In the first issue, James Robinson surprised us by killing off the DC Trinity in one fell swoop, which reenacted the entire first arc of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s current Justice League series. These events lead into an age without heroes, and of course the introduction to new versions of the classic Justice Society characters, starting with Jay Garrick and Alan Scott; the Golden Age Flash and Green Lantern, respectively.
The second issue receives most of its hype from the fact that James Robinson is revealing Alan Scott as DC’s new homosexual character, but there’s even more to look forward to outside of that fact as we get to see some proper intro to these classic characters.
Read on for my review!
I was extremely surprised by the quality of last month’s first issue, so much in fact that I just HAD to see what came next. I found myself expecting quite a bit out of this second issue.
The issue begins with a scene about Mister Terrific, star of one of DC’s six series that were canceled after eight issues. Somehow, Terrific has been sent from Earth 1 to Earth 2, and upon arrival he meets a man named Terry Sloan, who right off the bat introduces himself as a force for Terrific to reckon with. Without much explanation we see a fight break out between them, and all we have to run with is that both of them are some of the smarted men in the world.
The next scene continues from the conclusion of the first issue showing Jay Garrick’s interaction with Mercury, who had crashed down to Earth after the Justice League’s war. The conversation between the two teases at a larger force for the Earth to reckon with in the future, and Mercury tells Jay that he must become a hero. Eventually Mercury gives the hesitant Jay the power of “The Speed of a God”, and thus our Earth 2 Flash is born! Jay is seen throughout parts of the rest of the issue getting used to his amazing new powers, discovering what he’s capable of and saving a young couple from some “Apokorats”. His parts in this issue end with a test of how fast he can run and a brief inclusion of another familiar character. Robinson does a great job introducing a young, playful version of Jay Garrick here who really seems to enjoy the powers he’s been endowed, and it certainly makes me excited to see what sort of action sequences the character may be involved in as the series goes forth.
The rest of the issue consists of some non-super Alan Scott. His brief introduction from the first issue is followed here as he arrives in Hong Kong on a business trip where he also meets with the object of his affections, Sam, with a large show of embrace. For all the hype that the issue received due to Alan Scott’s newly labeled sexuality, the scene was actually very respectfully handled. I know, however, that this is what we should expect from James Robinson given the characters and stories he’s handled in the past. Those who might have grabbed this issue due to the hype around it might have expected something more, but what we get is a great representation of young and true love. However, since we don’t know Sam at all before this issue, and we also haven’t seen much of him here, the ending to this issue comes off a bit rushed. There are a couple of explosive events that lead me to hope that Sam doesn’t turn into a simple throwaway character just to bring about Alan’s transformation into the Green Lantern, but sadly that does seem to be what we’re getting here.
I did enjoy this second issue, especially the material we get with Jay and Alan, but I was also turned off by 1) the intro piece about Mr. Terrific that relies a lot on the reader knowing what happened in his cancelled series, and 2) the issue’s conclusion, which I said made me worry about the use of Sam as throwaway character. I don’t much like it when a series has me rely entirely on what happened elsewhere in order for me to understand what’s going on, and I wasn’t really planning on picking up Mr. Terrific in paperback, so I’m pretty sure unless I do, I’ll never know what happened before the character showed up in this book. The latter part might be remedied by whatever happens in coming issues, but we’ll just have to see how it all plays out.
I’m really excited to see how next issue turns out as James Robinson has a lot to pull out of his sleeves at this point. Aside from the flame filled origin for this new Alan Scott, we’ll also have the intros for the rest of the Justice Society to look forward to, and I’m really curious as to which characters he chooses to include in this new version of the team.
GO Rating: 4/5
[Intro image via]