Previously on Earth 2: Covering Issues #1 - #4
Forces from Apokolips are everywhere on Earth, but Batman has come up with a plan to stop them from turning the planet into a wasteland. With Superman, Wonder Woman, and the other Wonders of the world providing distraction and cover, Batman makes his way to an Apokoliptic tower where he infests the entire system with a virus. In the course of their struggle, all of the Wonders are killed or boom tubed into another reality (as seen in World’s Finest), but the Earth is saved as all of the alien invaders fall silent and die off. Five years later, the Roman god Mercury informs Jay Garrick that a worse evil than Apokolips is coming and that all must be ready to survive. In his final moments, Mercury imparts the “speed of a god” onto Jay to help him prepare for the coming darkness.
Meanwhile, in China, Alan Scott proposes to his boyfriend just as a bullet train explodes and derails, killing his partner and several others. Alan is saved by the Green Flame of Earth and is given the title and powers of the Green Lantern, defender of Earth. Elsewhere, Mr. Terrific (Michael Holt) is transported to this reality from his own (Mr. Terrific #8) and encounters a man bent on subduing him for unknown reasons, and Jay finds himself being followed by the World Army until he ends up in Poland, encountering Hawkgirl. The two fight briefly until they realize they are on the same side, but then discover that all of the life around them—plants, animals—are dying. They track the trail of death back to Washington, D.C., where they find the Man of Grey, Grundy, ready to strike out against the Champion of Green. Hawkgirl and Jay start battling the walking death-master when Alan comes into play. Just as things start to get interesting, another Wonder, the Atom, drops in from above and takes out Grundy before telling Hawkgirl that he’s bringing her in.
New Origins: I rather like how the first issue showed the “Big Three” Wonders as the known superheroes of the world and several of the other key heroes—Alan Scott, Jay Garrick—come forth only after the need for new heroes becomes clear. It’s a nice reversal to what I’ve seen in mainstream DC.
Unification: I am pleased that the entire world banded together to fight back the evil of Apokolips, creating a World Army to combat future threats, and working with Wonders to keep the peace throughout the world. But, as we all know, unification only really works when there is something to bring everyone together. Can such a unification stand the test of new Wonders?
The Flash’s Costume Design: I’m not the biggest fan of the original Jay Garrick’s Flash costume design, but to me it looked so much better than this Jay Garrick’s costume. I seriously thought that perhaps Captain Marvel’s redish costume merged with the pulp portrayal of a space cadet uniform to create the garish design. Alan Scott’s costume, however, was a very nice upgrade, but he still looks rather bland compared to the somewhat neon space explorer outfit that Jay’s got going on.
Roman Gods: Having not read any of the previous Earth 2 incarnations, I’m unaware if this was present as well, but the use of the Roman names for the mythical Gods of old was a little off-putting to me. I’m so used to hearing the Greek names for them, especially when being spoken by Wonder Woman, so it actually took a moment for me to remember their Roman counterparts.
The Coming Darkness: The story opens up with an invasion by Apokolips, and yet there’s a new, even worse darkness coming toward Earth. Just what is this approaching evil, and how is it worse than a full-blown assault by what has been usually referred to as DC Comics’ “Big Bad?”
World Government?: There’s a World Army present on Earth 2, giving rise to the concept that the world is unified in its endeavors to rebuild and prepare for a second assault for Apokolips, but is there an actual, functioning world government?