(p) Yildiray Cinar
(i) Trevor Scott
Earth 2 #7 is many things: it’s a transitional issue between story arcs, it sets the stage for the series going forward, and it’s an introduction to a small array of new characters. While “The Gathering” did a fine job of using a new global crisis to bring about a new age of wonders, the narrative was very plot-driven, which meant we didn’t get a lot of deep characterization for Earth 2’s Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkgirl, or Atom. Really, we didn’t even get a clear image of Grundy beyond it’s psychopathic need to destroy all life. But that’s part of the nature of the beast when it comes to origin stories for widely recognized teams such as the (still not officially called in the ‘New 52’) Justice Society. Geoff Johns barely pulled off “Origin” over on Justice League. But now that we’re out of the shadow of the first storyline, Robinson relaxes a bit and takes a little more time fleshing out an engaging narrative with elements that will seemingly affect the future for years to come.
Let’s talk about new characters because, and I won’t even lie about this, I want to see as many members of the JSA as possible. Robinson’s got an entire series and parallel universe at his fingertips — let’s see an extended roster. Signs point to this happening in Earth 2 #7 with the true introduction to Wesley Dodds, a.k.a. Sandman, as well as the pre-operational version of now female-designed Red Tornado android. Michael Holt, Earth 1’s Mister Terrific, also makes his aggressive return as the evil Sloan’s brainwashed security guard. I couldn’t stop reading this issue. The more Sloan walked and talked with General Khan of the World Army, the more intrigued I became by both men. Sure, they’ve each been around for a few issues now, but, like the Wonders, they’ve yet to be characterized beyond their function in a war or military crisis.
Before Earth 2 even began, Robinson stated his intentions to draw out the members of the JSA gradually, introducing them little by little before eventually leading into a full-scale team around the second year of the book. Again, it looks as if things are on track for this to happen as Hawkgirl, whose name we now know to be the slightly altered Kendra Munoz– Saunders, begins to wear away at Alan Scott’s natural tendencies to work alone. Kendra and Jay Garrick (the Greek god Mercury-powered Flash) are both intent on building a new team of Wonders, and that’s going to lead to a lot of recruitment and additions to the new Justice Society. I know that all seems obvious, I just never really imagined that I’d get to see the formation of the JSA from the ground up.
James Robinson is seriously making the stuff of legends here, with believable, relatable characters and world building that’s slowly becoming on-par with the entirety of Earth 1. Whether you like the costume redesigns or not, Robinson has done a deft job re-imagining these Golden Age heroes for a new generation.