Sunday, January 25, 2015

Earth 2: World's End #13 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

This issue is a jumble of events with little by way of explanation for most of them.

For example, Flash left Dr. Fate, Hawkgirl, and Jimmy Olsen to help evacuate people last issue so that he could scout for any trouble in the tunnels.  He encounters some sort of robots (though I don't think we ever learn why they're hostile to him), and Hawkgirl is on hand at the start of this issue to help him fight them.  That's all fine.  However, they're also randomly joined by Captain Steel.  I had no memory of seeing him since "Earth 2" #13, where he announced the terror of the Red Lantern.  I checked online, and the DC Wikia page led me to two blink-and-you'll-miss-them appearances in this series:  in a flashback in issue #1 and a brief appearance in a hospital bed next to the Atom in issue #8.  That's it.  But, suddenly, he appears totally fine and part of the team in this issue.  Similarly, the Atom appeared to be in a medically induced coma last issue (and, again, we saw him lying next to Steel in issue #8), but he's in costume and totally healthy in this issue, with no explanation.  On the flip side, we also get no explanation of why he dies at the end of this issue creating the subterranean haven.  Is it stress on his heart from growing to the size of ten cities?  Is it the fact that he appears to be lying in a lava bed while doing it?    No clue.

Continuing the theme of random appearances, Ted Grant suddenly appears in time to save Dick from himself.  He knows that Barbara has been killed, though I'm not sure how.  Has he been lurking in the shadows this entire time?  Maybe he could've lent a hand?  Moreover, I continue to be totally confused by Dick's motives.  He seems to be embracing suicide-by-wave here, but, as I've previously mentioned, he's also stressed the need to track down his son (who he gave to strangers) in past issues.  I get that he's emotionally unstable right now due to his grief over losing Barbara, but it's hard to keep track of where we are with him from panel to panel.

We also have an odd sequence in the fight between the Avatars and the Furies that seems to make no sense to me.  Alan begs Helena not to kill Sam.  She agrees, but she says that he's sacrificed the Earth to save Sam.  But, it's not really clear why that would be true.  Alan seems just as capable of fighting as he was before he begged her not to kill Sam, and it's not like he made an explicit deal with her.  The authors seem to think that he made an implicit deal, since he threatens to destroy her if she doesn't give him Sam, implying that her giving Sam to him would mean he wouldn't do so.  But, it really isn't at all clear that's the case, and it makes Helena declaration of victory all the odder.  (Plus, it's no like Solomon Grundy or the Avatar of the Blue are bound by any such deal.)

Anyway, I could continue, but I won't.  I'm still enjoying this series, but we're starting to reach "Batman Eternal" levels of confusion here.  The authors really need to start pulling some of these groups together to make it easier to follow the stories that they're trying to tell.

* (one of five stars)

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