Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Earth 2: World's End #22 and Earth 2 #32 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

I read "Earth 2" #32 before I read "Earth 2:  World's End" #22, but it's honestly hard to say which one you should read first.  For example, Kara and Val are fighting Apokolips' satellites in issue #32, and we see them give up that fight in issue #22 so that they can take on Apokolips directly; as such, it appears that issue #32 precedes issue #22.  However, Helena and Thomas recover the escape ships from Brainwave in issue #22 that we later see Helena and Ollie repairing in issue #32.  So, does issue #22 precede issue #32?  It's honestly just par for the course when the authors of this event try to integrate the main title with the weekly title.

Issue #32 itself is remarkably straight-forward, particularly given how complicated the plot of the overarching "World's End" story is at this point.  The remaining team members regroup at Atom's Haven and realize that the Earth is doomed.  After Captain Steel gives an inspiring speech about the importance of hope, Sato takes charge and sends out teams to tackle their three greatest challenges:  Batman and Steel man the gun batteries to protect Haven, Helena and Oliver repair the escape ships (as I mentioned above), and Kara, Kendra, Khalid, and Val try to stop an enormous drill plunging toward the Earth.  The authors definitely convey the sense that we're at the endgame at this point.

In effect, issue #32 is really about Kendra and Khalid.  Kendra reminds Khalid that he saved their lives on the day that they got their powers, pushing him to fight off Nabu's corruption and use his powers to destroy the drill.  However, Khalid's victory is short-lived, since Nabu seems to be asserting himself at the end of the issue.   Issue #22 seems to pick up this thread, with Kara and Val fighting off other satellites before Sato sends them to Apokolips to buy her time to launch the evacuation.  (At this stage, though, Sato doesn't seem to have the rescue ships that Brainwave hijacked.  Again, it implies that issue #32 came second.  But, in issue #32, she thought that Alan Scott was dead, despite Kara and Val encountering him here, implying that issue #22 came second.  Whatever.)  Also, Red Tornado appears seemingly from nowhere, since, as far as I'm aware, she wasn't part of the fight in issue #32.)  They encounter a fading shield, created by the Green Lantern, but he collapses, announcing that he couldn't hold it any longer.

Issue #22 also develops three other sub-plots.  Dick finally finds his son, but he, like everyone else, is under the influence of Brainwave.  Brainwave reveals that his plan is to evacuate everyone to an Earth where he leads the refugees, and I'm honestly so tired of this sub-plot that I can't even be bothered to nit-pick it.  Suffice it to say, Helena and Thomas arrive to kick ass.  In the aftermath, Dick's kid YET AGAIN gets lost.  Elsewhere, Jimmy Olsen is revealed to be a New God in his fight with Kalibak and Terry Sloan shows that Apokolips actually destroyed another universe's version of his ship, since he had them stashed throughout the multiverse.  (One highlight of this issue was Kalibak and his old-timey expressions.  "Pathetic mortals!"  "Insolent whelp!"  At least he added some inadvertent levity to the enterprise.)

We've got four issues left in "Earth 2:  World's End" and I don't see a solicitation for "Earth 2" #33.  But, the authors still have a lot out there to be resolved.  I'm guessing that it's going to be a rush to the door.

** (two of five stars)

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