My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In the world of graphic novels, art can make or break a story.
It plays a huge role in not only telling the story, but setting the mood. When you have an artist and a writer who are in sync, it’s a thing of beauty.
And that’s what makes this one so difficult for me to review.
Jae Lee’s art is phenomenal. Visually, this is one of the most stunning comic books I’ve ever read. To say it’s hauntingly beautiful wouldn’t be an overstatement.
I hated it.
To me, it looked like it belonged in a fairytale retelling, not a capes and tights story.
Having young Superman wear jeans instead of tights, isn’t a new concept. It was done in Action Comics, Vol. 1: Superman and the Men of Steel to give him a fresh/tougher look.
And in that one I think it worked.
In this? Not so much.
He looked like a little boy with high water pants on.
I know I’m going to catch shit for this, but as much as I loved the art, I thought it was wasted on this title. It was like seeing a fabulous dress on Sylvester Stallone. The dress might be lovely, but if you drape it over Rambo, it’s gonna looks stupid.
Does that make sense?
As for the story itself?
Alternate Earths collide!
The plot basically runs along the lines of DARKSEID IS COMING!, but nobody on either Earth knows who the hell that is, and they’re too busy squabbling to find out.
Our Superman and Batman (who don’t know each other yet) are transported by a ‘trickster god’ to Earth 2, where they meet up with their older counterparts. These guys have a different history than our Bruce and Clark. Having met when they were children, they’ve formed a solid friendship with each other over the years, while our guys are still spitting and clawing at each other.
*insert fight scenes*
There’s a way to stop Darkseid, but (according to the trickster) only one Earth can do it. Whoever is willing to ‘grasp the power’, or something. The older S&B want to destroy the dangerous weapon, while the younger guys think they should hang onto it…just in case.
*insert more fight scenes
Of course, if you’ve read Earth 2, Vol. 1: The Gathering, then you already know how well the other guys’ strategy worked.
Having a young Batman and Superman giving each other the fish-eye, plus an older version showing how deep the bond of their friendship really runs?
It should have been an easy win-win!
Something was just off about the whole thing. I don’t think I can really even put my finger on it in a coherent way. It wasn’t a total loss, but it wasn’t all that great, either.