Helena again and inbetween having her face apparently blown off and somehow made good as new shortly theereafter we learn that she is obsessed with finding her dead Fathers legacy, the Source Vault, which can ressurect Earth-2. Furthermore she is secretly acting with the unstable Jimmy Olsen to ensure this is made to happen. If you were a reader of Worlds Finest the conversation she has here and now with Power Girl is a surreal experience as it completely reverses the relationship the two had in terms of how they looked on the past. Helena is now obsessed by it, Kara is content with he current situation. All very odd to read as there is no build up to this complete inversion of their roles, but complete character rewrites are par for the course where Earth-2 is concerned these days, and that is not the mark of good writing and a stable book.
With Jimmy-The-God plotting to recreate the world and return the past to the present in comes new costumed vigilante Hourman, a thug on the face of it, but as we learn he is Rick Tyler, powered by Miraclo!
The Miraclo that Thomas Wayne stole from his father as it happens. That Thomas would steal the super-drug makes sense and fits what we saw of his methods, but with an implication that Thomas may have killed Tyler snr it takes a tragic turn as Rick is seemingly emotionally brittle and obsessed with reclaiming the Miraclo (from where?). Since the characters are so faintly sketched out in this book it is difficult to now whether this Hourman will be villain or hero, visually he looks very much like the android Hourman created by Tom Peyer and picked up by Geoff Johns for the 90s JSA relaunch, but in real terms he is just flesh and blood Hourman of old. How this youth knows so much about the secretive Helena Wayne we can but only wonder.
Filled with barely sketched stock characters, and still lacking in any cohesiveness or direction, Earth-2 is a series that has fallen from being the publishers fresh and vibrant breakout unqualified hit of 2011 to being close to fit for the Knackers yard. Here is a series that would baffle an average reader if you handed it as a sample read. Set on a world as alien as Krypton or Mars with artwork for the discerning connoisseur only Society is a book that is exclusive only. It has no ambitions to be open and accessible to a wide audience. And that was never the key to the JSA's remarkable success in the 1999 relaunch or indeed 2011's equally successful update... why is it this book has been allowed to deteriorate to such apathetic levels as this?
... Thir style of art isn't what a book like Earth-2 needs, particularly when it was Nicola Scott wwho set the tone and left a benchmark for consumer expectations, but nevertheless a great many of the pages within do impress me on a technical level. Perhaps if the writer was more able to adapt to this style of visual illustration and the scripts weren't so very basic and lightweight Allison Bruges might fare better in winning over the audience.
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