Earth 2 #20

Earth 2 #20

Writer: Tom Taylor
Pencillers: Barry Kitson and Robson Rocha
Inkers: Barry Kitson and Oclair Albert
Colorist: Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Cover Artist: Jae Lee and June Chung (regular cover), Dan Panosian (steampunk variant cover)

Earth 2 #20 feels oddly like a quiet issue. Yet within these pages, there’s mass destruction and battles in the sky. The key is the endpoint and core of the story. This is the rise of a new Kryptonian.

A nice shot of Hawkgirl carrying her allies to safety.

This issue basically breaks down into three parts. The first part is the heroes’ escape from a horde of parademons. The bright, colorful artwork depicts Hawkgirl carrying Batman, Sato and Aquawoman through the air. This leads to some sky combat and a time for the Queen of the Sea to shine. Surprisingly, the story transitions to an exit cue for Aquawoman as she returns to her kingdom, but not before leaving Batman with a way to contact her for help.

Note the amount of expression the artists are able to convey with Batman. It’s easy to see his emotions without reading a single word of dialog. While Hawkgirl isn’t very expressive with her helmet, she still looks pretty awesome.

The second part of the story is an interlude with Superman who is hellbent on destroying every church, religious structure and monument on the planet. The panels showcasing the destruction bring to life the grim darkness of the events. Fire consumes some of the places we hold most dear. In service to Darkseid, Superman shows no mercy. It’s a gut wrenching series of panels.

Another tense scene with Batman, this time with Sata hanging on for her life.

The core throughline makes up the third part of the story. Sure, there’s some action in the sky, mass destruction around the world, but the main plot point is the heroes’ regrouping in the Batcave. The small break allows the characters to talk and in turn challenges the artists to keep the story visually engaging when nothing is being blown up or shot at. Lois Lane gets a lot of attention, and her portrayal as Red Tornado is very different than what I would expect. She looks much older than the traditional Lois Lane. Her role in this issue is centered on a conversation with Val the Kryptonian. There’s some surprises that come about. In the end, he seems like the unlikeliest hero of the group. Yet somehow Batman is relying on him to be their strongest weapon.

Part of the two page spread featuring Aquawoman in all her glory.

The story continues to be engaging and interesting. The artwork and writing work hand-in-hand to present a cohesive adventure, whether deep in action or just simple conversation. Val gets fleshed out and the plot inches forward. There’s still a long way to go, but I give this issue a four out of five metal bikinis as it makes its way there.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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