The rebooting of many of the Golden Age characters in Earth 2 #3 (that, by the way, is harder to type than it seems), I’d say is a reboot of the Justice Society, but I would like to point out that not only is the book called “Earth 2,” but, as far as I’ve read, there’s been nothing saying these revamped characters will actually call their new team that.
Robinson seems to be largely focusing on one character at a time, with a few bits of others, with his slow team build. This issue is about Alan Scott, Green Lantern (oddly, on the cover, he gets the same logo as the second one Kyle Rayner had). Fittingly, the issue is titled “Jade Knight,” although that, too, brings up some bad memories for fans of the older DCU, as Jade seems to be among those who are not only missing, but have likely been eliminated by this reboot. Robinson combines old and new elements of Alan’s origin here. We have the train crash and a green flame, but this one makes Alan sound both like a replacement for Superman and a possible analog to Swamp Thing. Paralleling Alan’s origin, we see the reboot of long time GL foe Solomon Grundy, now just called Grundy. His classic tattered suit look is gone. If you play an online game called “City of Heroes,” (and if you’re a comic fan, you really should, it’s a fun game), Grundy now looks a lot like one of the villain groups in there called Vahzilok. Or a refugee from a bondage shop, one of the two.
The other scenes involve a fairly experienced Hawkgirl testing out our novice Jay Garrick, who doesn’t even have a codename yet. Hawkgirl starts a short sparring session with Jay and beats him easily. Her weapon of choice here is a crossbow. Intriguingly, she seems to have a lot of training and says she was sent to meet Jay by Fate, hinting at another character lurking in the shadows, much like the hints in issue one about Ted (Wildcat) Grant and Rex (Hourman) Tyler.
There are a few things here that, to me, seem a bit contrived. The green energy that gives Alan his powers claims Alan subconsciously created the costume, but somehow we end up with a crest that, again, looks like the one Kyle Rayner used to use. The energy names him Green Lantern, and we are left wondering a lot about what (or who) the energy is. It also instructs him to choose a “token” to focus his power, which ends up being the ring he was going to give his boyfriend until the train explosion interrupted.
At one point, Alan recalls seeing the green energy just before the explosion, and accuses the green entity of causing the disaster. Essentially, what happens is it tells him “No, I didn’t,” and Scott says “Oh, ok.” Kinda odd exchange if you ask me. Alan is told that he will be able to fly, and create constructs. The only time we see him using powers? He’s lifting up a train car, Superman style. Doesn’t really fit with the theme.
Basically, we’re left with the set up of the new Green Lantern, many unanswered questions about what (or maybe who) the green energy was, the hint of Dr. Fate, the mystery of the new Hawkgirl, Grundy’s appearance, and the promise that next issue will bring the Atom. Robinson is building the team at the slow pace that today’s comics seem to plod along at, and lots of bits here don’t make a ton of sense.
It’s not bad, certainly, just not great. And yes, I’m one of “those” who miss the old DCU and would have preferred the original JSA to this odd hybrid. I will say the artwork by Nicola Scott is gorgeous, which is an accomplishment since she has so many horribly ugly costume redesigns to deal with.
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