Going Against the Grain
I know that this column was started to give people an alternative to superhero comics. And I’m fully aware that the title I selected for today falls right into that category. But even though this title does deal with superheroes and is based in the DC Universe, it’s still enough of a departure from the ordinary for me to be able to recommend it to you as something to change up your reading list.
That’s why I selected the new Earth 2 series from DC Comics, written by James Robinson.
Earth 2 – James Robinson’s Take
Many comic book readers might be familiar with Robinson’s iconic run on Starman. Robinson was able to take a superhero concept in that story and shed a whole new light of depth and family issues within a character. The setup for Earth 2 is much different, giving us an alternative reality where Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are killed defending earth from Steppenwolf and his Parademons.
This new take on the “wonders” of the world puts Alan Scott (the Golden Age Green Lantern) in the role of the emerald warrior like never before. Instead of a galactic police force or an old lantern carved from a mysterious rock, The Green, just like in Swamp Thing, gives Green Lantern’s powers. I won’t ruin the how or why, but Scott becomes the champion of the new era.
There are a bunch of other popular Golden Age characters re-designed in this series, including The Flash and The Atom, but you should really read it for yourself to see how they play into the story.
Why It’s A Good Alternative
It’s a great alternative because it takes the superhero genre and puts it in a new light. These are some of DC Comics oldest and most popular characters, and after the New 52 it seemed like they weren’t going to return. Robinson has given readers another reason to bring these characters back into the spotlight and make us remember why we love them so much. They may have new costumes and a new world to play in, but they still have the same qualities and faults that readers fell in love with decades ago.
The Great Debate
If you’ve read this far without bringing up the glaring press that Earth 2 received about Alan Scott being a homosexual in this new series, I applaud you. There were people in my local comic book shop who refused to read the series because the character was now gay instead of straight. I’m here to say that I’ve been a huge fan of every Green Lantern, Alan Scott included, and I love this new take on him.
Scott’s new sexual orientation isn’t just a gimmick; it drives his character and plays an important part in the story. If anything it’s made Scott a stronger character and a better leader, due to events that happen in the first few issues.
If you can’t move past this new character trait, I feel very sorry for you. You’re missing out on what has become one of my personal favorite DC titles. But if you’re willing to see a universe where every twist and turn in the world of DC took a left instead of a right, you’re in for a treat.
Ken Porter also writes comic books with his latest being "Ink Ribbon" from Visionary Comics.