Rafael Albuquerque’s miniseries passion project reaches the halfway point with Ei8ht #3. The book has successfully come from being an interesting though empty time travel story and finally into a high concept pulp action adventure and if it can stick the landing it’s bound to become one of the most enjoyable comics of the year.
It’s the same old drill again, another issue of DC’s regular installment of disappointment. Guess it’s time to get it done. Earth 2: World’s End reaches issue #24 and is set to conclude in two weeks. Looking back on the last six and a half months leads one to conclude that the finale will most certainly be disappointing given how mismanaged this entire endeavor has been since day one. That being said, this week brings shockingly the closest knit issue to date, that is to say, there’s something that ties the many plot lines together and not something like the terrible art or drawn out fight scenes.
If one recalls, Ei8ht #1 was the first issue of a five part miniseries created by Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson. When the initial issue came out last month, it came up on the intriguing but lacking side of the spectrum. The latest issue has hit the spinner racks and it’s not safe to say this book is set to be a fantastic science fiction romp.
Like a weekly root canal, it’s time to endure Earth 2: World’s End again. At least there’s solace that this defilement of this once great universe will soon end. What is truly making this final stretch of World’s End appalling is how little is happening. The last twenty two issues have featured their cast effectively spinning their wheels in the mud and one would assume that’s to kill time, both to justify this book’s status as a weekly and to build up to a great planet shattering climax. As previously stated, the end of the world is shockingly dull.
Well, it’s finally come, the last issue of Earth 2. The reason Earth 2 and its weekly series Earth 2: World’s End gets reviewed every week is that despite all the bad worlds said about in the last six months, Earth 2 used to be one of the best books coming out of DC. In fact, it was one of the few books that made the New 52 somewhat justified in its existence. Instead of rehashing older stories or making embarrassing changes to characters older than the company that published them, Earth 2 did something different. It build a whole new world from the ground up, embracing its comic book roots by being a series about ordinary people swept up into the world of the impossible and altruism and hope overcome the darkest to times. It broke standards by bringing Lois Lane, who’d been killed off panel for little purpose, back from the dead as a superhero and making Val Zod a more true-to-nature version of Superman than Superman has been in years. It was helmed by the great James Robinson and continued by the excellent Tom Taylor. Yet that golden age has come to a close, for the past six months DC has done everything in its power to sabotage this series. It turned this book into little more than a tie-in to World’s End which itself is little more than a sloppy mess of a title, stumbling its way to the finish line. What little gems of aspiration could have been found were buried under editorial mandate and terrible management. While this series will live on after the upcoming Convergence event as Earth 2: Society, the damage has been done. There is little to no hope for this series to ever reclaim its greatness. Hence it is with a heavy heart that this is the last issue of Earth 2.
Another week means another issue of Earth 2: World’s End and while the chance for this series to be anything beyond cheap tie-in material to DC’s Convergence event has long passed by, this issue is a shocking improvement to what has usually be a painful slog to read. It’s true that this series has stuck the terrible decision to split art duties between plotlines instead of individual issues such as with Futures End and Batman Eternal, but for once this series does something that resembles competence.
From the people at Dark Horse comes a five-part miniseries called Ei8ht. This story is somewhat of an abnormality, coming from the mind of Rafael Albuquerque who typically contributes to the comic book world via pencils and inks, yet this time has taken up the role of story teller alongside writer Mike Johnson. What they’ve produced is a time travel story taking place in the past, present, and future; starring an amnesiac chrononaut by the name of Joshua who’s found himself stranded in a place outside of time. It’s an interesting mystery with a somewhat lacking central character but enticing enough in concept to make up the slack.
Last week, Earth 2: World’s End did something unexpected, it improved. With the help of Cullen Bunn, issue #19 has some moments to shine with great characterization and heart-felt moments to wash out the terrible artwork and redundant Life Avatar battles. All of that goes right down the tubes as World’s End falls back into line with over-stretched plot lines, sloppy science fiction, and egregious artwork.
After a surprisingly pleasant side step last week, ‘Earth 2: World’s End’ returns to form with scatter shot story and a ten member art team. It’s quite the loss as last issue was a much better paced and tightly focused read and now once again the audience is subjected to a confused mess of a plot with changing art every two to four pages.