Friday, October 16, 2015

Earth 2: Society #4 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

This issue suffers from the same problem as its predecessors, with Wilson leaving huge gaps from issue to issue.  But, for the first time, the story in this issue actually makes sense in and of itself.

This issue begins abruptly, with Batman arriving in Nexus, the city that Val has created for himself, and trying to arrest him for killing Terry Sloan.  Flash arrives to defend Val, though we're not told why he just so happened to arrive at the same time as Dick.  Also, Dick's reasons for wanting to arrest Val are entirely circumstantial:  Val hated Sloan so...he killed him.  (Dick didn't seem to have gotten the memo that Val's a pacifist.)  The attempted arrest devolves into squabbling:  despite us seeing Flash last issue building Midwest City pretty much with his bare hands, Dick accuses him of hiding in the wake of Planetfall.  Oddly, Flash doesn't seem to dispute that assertion, instead just accusing Dick of doing the same thing, hiding in the shadows.  These moments, where each issue includes information that seems to directly contradict something that we learned in the previous issue, make it feel like a committee is writing this book and not just one guy.

But, everyone puts aside their issues for story time!  Val reveals why Karen hates him:  he constructed the Fire Pits.  Of course, he didn't know that he was constructing the Fire Pits for Sloan, but Karen hates him nonetheless, since it was the Pits that killed her father.  (Of course, I don't really remember it that way, but let's just keep going.)  It all gets revealed as a result of an attack by the Earth 2 version of Anarky on Neotropolis, where she steals a set of engines part of the original ship.  Sloan uses a stun blast from Overwatch-One to disperse the crowd of civilians that Anarky has assembled, and Kara and Val decide that enough is enough.  They storm Overwatch-One to take down Sloan, and Sloan tells Kara the truth.  Fast-forwarding to the present, Val's story time comes to a close when they learn that Anarky has hacked into Overwatch-One and set it on a collision course with Neotropolis.

I really want to give this issue three stars, but I just can't.  It's starting to feel like work reading this series, and I think Wilson's best course of action is recognizing that throwing us a year into the future was a bad call.  We need to spend a few issues focusing on each character in the wake of Planetfall, instead of getting the information in awkwardly inserted flashback stories that leave us (or, at least, me) more confused than enlightened.  I'll give Wilson to issue #6 (maybe), but then I think that it'll time to reassess.

** (two of five stars)

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