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Subj: Earth-2:Society #8 - Governing Society.
Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 at 08:57:12 am EST (Viewed 1306 times)
What does the future hold for Earth-2? This is a question that is beginning to echo more and more urgently with the arrival of latest writer Dan Abnett and the reality becoming ever more apparent that as the books sales continue to lose their shine and any direction appears aimless, reaching out for a new horizon to move towards might at least be offering some small hope to both readership and an apathetic editorial. New horizons might then be the best summary one could make when looking for positives to sum up Dan Abnett's debut issue on Earth-2, and a visually panoramic opening sequence that uses Hawkgirl and her onetime role of Lara Croft-like Tomb hunter to support her role of undertaking aa survey and exploration of the uncharted regions of this brand new world she and her fellow man have found themselves on.
The choice is a wise one. Out of all of the cast of Earth-2 Kendra Saunders is the only cast member to maintain a large measure of character consistency and calm demeanor throughout the chaos that has marked the series over the course of the last three years. The steady hand in this perpetually changing world. Fittingly her role as aerial fighter and scout has made her able to stay above and aloof from the troubles that have afflicted every other cast member and this may well be why Dan Abnett opts for her use to open this, his first issue. With Hawkgirl flying free and alone, surveying remote crevaced territories, it is made clear that she is a woman who prefers her own solitude, after well over a month on her own exploring one might be able to draw a conclusion as to what she feels about the events of recent months and the lack of coherent direction for the earth and its protectors, but as artist Jorge Jiminez delivers splendid shots of the remote plateau's which Kendra passes over it is also quickly evident that a good deal of padding is in effect by Abnett, a worrying sign, as he spends these first full five pages guiding Kendra to a discovery of an unexpected hidden base here in the wilderness and follows it up with what amounts to a board meeting between Green Lantern, Commander Sato, Val-Zod, Sandman, Captain Steel. Where the other surviving heroes such as Mr Terrific and Red Arrow are is not clear, but with the subject matter being the political state of this newly settled earth Abnett does at least make some small concessions here in recognising one of the many problems within this series so far. A book titled 'Society', but which has never shown much of an interest in normal people, their desires as a Society, and this cooperatives current workings in these demanding circumstances.
And yet recognising a flawed premise is far from being an assurance that it can be resolved. Dan Abnett is a capable writer who has written a similar book to this before - the all but forgotten The Legion with pattner Andy Lanning and artist Olivier Coipiel. This 2001 series shares remarkable similarities with Earth-2:Society, both books open a year after a major event, both are settings that are visually futuristic and unearthly, both are societies in turmoil, both are books with a cast of heroes struggling to connect with the man on the street from whom they have been divorced from for too long. But the difference between Dan Abnett's debut issue of The Legion and this first on the Earth-2 treadmill is one of acute lack of pacing and a very evident lack of a clear plan for the road ahead.
As we watch the aloof Green Lantern we are reminded we have had no explanation given for why he has been stripped of his humanity for this series, recast into what can only be described as Doctor Manhattan. A size changing pseudo God operating in a troubled fragile world. As Hawkgirl uncovers the existence of a tribe of apparent Amazons led by Fury hidden away we can but wonder at how such a thing is possible, and why are they in hiding. Yet with pressing topics concerning the ownership, distribution, and scarcity of essentials like power supplies, natural resources, and medicine among the surviving cities why is this at all Green Lantern and his associates concern? Is there no government in place to manage affairs after a full year on this world? Who is Dick Grayson-Batman working for, where from? Where does The Huntress fit in?
This is the thin substance which Dan Abnett has inherited. The result of inept editorial meddling and dictats Earth-2:Society is the natural end result of modern DC Comics practices that put sales above integrity and vision. For Earth-2 today is no ones vision, Dan Abnett is but the latest on a conveyor belt of writers to work on this series in the last four years, and he will not be the last. Whether it be four months or, if he's lucky, over a year, Abnett's efforts are destined for utter failure as the bedrock he is attempting to build on is in truth nothing but sand. There is not much here to work with and so I cannot be too hard on the writer for producing what is a rather lacklustre debut that lacks much in the waya of ambition and plods along with its tail between its legs, inoffensively but politely filling out its 20-page requirement. The only noteworthy elements found here is the steady improvement on Jorge Jiminez' artwork, which with its dynamic page layouts gamely brings some interest and energy to proceedings. This and the discovery of what is allegedly a lost tribe of Amazons led by Wonder Womans daughter.
"Adequate entertainment." - This is me being exceedingly kind in summing up Earth-2:Society #8.