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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Location: The Negative Zone
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,556
Subj: Re: Earth 2 Society Annual #1 preview....
Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 at 02:11:08 am EDT (Viewed 1756 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Earth 2 Society Annual #1 preview....
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 at 09:36:28 am EDT (Viewed 1730 times)

    For an Annual this was more like a filler issue. Yeah we got the process behind Dick's justification to continue on despite not feeling he's secure as Batman (despite his awesome strategy/fight with Hourman), but Huntress' fight with Grief was really stretched out it seemed. Yes she was demonstrating her awesome skills and illustrating Dick's monologue concerning the Wayne family, but it just went on for far too many panels. As a regular issue maybe, but for an Annual it seemed rather short and light on content.


I read it at the weekend and was immediately caught by the symmetry of this Annual to the first Earth-2 annual, a James Robinson story which introduced a new Batman who was hunting Kanto. Robinson's plot was engaging, intriguing, and informative, continuing to build the background to this world and add weight to it in a convincing and natural manner. By story's end it felt like a well spent exercise and set up events for further study.
With Dan Abnett's Annual we get the new Batman Dick Grayson and not much else... a character study in effect. And while not without some moments of interest the intentions behind the exercise prove dissapointingly thin and, as you sum up, light on content and any significance.

He's been around now for three years, but Dick Grayson as the Batman was something that was dropped from out of the blue, the successor to the substantially more complex figure of Thomas Wayne this supposed ex-war correspondent lacked any convincing credentials that would merit him for the exalted role of the Batman. Unconnected to the Wayne family, Lacking any depth, lacking even the drive of Bruce or Thomas Wayne, never mind the training, Dick Grayson was nontheless shown as being a capable Dark Knight who was managing to convincingly mimic the tactics and techniques associated with being Batman, the natural query then was how? How does a non-descript reporter and amiable city man elevate to becoming the worlds greatest detective and athlete overnight? Abnett uses this opportunity to address those questions, using Dick Grayson's missing son as a catalyst. So now artificially aged to teen years his son has returned and what develops is a father/son talk and Dick grappling with the nature of being the Batman, and why it might be that that is now over...

Dick's logic and analysis on what it takes to be Batman is a reasonable conclusion to make for him, the drive and passion it takes to aspire to the legend of Bruce Wayne's Batman is both inspirational and daunting, and without his missing son to compel him onwards the dillema now becomes why bother at all. On balance that question and its resolution is rather well handled here, the flaw in the narrative is that this moment is hardly deserving of the page count needed to get to it.
So despite the moment, despite some welcome, but empty, exposure for The Huntress, the entire exercise finishes with the background plot and characters having moved not a jot, and the inescapable conclusion that the page count was wasted on this subject and this character.

More and more Earth-2:Society feels like a series with nowhere to go. A conceptual dead end everyone involved with knows is unsustainable. But what a shame this Annual makes for such a bookend to the first Earth-2 Annual and uninteentionally demonstrates how far the standard and aspiration for the series has slipped....

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