In as much as it is possible to evaluate the worth of Earth-2 as a title these days and be fair and balanced about it this latest issue does have at least some glimmers of intrigue about it and at least one fine moment of characterisation as Red Arrow Oliver Queen stands alone before the might of The Ultra Humanite possessed Green Lantern - a man with a Bow against the near limitless might of the Power Ring, he doesn't stand a chance. Except this is Oliver Queen.
Despite an appalling cover that will do nothing to sell it Dan Abnett soldiers on with the chaos and unwieldy format he was handed several issues ago and with this issue the seeds he began to plant in his initial three issues come to some fruitition with a finale that borrows from a pivotal Legion of Super-Heroes moment to promise anything you might be able to imagine while threatening to simultaneously implode the book and finish it right here and now. If you are one off those Earth-2 readers like me who have spent the last two to three years wishing the series could start again then you just have gained your wish! We shall see what Dan Abnett is capable of as he is given a truly blank page with next isssue by which redraft the lore of Earth-2 and correct three years of crassness and poor decision making.
Ironically then It all comes down to the decision with this issue. The desicion whether to use the Pandoras box of the Amazons, a mystical cosmic wish that could restore the earth and reset history, thus offering the limited survivors of the Apokolips war a certain future and prosperity. For the last three issues the guardians of earth have wrestled with Wonder Woman's daughter Fury over whether the box should be opened and who should activate the process, but the ethical implications and sheer uncertainties involved in such a decision have allowed The Ultra Humanite an opening to plot and scheme a way into the quarters where the Box is held and he is now within reach of his goal in obtaining the last hope of humanity and remaking the world in his own selfish inhuman image.
The plot is a simple enough one as it revolvs around the dillema of the Box and whether to use it, to take the risk and uncertainty that goes with it, but the Humanite's onslaught forces the decision and the way in which Abnett leads up to Fury's decision to open the Box and activate the process is well crafted. Reluctant to allow the Box's use it is a fitting gesture that in the end, faced with the prospect of a monstrous Ultra-Humanite molded new World, Fury is the one who take matters into her own hand and freely uses her peoples last great gift in the service of humanity and the common good. Come what may it will not be a corrupt figure such as the Ultra Humanite who will take responsibility and possession of such a fundamental and important moral action. And this moment of final decision along with Red Arrow's fine moment in standing against the Green lantern raise this issue above the mediocre, not that this issue is anything like my book of the month, it certainly is not even close, but I appreciate the considerable burden Dan Abnett has had to work under and lament the rather pedestrian and unambitious choice in a house artstyle that the editors feel is necessary for this title. Might it be too much to hope for a rethink in the art department come next issue... a brand new day in more ways than one, and an effort to regain the form that this series had for its very successful first year?
for hanging in as long as you did. I had to call it quits back when Darkseid returned. I flipped through a couple of issues after that fiasco, but never bought anything.
This book held such promise at the start of Nu52; it was a shame what happened to it. Here's hoping its 'Rebirth' brings back the true JSA of old, or at least the spirit of what they COULD have been if Robinson's Nu52 ideas continued.