Earth 2 issue #5 continues building the dramatic tension in the battle against Grundy and The Gray, introducing more members of the New52 version of the JSA and eventually taking us to a wild cliff-hanger ending. All in all, a great issue that has me anxiously awaiting the next chapter in the story.
This issue picks up with an extraction team saving the President, a team of “Sandmen” led by a “Commander (presumably Wesley) Dodds”. This group of Sandmen apparently has the ability to teleport (likely through technology though that is not fully clear) and succeed in their mission…and just in time, too!
Flip to World Army Headquarters and the Commander of Sentinel, with quite a bit of exposition that explains Grundy’s effect on the world and how Captain Al Pratt is a new “Wonder” working for Sentinel. His mission was to stop Grundy and bring the other “new Wonders” (Flash, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl) back to Sentinel…willingly or not.
Apparantly the answer is…not so willingly. But, their fight is interrupted by Grundy literally pulling himself back together. I like the danger of this Grundy, and he is certainly a much tougher foe than I’ve seen in many years.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, er, Sentinel HQ, we see Terry Sloane, who has all the intelligence of the original Mr. Terrific and apparently the morals of the pre-New52 Max Lord. What he does in taking over will have serious implications for our Wonders…and soon (to be seen next issue).
Back to the fight…a fight that now pulls this team together with The Atom, but under Alan Scott’s leadership. Alan delves into the Gray to find a way to stop it from ending all life on the planet, but is given a most perplexing offer in return…one that leads to the cliff-hanger that I won’t reveal here.
For Flash fans, there are several good action sequences, along with some conversation that frames his inexperience but also his desire to do what’s right, to learn to act not simply “like” a hero but AS a hero. However, the main direction of this issue seems to be pulling us slowly but surely into how these various Wonders team up - and I like how they are taking their time with making this team-up make sense.
Just an aside, but I the idea of referring to the heroes and heroines of earth 2 as “Wonders” has really grown on me. The main conceit of this is that Wonder Woman, not Superman, was the first well-known champion with powers, and that it is her name that inspires others to fight for justice. That it is her name that gives the generic term to what would otherwise be called “superheroes”. It is a very interesting approach to life for those with special powers and abilities in this reality, and it adds some depth to the narrative that I enjoy.
Once again, this isn’t your father’s (or grandfather’s) JSA. Taken as is, though, this is an excellent series with great characterization, excellent story lines, and spot-on pacing. The artwork is also right on target, with great page layouts and action sequences that befit the power of a Grundy. Definitely a series that you should consider if you’ve been missing out so far. I am an old comics fan, but I’m also a new fan of this New52 version of the Golden Age greats.