The World Army had declared war on Steppenwolf who has seized control of Dheran.  Unfortunately, with “The Wonders” temporarily out of commission, the World Army doesn’t stand a chance as Steppenwolf and just three operatives, the fear generating Beguiler, insanity-causing Bedlam and and super powerhouse Brutaal, slice through the army savagely and with ease.

The Wonders rally and vow to rescue whatever is left of the World Army but Green Lantern, still vengeful over the death of his fiance Sam, charges headlong into battle, but is double teamed by Brutaal and Steppenwolf.

The issue culminates in a shocking twist that I never saw coming!

This entire series has been leading up to this moment.  The battle between the two opposing factions is incredibly rendered by Nicola Scott, employing mostly double page spreads to give the battle a true “widescreen” experience.  The only drawback, and this is really nit-picky, is that the entire book is rendered in widescreen and I read it on my iPad, so I kept having to turn it sideways and back, as the quieter moments were handled in normal single page layouts.  If you’re reading a paper copy, you’re all-set, but if you’ve made the switch to digital, it can be a tad distracting.

The story is dually narrated by Steppenwolf (mostly toward the beginning) and an embedded reporter named Lee Travis (the alter ego of The Crimson Avenger, a character that pre-dated Superman).  At first it’s a bit clunky, but once Steppenwolf’s inner monologue drops out, it’s not too bad.

This series has had its flaws.  It was one of those books I really looked forward to before it launched, but it’s been a little disappointing at times.  Though I can’t say the writing, by James Robinson, really jumped out at me, it was still pretty good and the surprise twist was a true shocker.  It reveals itself nice and slow, leading you in one direction and then goes in a completely different direction.  Looking back over it, it seems sort of obvious the way it was set up, but it still took me by surprise and will definitely change this book’s entire trajectory.

If there’s one thing to maybe find fault with, it’s the cover.  I find it pretty garish and unappealing and wonder if it would actually entice someone to pick it up and give it a shot, if they weren’t already planning to.

I’d say the pay off for the last year or so worth of stories was pretty satisfying.  The book stumbled at times, even disappointed at others, but now that we’ve reached our destination, I think it works pretty well overall.  The art is just spectacular and the story was solid and surprising enough to keep me coming back.



EARTH 2 #16
Written by James Robinson
Art by Nicola Scott
Cover by Juan Doe