Earth-1 x2

While there are still DC comics I like, I haven't been shy about stating my displeasure at many of the changes wrought by the Flushpoint. And mostly, that displeasure has been about editorial decisions and directions. Terrible and illogical costume designs. Captain Marvel becoming Shazam! A trend towards splashier art at the expense of story content. Forced crossovers between unrelated books. A continued refusal to offer recap pages. A 90s too-many-books, everyone's-a-anti-hero, Liefeld-welcome approach to comics. And now there's the Earth-2 project.

While it seems in good hands with James Robinson - this generation's Roy Thomas - at the helm, DC has still thought it important to leak various terrible costume designs for Earth-2 heroes, as well as announce that the Earth-2 versions of the Trinity are well on their way to being killers (and Superman is still pantless). Yay, more anti-heroing! I would have thought the appeal of bringing back the Golden Age heroes was to feed into something retro. Since Earth-1 is determined to be a darker DCU, where heroes are treated like mutants over at Marvel, and even Superman doesn't inspire trust, well, by contrast, Earth-2 would have looked to more innocent, happier times. But no. From what we know, it may well be an even darker place in the DC Multiverse.

It's not necessarily an unjustifiable choice. The Golden Age of comics WAS sometimes insouciantly violent, with criminals and Nazis buying the farm, in sometimes gory fashion. Even Batman started out using guns. So a more sanguinary world isn't impossible to imagine as a consequence of the Golden Age, as written. But is it enough of a change from the regular DCU? And let's not forget we're only now learning about that new DCU. If Earth-2 is yet ANOTHER DCU we have to learn about, well, what's the point? Couldn't they all be on the same Earth (aside from the killer Trinity, obviously)? Sometimes I think some of the books that have been sold as presumably Earth-1 actually take place on Earth-2 anyway, like The Shade or Mr. Terrific.

When they invented the concept of Earth-2, it was a way to teach younger fans about DC's long history, or reconnect with older fans of those characters. Wow, it was your dad's Flash and Green Lantern, you know? Or your granddad's if, like me, you discovered Earth-2 through Roy Thomas' All-Star Squadron. The whole point was to revive an ancient part of DC comics history. What's the point here? If we're not actually going back to the Golden Age and its design ethic (even if I trust Robinson to portray many of the characters adequately), then we're not really paying homage to DC's past. Instead, we're just creating a second Earth-1 full of redesigns.

Just something else the people in charge of DC Comics don't seem to understand the appeal of.


Craig Oxbrow said...

It's retro, alright... 90s retro.

Siskoid said...

My ideal DC Multiverse has an Earth-Golden Age, an Earth-Silver Age, and an Earth-postCrisis. It's a scheme that allows for post-Flushpoint Earth.

In fact, if someone asks, I will refer to Flushpointed Earth as Earth-A and this new Earth-2 as Earth-B. Other continuities will continue to live on in trades and back issues anyway.

Martin Gray said...

Totally agree. Add a Tweet/facebook button so I can pass this along. Heck, I'd even Google + it!

Siskoid said...

I don't think I can on this old template. But I did post it on G+ and we follow each other, don't we?

Randal said...

The only thing I'm willing to say about Earth-2 at this point is at least I feel that it was thought out consistently ahead of time, unlike the New 52, which seems to be a little too slapdash.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

And whatever happened to that early shot of what looked like Infinity, Inc.? that I saw on Comics Alliance the very first time Earth-Two was mentioned? These costume designs are horrible and everything you say, Siskoid, is correct.

And I can't figure out how Huntress is Robin and Power Girl is Supergirl on E2 but end up with new names when World's Finest comes out.

Siskoid said...

Wayne: From what I understand of World's Finest, PG and Huntress are stuck on Earth-1 and try to get back to Earth-2. Why they ALSO have equivalents there might be part of the story, but it is confusing from a spoiler point of view.

SallyP said...

Now they're messing with Jay? This...means...War!


Siskoid said...

I hate for you to find out about it like this, Sal!


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