Jumping onto Earth 2 with this issue might seem like an odd choice, but that’s exactly what I did. After all, new series writer Tom Taylor has been receiving a heaping of praise for his work on DC’s Injustice prequel comic, and although I’ve never read his work, knowing that he was writing Earth 2 #17 was as good an excuse as any to jump in feet first. Having not read a single bit of this universe before, I was not prepared for a world with a rampaging Superman, a seriously PO’d Batman, and a resurrected Lois Lane brought back as an android. That being said, however, the biggest compliment I can give this issue is that it makes me not only want to stay on board for what Taylor is set to deliver next month, but I’m also compelled to go back and fill in the history that I missed.
Based on the limited knowledge I have with the Injustice prequel comic, it seems that the current affairs of the Earth 2 universe are well within Taylor’s wheelhouse. Superman has killed a God and has become all-powerful and now it’s up to the other heroes to put an end to his reign. Taylor hits readers with the bullet points in the first few pages, which will be a retread for returning readers but is just enough to pique the interest of curious eyes like mine. Even though no mention is made as to how Lois Lane was killed or the reason behind Batman’s renegade attitude, the core conflict of this issue between Doctor Fate and Superman is digestible knowing only what Taylor delivers in the opening pages.
Artist Nicola Scott has been on this book since its first issue and despite the writer change-up, her talents fortunately remain in this issue as well. Given her ability to capture the brutality of this issue’s more awe-inspiring scenes, I see no reason to let her ever leave this book. Even without Taylor’s text, the near-full-page spread of Superman taking down an aircraft with his laser vision while ripping some poor pilot in half is enough to evoke the kind of fear that the military has in this enraged superhuman. Batman’s entrance in this issue is equally as effective, and when the moment comes for the two to go toe-to-toe, let’s hope Scott is the one drawing it. In the meantime we’ll have to settle for the teaser Taylor lays down in the closing pages, and I’m definitely on board with that.
GNN Comics Grade: NEAR MINT (8/10)