Written by Marguerite Bennett & Mike Johnson
Art by Andy Smith & Trevor Scott, Tyler Kirkham, Cliff Richards & Thony Silas
Published by DC Comics
At this point, reviewing what is in theory Earth 2 seems like a moot point. If the last two issues say anything, it’s that this series is no longer meant to be a standalone title as much as it’s simply tie in material for DC Comics’ weekly book, Earth 2: World’s End. Issue #28 was little short of an origin anthology for the Furies of Apokolips while #29 was a pointless and disappointing side quest with what is by far World’s End’s weakest plot line. It’s depressing to see what was once one of the few series good enough to justify DC’s reboot be turned into event comic tie-in material and abandon the awe inspiring groundwork set by the legendary James Robinson and the rising Tom Taylor.
This month’s issue is better than last’s as it follows the similar anthology formula of issue #28, but focused on the Avatars of Earth. If there’s one thing to be said, it’s that at least when trying to do an alternate universe equivalent to the life web mythos established in both Animal Man and Swamp Thing that the World’s End crew try to make their version familiar, yet different. Included are the Avatar of the Blue and the Avatar the White which represent the world’s oceans and atmosphere respectively. It’s a fascinating concept but still seems a bit rushed and the Avatars could use some improvement in the design department.
The first story of this anthology follows the origin of the White’s designated Avatar, Sam Zhou, Green Lantern’s partner, who was unharmoniously killed in the same accident that made Alan Scott the champion of the Green. Sam’s presence in this book is one of the few good ideas the World’s End team has struck. Sticking to Earth 2’s trends, by being resurrected with a new heroic personality, Sam Zhou falls out of the infamous trope of “women in refrigerators” that has often plagued various Green Lanterns . However, his story is little much than expository narration and a bitter sweet ending.
The second story is for the Avatar of the Blue, Azathoth. It is easily the weakest part of the issue as Azathoth (who shares the namesake of a deity from H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos and nothing else) is summoned to protect the ancient peoples of Atlantis from a nondescript threat. Sadly, Azathoth is by far the least interesting character of this new life web as he’s little more than a giant raging sea monster. The real failing of his story is the art (which like World’s End lacks proper page credits.) The artist was a poor choice as he’s chosen to draw an entire scene which takes place underwater wherein the only way to know that for certain was by a caption box. The cityscapes of Atlantis in this section honestly look like they’re above land.
The third, and strongest, story revolves around the Avatar of the Red, Yolanda Montez, (who shares the namesake of a pre-New 52 incarnation of Wildcat and nothing else.) Her story follows the relationship she shares with her cousin, Alejandro. Her section features the best artwork of the three tales. This story takes a slightly unexpected turn though it’s ruined by the clunky and expository dialogue that exists throughout. Yolanda appears to be a compelling character but her only development will likely come in the following issues of World’s End.
All in all, this issue seems like an easy pass. This one is only recommended for those who need to have every single issue of a series as it adds very little to its characters that could be inferred through issues of World’s End.