“Earth 2” #3 is the sort of book that feels like two different comics have been forcefully grafted together — and while James Robinson and Nicola Scott are responsible for both halves, one part is distinctly better than the other.
One half of “Earth 2” #3 deals with Alan Scott being given the mantle of Green Lantern after the deadly explosion that killed everyone on board the train he and his fiance were on. There are parts of it that are a bit cliche (the dead romantic partner being the drive to carry on, the general befuddlement) and we’ve certainly seen it all before. But as this half of “Earth 2” #3 plays out, I found myself liking where it was going. The power of the “Earth 2” Green Lantern is from a very different source than we’ve had in the DC Universe before and it’s a fun twist on an idea that’s bounced around the company for years. Robinson also brings back an old foe that we haven’t seen since Doug Wheeler first created some two decades ago, and attaches it to a villain that’s more associated with Robinson’s past comics. It’s a clever twist, and one that makes Alan Scott’s new arch-enemy not only a better fit, but also makes him much more powerful and dangerous than before.
Nicola Scott handles the scene with the new enemy and its influence with a lot of skill. The withering nature of this foe could feel old hat, but seeing its tendrils (both figuratively and literally) extend across Washington DC is impressive and attention-grabbing, and I like how she handles it. It’s got a great touch of horror to those moments, and that’s going to be the part of “Earth 2” #3 that people remember above all else.
Unfortunately, that storyline is paired with Jay Garrick (who is still getting the hang of being a superhero, and hasn’t yet come up with the name of the Flash) meeting the new Hawkgirl for the first time, and here the book falls flat. The dialogue here feels trite and slightly lame, and as much as I loved Robinson’s co-creation of the Kendra Saunders Hawkgirl back in “JSA,” the scenes with her and Jay together left me cold. They at least still look somewhat nice visually (the pattern on Hawkgirl’s pants is nice, if nothing else), but considering this is the first time two of the members of what will no doubt be the new JSA actually interact, it’s not good.
The 2 in the title of “Earth 2” #3 feels especially apt this issue. The two halves of this book aren’t working well with one another; hopefully future issues can bridge that divide a bit more soon. For now, this is a comic where its disjointed nature is working against it.