Earth 2 is shaping up as not only one of the most welcome additions of the “Second Wave” of the New52, but also one of the best comics DC has to offer, period. The latest issue of earth 2 gives us the promised origin story for the New52 E2 Green Lantern. We saw Alan Scott ready to propose at the end of issue #2, interrupted by a terrible train crash brought about by some sort of sabotage. Issue #3 picks up in the aftermath, with a VERY injured and lucky-to-be-alive Alan looking for his lover and for any other survivors there may be from this terrible tragedy. Keeping in line with the mystical origins of the New52 JSA’ers, the green flame is now connected to the spirit of the earth (don’t worry, it works). This spirit lets Alan know he was saved for a purpose…to take on an amazing amount of power as the new “superman” of Earth two…to become the Green Lantern.
Unlike Jay Garrick’s response to the potential for amazing powers, Alan Scott is more than ready to take on the responsibility. Although there are well-documented and discussed changes to Alan’s character (I’ll come back to that later), the basic qualities of responsibility and leadership that made Alan such a great character in the past are still there. The green flame heals Alan, and provides him with his costume (based on Alan’s own subconscious ideas). It’s actually a good costume - nothing like the Golden Age costume, but honestly as much as I like that costume it wouldn’t have made sense in this storyline. The new costume works well here.
However, the origin of the ring is something I’ll leave for you to discover by reading the story. Suffice it to say that there is no lantern to use to create the ring (as was the case in the Golden Age) and that this part of the story is both touching and bittersweet.
This isn’t the only part of the story, however. We do see the continuation of Jay Garrick’s meeting with the new Hawkgirl, who appears to be both a great tactical fighter and someone who wishes to mentor Jay in the development of his own fighting skills. If Green Lantern is the “new superman” of this group, Hawkgirl appears to be taking the place of one of the others of the “Earth 2 Trinity”. I’ve read an article or two that places her as the new Bats of the group, although I think an equal argument could be made for her combat skills representing Diana equally well in this iteration of the Big Three for E2. I will say two things about this sequence - first, the more I see of Jay Garrick the better I like him as he learns more about his potential, and second, I’m VERY impressed with Hawkgirl and how they portray her in this issue.
There is a coming threat, one that isn’t yet fully clear, one that makes parademons seem like almost nothing. We’ll see more about that soon I’m sure, but for now Issue #3 gives us one more surprise…the first appearance of Grundy! This Grundy has a real connection to Green Lantern, even though they have not met…yet. He appears to be the antithesis of Green Lantern’s powers in a way that should make for VERY interesting stories ahead.
Given the controversy regarding Alan’s revised sexual orientation for this series, I suppose it deserves some comment here. However, I have to say that this is handled so well, so organically, that his sexual orientation is handled as it should be - simply one aspect of an exceptional character. I truly enjoyed reading about this version of Alan, who in every respect is the same noble, heroic character we have known - he just happens to be gay. Hopefully, the controversy will die down and we can simply enjoy Alan’s character for who he is.
Overall, I really like earth 2. The weaving of multiple storylines works well without appearing forced, and the development of Jay, Alan and Hawkgirl (Shayera?) are handled exceptionally well. The artwork is top notch, and the new costumes are actually growing on me. This is certainly not your father’s JSA - nor is it intended to be. Taken as it is, this is a great series - if you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, now is the time. Check it out!