Once upon a time, twenty-fifth issues were celebrated as milestones with extra pages for more story, pin-ups or at least a really cool cover. Written by Tom Taylor with art from Nicola Scott, “Earth 2” #25 embraces most of that, with 28 pages of story and a shocking change in the ongoing tale of Earth 2’s Superman. Although there aren’t any pin-ups, that doesn’t preclude jaw-dropping pages of artwork.
Colorist Pete Pantazis really steals the show in “Earth 2” #25, coloring oceans, magical shrouds, explosive heat vision and garishly clad characters throughout the issue. He adds sharp glowing halos to Apokoliptan technology and red overcast to the Kent farm when Superman unleashes his heat vision. All of this, naturally, is made possible through the academically magical artwork of Nicola Scott, who draws a host of individuals throughout “Earth 2” #25. Scott’s art is so sharp and sleek that she could provide how-to lessons on making a diverse, sprawling cast work within the confines of a single issue. Beyond being so technically sound, Scott showcases a wide range of emotion and movement. She doesn’t stop there, and draws up a horde of Parademons, a host of Atlanteans and sea creatures to accompany them in lavishly detailed pages. Scott’s been drawing this comic for most of its existence and “Earth 2” #25 is testament to keep her around as long as possible.
Part five of “The Kryptonian” serves up a turning point in the development of Val-Zod, the Kryptonian once stowed away by the World Army. Writer Tom Taylor scripts the exact moment well, brushing it with humanity and hope without undercutting the massive threat the heroes of Earth 2 are matched against. Like Scott on the art, Taylor makes an impressive display of balancing a sprawling cast. Most of the characters have their moment in the sun and all, save Mister Miracle, are afforded the opportunity of a line of dialog in the masterfully placed word balloons from Dezi Sienty, who manages to avoid spoiling any of the stunning art from Scott and Pantazis.
Taylor sets up the grand finale of “The Kryptonian” with all of the major pieces in play. “Earth 2” #25 essentially serves as a roll call for the wide-ranging story’s conclusion and gives readers a chance to remember what is so remarkable about each reader’s favorite “Earth 2” denizen. This book has been full of world-building, which continues even as the end of the world comes into focus. The Wonders of the world are set to challenge that end, and Taylor and Scott are giving readers everything they could possibly want to soak it all up.