Earth 2 #19

Readers will never see the full story James Robinson had in mind when he began this series, but in "Earth 2" #19, writer Tom Taylor brings much of the series' world-building energy and leaves readers wanting more -- and quick. The plot developments and sideways movements of the characters paths leave ample potential for further exploration, but the bulk of this issue, drawn by Nicola Scott and Robson Rocha, focuses on Batman's continuing plan to organize the Wonders of "Earth 2" against their Apokoliptan oppressors.

As Robinson did, Taylor leaves me wishing that this book shipped twice a month or, at the very least had a companion title to consume portions of the time in between issues. Taylor doesn't pour a lot of time into the characters' personalities, nor does he add specific detail to the world around the Wonders, but he does provide some bigscreen moments in the story as a horde of Parademons descends upon an Earth still reeling from the beating Superman levels.

In "Earth 2" #19, Batman continues to gather his forces, with the Lois Lane/Red Tornado hybrid; Marella, the queen of Atlantis, an alien that was hidden beneath the foundation of the World Army Base; and Jimmy Olsen. Taylor doesn't use the entirety of the issue for this grab, choosing to depict Superman still raging against his adopted homeworld and checking in on compromised characters: a helmetless Dr. Fate babbling as Red Arrow prepares to defend his ally from the Parademons. Flash is out of commission -- at least for a bit -- and as Michael Holt and Terry Sloan are subjected to Bedlam's wiles, Hawkgirl makes a long-awaited return to this series, if even for a couple panels.

"Earth 2" #19 sports good, solid art from Rocha and Scott, with minimal slip in quality or style between the two. Meticulous nitpicking will certainly reveal the end of one artist's work and the start of the other, but the two pencilers are close enough in sensibility and style to keep this issue on the same note throughout. It certainly helps that Pete Pantazis and Dezi Sienty are able to lend consistency on the colors and letters respectively.

This series needs to extend the page count per issue as "Earth 2" #19 simply didn't have enough room to expand each storyline. The end result is a comic book that feels as though it is jam-packed with cliffhangers, begging readers to come back early and often. At least there is an Annual for this series coming out this month to trim down the time between issues and hopefully advance at least one of the plotlines a bit more as well.

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