“Earth 2” #5 is a thick book. I wasn’t even four pages into an initial flip-through and was thoroughly impressed by the vast amount of information James Robinson, Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott, Alex Sinclair and Dezi Sienty delivered. Despite an astonishing amount of word balloons (30 balloons in a nine-panel double-page spread), Sienty’s letters work nicely with Nicola Scott’s layouts to avoid catastrophic overlap of critical information. It certainly helps that Scott produces insanely detailed art. In the double-page spread that covers the second and third pages of this comic book, Scott leaves no doubt as to how big the room is, how many people are in there and what the overall function of that facility might be. That facility is a monitor room and Scott provides enough clarity for the monitors to actually function as connections to other parts of this issue. Scott’s knack for detail is matched by her ability to draw up a great range of expressions and body types.
Colorist Alex Sinclair teams nicely with Scott and Sienty to make this world just seem different, especially as it falls under the touch of the Grey. The heroes are both realistically colored (Hawkgirl and Atom) and ridiculously bright (Green Lantern and Flash), which provides a nice balance to the story. Furthermore, Sinclair contributes some grand comic book effects to the characters, including an impressive melding of Kirby Krackle and atomic orbit around Atom’s fists as he’s powered up.
Following the hiccup of last month’s “Earth 2” #0, James Robinson is able to resume the flow of his grander story with a passion. In addition to giving a little more background and substance to the four new “Wonders” (Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Flash, and Atom) the writer adds in concepts familiar in name like Commander Dodds and his Sandmen and Sentinel. Both of these notions are tied to the World Council, which gains some structure in this issue over the course of the narrative. Robinson avoids making this issue a gigantic exposition dump and there are an alarming amount of concepts given life in “Earth 2” #5. Robinson focuses on the four super-powered characters more extensively, including further hints of the relationship between Hawkgirl and Atom, and gives Atom a similar feistiness to his Golden Age namesake, Al Pratt. With Pratt as an abrasive personality, the other three are given a change to round into form a tiny bit more. This world is constantly growing, not just issue-to-issue, but page to page and even panel-to-panel. Robinson even goes back to bring in the developments of the zero issue, raising the stakes on all involved.
“Earth 2” is a title that seemed to suffer a bit from Zero Month as it interrupted the flow of James Robinson’s story, but with that now in the past, Robinson’s narrative resumes, pitting Green Lantern against Grundy and forging relationships among the other Wonders in this title. The greatest benefit to the zero issue is that the creative team got a reprieve, so this issue offers up sparkling visual consistency throughout the book. “Earth 2” #5 wound up an unexpected success, and the teases Robinson provides in this issue serve to further enhance the world.