Best Shots Comic Reviews: GREEN ARROW #33, FANTASTIC FOUR 100th Anniversary, Much More

Interior from Green Arrow #33
Credit: DC Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Fantastic Four 100th Anniversary #1
Written by Jen Van Meter
Art by Joanna Estep
Lettering by Joe Sabino
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by George Marston
'Rama Rating: 9 out of 10

There's a central conceit to the Fantastic Four, a theme that has permeated the best of its runs, and which has kept it a viable franchise even at its low points. It's not family, though that's really the core of the team's dynamic. It's momentum. The ability to move forward, always upward, always faster and further than anyone else could ever go. The Fantastic Four are not heroes; they're explorers, adventurers, seekers. And so there's something incredibly appropriate - dangerous, but familiar - about jumping them forward in time some 50 years. It's a shame that this jump is only going to last for a brief moment, because it's got more energy, more heart, and more momentum than Marvel's first family have had in years.

Diving in as though Fantastic Four 100th Anniversary #1 were simply the next issue of the team's adventures 50 years from now, we're taken on a whirlwind tour of the FF's status quo. It's, well, fantastic the way that Jen Van Meter so effectively sets the stage in just a handful of pages, establishing the circumstances that took Reed and Franklin Richards, Johnny Storm, and former enemy turned ally Dr. Doom away, leaving Sue Storm and a comatose Ben Grimm to languish under house arrest while Valeria Richards leads her own children in a new team. Concepts like Neoluna, a new artificial moon, and the Chronometrodes, a band of robots that monitor the time-space continuum get tossed around with an elegance and familiarity that provides just enough info to hook the reader, while still trusting the reader to understand the plot.

While Van Meter's script does a masterful job of immersing readers immediately in this brave, new world, it's not without its flaws. While Van Meter utilizes false editor's notes to give the strong impression of a much larger, continuing future for the Marvel universe, recalling FF issues that haven't (Will never? Are going to?) happened, and titles like "Gamma Girls," that tell a story almost unto themselves, some concepts, like the new FF, consisting of some incredibly compelling characters, spend a little too much time off-screen, making way for the reunion of the original Fantastic Four. This makes sense, but gives the impression that this is the final chapter of a saga that's taken a long time to tell. The payoff still comes - Van Meter's script is so solid that there's no learning curve to understand where the team is at - but it leaves the best bits of future ephemera in its wake, a disappointment compounded with the knowledge that this is issue basically it for these characters. Still, even a glimpse of the Richards-Banner twins, Victoria Harkness, and the new Human Torch is exciting, capturing, even briefly, that feeling of possibility, of momentum, of wanting to know more about the circumstances that lead to their genesis.

For her part, artist Joanna Estep is like a breath of fresh air. Her art isn't perfect - there is some jumpy storytelling, particularly in the last few pages - but there's a charm to it that truly captures the feeling of wonder, of the endless possibilities at the fingertips of the Fantastic Four. Estep's characters possess a naturalism that frames their humanity against Estep's own otherworldly colors. Estep's rough edges, like her lack of hard lines, and her occasional over-reliance on color holds can be forgiven in lieu of the raw emotion she packs on each page, and the way her composition crackles with movement and energy.

The best versions of the Fantastic Four take the reader on an adventure. They don't simply allow us to watch their lives, they invite us to become adventurers, begging questions, seeking deeper answers, and finding some small truth about our own nature along with their high-concepts and cosmic questions. There's nothing as disappointing as finally getting that feeling, of brushing the fingertips of that outstretched hand that's beckoning you to an adventure, only to realize there's no time to fully grab hold. If we're lucky, the characters and concepts in Fantastic Four 100th Anniversary #1 won't end with these pages, and if Marvel is smart, they'll give Jen Van Meter and Joanna Estep more time with the Richards family and their friends.

Credit: DC Comics

Green Arrow #33
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo
Lettering by Rob Leigh
Published by DC Comics
Review by Richard Gray
'Rama Rating: 8 out of 10

Like its small-screen adaptation, much of the last three years of Green Arrow has been about finding a balance between backstory and forward momentum. The previous arc, “The Outsiders War,” was at times threatening to topple under the weight of an incredibly complex set of additions to Oliver Queen’s otherwise straightforward origin story. So it is pleasing to see that despite an intense battle with demons both figurative and literal, there is still some room for a bit of fun in writer Jeff Lemire’s exploration of Ollie’s past.

In a format that will no doubt be familiar to Arrow viewers, this issue runs between parallel stories that take place four years apart. In the past, Queen recalls a time when he was less willing to take up his hooded mantle, crippled by sorrow and alcohol, but also completely unwilling to let anybody else do it for him. This new information explains the distance that exists between Diggle and Ollie when the former was introduced a few issues back. The parallel story running in modern-day Seattle sees Queen’s newly discovered half-sister Emiko - the young child of Oliver’s father and Shado - deciding she wants to be Green Arrow, despite the hooded vigilante’s vehement objections.

Lemire takes what could have easily been an incongruous tale of a kid sidekick and leverages our expectations for a quirky dynamic between Emiko and Ollie. The casual back-and-forth dialogue about trick arrows and psychotic fathers keeps the issue barreling along at a rapid pace, and Emiko’s presence imperils the hero more than any of his foes. Or it could just be that there’s the very real threat of multiple rogues coming at Green Arrow that creates a flurry of misdirection leading to a almost literal cliffhanger of a conclusion.

Andrea Sorrentino’s use of color, or the absence thereof, has been a distinguishing feature of his run to date. He’s a bit more restrained in this outing, with mostly sepia-toned flashback sequences to distinguish those panels from the rest of the book. However, his unique style hammers home in a beautifully executed fight sequence between Green Arrow and Brick, one in which every one of Arrow’s rain of blows upon the hapless villain can be felt.

Perhaps for the first time since the reboot, and to a lesser extent since Lemire soft-reboot in the middle of that, Green Arrow is really starting to feel like a book that has a big story to tell. Having firmly established an identity for the New 52 version of Green Arrow, Lemire is determined to never let him rest for a moment, and this makes for fascinating reading.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Rocket Raccoon #1
Written by Skottie Young
Art by Skottie Young and Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Lettering by Jeff Eckleberry
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Lan Pitts
'Rama Rating: 10 out of 10

"And you're just like every other princess I've saved...never impressed until they see the tail."

With Marvel Studios' upcoming release of Guardians of the Galaxy, you had best believed that the Guardians were going to make a big comeback in comicdom, but the hands-down weirdest samples of this is Rocket Raccoon. Handling Rocket this go around on both the writing and sequential double duties is Skottie Young, and this could not have been a better match to guide you through a book dedicated to one of Marvel's once, but doubtfully for much longer, obscure characters.

If you had told me a few years ago that Rocket Raccoon would star in his own ongoing, I probably would have slapped you in the face with old Gambit issues, but with Young helming this project, it all just seems right and sensible. Like, "Yes, Rocket DOES deserve an ongoing!" I know, I'm just as surprised as you might be. What starts off as a simple night out on the town to a wrestling match, Rocket finds himself set up for multiple murders and on the run from the law. Young takes Rocket and essentially boils him down to an adventuring space rogue, who bites off more than he can chew on the occasion. No, you don't need to know everything about Rocket to dive in, or the Guardians themselves for that matter. Young had taken this decades-old character and made him accessible for new readers who might be curious about him before they see the movie.

Of course story aside, Young's cartoonist background comes into play here with wild scenarios, you'll doubtfully see elsewhere at Marvel. From Rocket pocketing a piece of Groot to grow later, to him running down a sewage pipe from galactic enforcers, to finally the big reveal on who is framing Rocket and their plan to get him killed. It's all wonderfully rendered in Young's sketchy and bold style. Even Young's unique brand of humor is apparent with the not-so-subtle easter eggs like the Southern Bastards shout-out during the wrestling match. Whether it's handling massive crowd scenes to a quick bit of action with the other Guardians, you never find yourself bored wanting for this issue to be over. Add in Jean-Francois Beaulieu on colors giving this world an eerie, but tangible world that Rocket and company inhabit. From the swampy greens to bright oranges and reds, the alien worlds of this issue come alive and the imagery sticks with you after you've put it down.

It might seem a little offbeat at first, but since the beginning Young has promised the series will be weird fun, and if this issue is any indication of things down the line, I say he's fulfilled that promise. Rocket Raccoon is PG-rated fun for anybody looking for something different without having to worry about accessibility or following tie-ins. Skottie Young deserves a 21-gun salute for pulling off what would have seemed like the impossible, or maybe just a firing of one really big gun.

Credit: DC Comics

Superman Unchained #7
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair
Lettering by Sal Cipriano
Published by DC Comics
Review by Justin Partridge, III
‘Rama Rating: 5 out of 10

I sincerely hope that history remembers Superman Unchained fondly. It is my dream that somewhere, a few years down the line, after DC releases some kind of trade of the much-anticipated series a younger comic fan picks it up and enjoys it immensely. As I dream of that perfect world, I am stuck here in our present reality, where a lackluster Superman series with a metric ton of potential is being published by two titans of the industry and then buried deep in the releases of DC Comics. Superman Unchained #7 is a lot more of the same, but at least it looks great.

Superman Unchained #7 finds Superman under attack on all fronts, both in the literal sense and personal. The Fortress of Solitude is under attack by General Lane and his Machine forces, while Wraith, the proto-Superman character introduced by Snyder, is ransacking the Bat Cave in an effort to destroy Batman and Wonder Woman. One thing that Snyder has done very well with Superman Unchained is introducing threats that are unrelenting and powerful in order to give Kal-El at least a chance of being overwhelmed. Sadly though, it has just been more of the same version of just that from the very beginning. Superman Unchained #7 offers nothing new. While Snyder, a writer of immense talent, played with interesting notions of identity and cyber crime in the opening issues, it seems that, as the wind down of the series approaches, most of those interesting narrative notions have been thrown by the wayside in favor of wall-to-wall action. The two battles are kinetic enough and Snyder still isn’t a slouch when it comes to the script, but it all just feels so empty. This is a popcorn movie of a comic. Snyder does his best to fill the wall to wall action with genuine, interesting character moments, but most of them are given to the supporting characters and not Supes himself. In Superman Unchained #7, Wonder Woman smashes Wraith with Batman’s giant lucky penny, Lois Lane has a truly amazing hero moment, but the most interesting thing that Superman does is put on some fancy armor and scream a lot. Snyder and Lee promised action, and by Krypton, they are delivering, but it all feels so hollow wrapped around an uncharacteristically dull script.

Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair haven’t lost a single step since their blockbuster Batman: Hush and it is still amazing to see such a mammoth team reuniting and turning in something truly spectacular to beyond on glossy pages. But, as I have said before, pretty panels alone do not a great comic make. Lee, Williams, and Sinclair are still at the top of their game, but I don’t think many of us are willing to drop upwards of five dollars just for a pretty looking comic. Lee draws Superman as a force of noble nature as he sets about destroying Gen. Lane’s Machine drones with his new Skyrim-by-way-of-Krypton battle axe, donned in a sort of techno-armor. Batman also dons another snazzy looking costume with his new stealth suit, introduced in earlier issues. Jim Lee proves once again just how amazing he is at drawing superhero costumes with these new costumes just screaming for the toy shelf. Alex Sinclair also turns in stellar colors, panel after panel, drenching the issues in sumptuous looking Magic Hour like colors outside of the Fortress of Solitude and eerie unnatural lighting in the Batcave. Sinclair is every bit the MVP of this issue with his shifting and dynamic colors. Sinclair captures the mood handedly, scene after scene, displaying a level of talent that demands recognition, like other star colorists Justin Ponsor and Jordie Bellaire. Sinclair gives this book its only real life as the colors evoke the proper mood for each scene. If there was one name on the cover that would make you buy this comic, it should by Alex Sinclair.

On concept, Superman Unchained should be the perfect Superman series. But, sometimes even the stars get the wrong, and Superman Unchained #7 is one of those rare examples. Superman is a character with near limitless narrative potential but more often than not, he is regulated to a mere force of destruction with an eloquent mind. Snyder writes the narration as if it comes from a poet, but can’t stop showing the man behind that narration punching things, and Jim Lee is more than happy to oblige him. History may one day look kindly upon this weird misfire in comicdom, but as a reader in the present, you really aren’t missing anything.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Legendary Star-Lord #1
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Paco Medina, David Curiel and Juan Vlasco
Lettering by Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Justin Partridge, III
'Rama Rating: 8 out of 10

Everyone loves a rogue. You’ve got your Han Solos, your Spider Jerusalems, and now, this summer, thousands will be introduced to one of Marvel’s greatest and most dashing rogues, Peter Jason Quill, the Legendary Star-Lord. As he is primed to make it leap onto the silver screen, Sam Humphries and Paco Medina struck while the iron was hot and delivered the debut issue of his solo series, aptly titled Legendary Star-Lord #1. This first issue portrays Quill as every bit the charming ne'er-do-well as he looks while giving us a micro look at the larger and every expanding Marvel universe. Just check your wallet after reading it.

Legendary Star-Lord #1 opens with a gang of Badoon bounty hunters capturing Quill as he was casing a galactic orphanage for a chunk of a legendary cosmic element. Sam Humphries, an old hat at writing lovable misfits, writes a slightly more wry Peter Quill than we are used to seeing. While he may be Jeff Winger over in the main Guardians of the Galaxy title, here Humphries writes him a bit more melancholic as he recounts the death of his mother and his subsequent moving to an Earthbound orphanage. Legendary Star-Lord ticks all the boxes of a rousing rogue adventure, but he also peels back a bit of Quill’s blustering facade to give us a look as his true heart and humanity. Quill gets captured, flirts with Kitty Pryde over a commlink, and then makes a daring escape, but the sparse flashbacks to Peter standing at his mother’s grave with a priest give just proper context and understanding to his swashbuckling ways. Humphries reveals through the flashbacks and through the ending of this debut issue (which was way too sweet to spoil here) that Peter really and truly wants to “make space a better place” and while he may never do exactly that, it won’t stop him trying. That’s the best kind of rogue; the one with a gun on his hip, a one-liner on his lip, and one completely willing to make every kind of sacrifice to better those around him. Sam Humphries wraps these great character moments around an atypical rogue’s scheme and plot. Star-Lord is Marvel’s morally compromised Flash Gordon, and Sam Humphries writes him exactly as such.

Handling art duties are Paco Medina, David Curiel and Juan Vlasco, who deliver a wonderful, Howard Chaykin-esque space adventure from Humphries high-flying script. Medina draws Quill with a thickness and power that other artists like Sara Pichelli and David Marquez have forgone for a more lithe, athletic look. Quill is still as handsome as he always it, I’m sure to the delight of shippers everywhere, but Medina draws him like a matinee idol, lantern-jawed and all. All of Medina’s character renders radiate power or menace; he draws Gamora, in a particularly hilarious bit of Quill remembering his exploits, as a deadly and spry instrument of death, and renders the Badoon as sneering lizard people that regard other races with contempt. While Medina’s pencils ooze personality, David Curiel and Juan Vlasco make Legendary Star-Lord feel tactile and lived in. Artists that have handled the Guardians as of late have made Quill’s world feel like a stylish version of a Ridley Scott sci-fi epic, but Legendary Star-Lord feels a bit more scrappy with the dull silvers of the Badoon ship and the seemingly slapped together lighting of Quill’s ship. This art team’s visuals are just realistic enough, but never once do they sacrifice the ramshackle tone of Star-Lord’s adventures.

Audiences can’t get enough of charming roughish characters and Legendary Star-Lord #1 is every bit a comic about one of Marvel’s most dashing criminals. Sam Humpries, a writer to cut his teeth giving us books about weirdoes and outcasts like Uncanny X-Force and Avengers A.I., shoots for the stars with this new solo series, but always reminds us that underneath the exploits and explosions there is a living, breathing man. The Legendary Star-Lord #1 also continues the artistic hot streak that has made up Marvel’s cosmic character line. Medina, Vlasco and Curiel deliver a book that feels lived in while never looking like anything other than a high-flying space adventure, bringing to mind the works of Jim Starlin and Howard Chaykin. We may have to wait until August 1 for Peter Quill to become a box office star, but today he’s a star at your local comic shop.

Credit: DC Comics

Actions Comics #33
Written by Greg Pak
Art by Aaron Kuder and Wil Quintana
Lettering by DC Lettering
Published by DC Comics
Review by Aaron Duran
'Rama Rating: 7 out of 10

Doomsday and Kal-El are now one, and as one would expect, it's not going all that well. Superdoom takes to the vacuum of space in order to keep his distance from those he cares about, and since this is still Superman, that means anyone with a pulse. In his self-imposed exile, he does his best to blow off some rage by reducing an asteroid belt or two into dust. Alas, the Doomsday virus lives for violence. More rage, more power. Back on Earth, Lana and Steel do their best to save their friend, while seeking a cure to the strange coma that's knocked out all of Smallville. All that and the ever-so stable Red Lantern, Supergirl, decides she can help her rage-filled cousin. There is a whole lot going on in Action Comics #33, but does it tell an exciting and compelling story? Well, that remains to be seen.

Much of Action Comics #33 acts as an epilogue to Prelude to Doom, while then switching gears and setting up what is to come in Superman: Doomed. To that end, writer Greg Pak does a fine enough job in moving the story forward with an entertaining, if not wholly inspired, pace. He's essentially using this issue as one giant moment of exposition, promising greater impact in the issues to follow. Still, he has a nice grasp on Superman's internal thoughts and fears without delving into angst or self-pity. There was plenty of moments where Clark could have simply slipped into all matter of melodramatics.

Instead, Pak writes a Superman that is indeed dealing with dangerous emotions and powers, but still manages to stay true to himself. For now at least. A real highlight of the story are the few moments between Lana Lang and John Henry Irons. These two are quickly become the duo that I want to see more of. Indeed, Action Comics starring Steel and Lang has a nice ring to it. Pak's dialog between the two acts as a nice buffer between the more heavy elements within this issue. While still keeping their eye on the prize.

And while the story is a tad on the clunky side, it's the visuals where Action Comics #33 really shines. Aaron Kuder on art has a great sense of scope and scale. Even in the small moments of the book, this is large storytelling. He draws a Superman that's clearly a living embodiment of Doomsday, while not losing the iconic imagery that helps the reader connect with the character. In that way, we not only read Clark's inner fight, but we see and feel it with the art. There is even a slight homage to the more emotional Hulk stories over at Marvel. While perhaps sacrilege to the DC faithful, these qualities slipped in with how Superman carries himself makes a strong impact on the reader. It's a nice touch and Kuder should be commended.

The action scenes within the book fill the page with real power and violence. You really do believe that this is a beast that's crushing all that meets his gaze. Although there are a few moments where facial expressions look a bit exaggerated for the moment, it's a minor bump in an otherwise strong look. Working with Kuder is Wil Quintana on colors, and does a more than stellar job bringing the book to life. There is an almost alien quality to the palette choices made by Quintana, choices that really bring out the various off-world scenes in the comic. And yet even in the few moments where we're on Earth, the strange events are punctuated by coloring that adds a layer of mystery and danger. To put it simply, Kuder and Quintana are a great visual team and one that I hope stays together for a long time.

Action Comics #33 is a book with the unenviable burden of setting the stage for bigger moments to come. In that extent, it succeeds even when hampered by the reality of the issue. Superman: Doomed has a lot of potential planted by this opening issue. While there are some bumps here and there, the creative team has enough heart and hard work with this book to make a return trip more than valid. We just need to pick up the pace a bit.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Moon Knight #5
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire
Lettering by Chris Eliopoulos
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by David Pepose
'Rama Rating: 8 out of 10

I'm still mad at you, Warren Ellis.

Yeah, I said it. I was very into Ellis's take on Moon Knight, so you can imagine my disappointment upon the news that he would be leaving, taking away a needed vision to get Marc Spector back on track. Ellis's done-in-one stories were decent reads, but ultimately a bit lightweight if there wasn't a larger narrative for it to fit within.

And then Declan Shalvey delivers a comic where Marc Spector just beats the holy hell out of a building full of thugs. And I love it. Dammit, Declan.

Maybe I'm part of the problem here. There's not a whole lot of narrative oomph behind Moon Knight #5. The premise is simple - there's a kidnapped girl on the top floor of a derelict building. Marc Spector is going to fight his way to the top. And pity the hapless thugs inside, because they are in for a world of hurt.

I'm going to chalk the success of this comic up primarily to Shalvey, because he just knocks his compositions out of the park. There's one sequence in particular, where Marc flings a man over his shoulder, only to let his spine bend horrifically as he lands on a nearby bannister, that'll make you shudder. Every time that Moon Knight pounds somebody into paste with his truncheon - or the confetti explosion as he fires his broken grappling hook into a thug's nose - you can almost hear the impact. Shalvey's characters go all rubbery as they get beaten and broken by this eerie white vigilante, who you can see progress as he takes off his coat and rolls up his sleeves.

Then again, there's some trademark Ellis nastiness in here, too. While he doesn't give Marc Spector a lot to say, there's a deliberateness to the brutality of this book, like when Moon Knight flicks a razor-sharp shuriken through a thug's jaw, only to give him a wrecking ball of a kick down a flight of stairs, or another panel where he kicks a guy in the gut so hard he vomits. And just wait until Marc gets a hold of a baseball bat. Ellis's overall conceit - sort of like watching a master video game player at work - isn't one to use themes or nuance, but instead just a hint of humor, as Spector notes each floor he's on. Yet when Ellis does take the time to have Spector speak, it's gold: "Tell everyone you meet. Tell them all. When you see me coming? Run."

That said, there's a little bit that still brings Moon Knight back to Earth, and that doesn't include the knowledge that this story is going to end before it really ever went anywhere. Like the previous issues of the series, there’s a bit of narrative fat that could definitely be cut here - and more importantly, replaced with something a bit more substantial. Like the fight choreography, for example - after the third time Marc uses his shurikens, or the umpteenth time a dude gets slammed through a wall or stairway, you start to get the point. The thing about these done-in-one books is they have to be economical - right now we’re sort of getting a double-edged sword, with all of the decompression of widescreen storytelling with none of the narrative follow-through.

Still, try as I might, it’s hard to be angry as Warren Ellis - at least not while he has Declan Shalvey doing all of his dirty work. This is the kind of comic that is hard to pull off, but when you do, it’s as guilty a pleasure as they come. There may not be much depth to this comic, but the visuals go a long way towards making you like this book in spite of yourself. I may still be mad at Warren Ellis for leaving this comic in its hour of need, but I can't deny the end result today. Moon Knight may still be a little bit rough around the edges - but wait until you see the other guy.

Credit: DC Comics

Earth 2 #25
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott and Pete Pantazis
Lettering by Dezi Sienty
Published by DC Comics
Review by Richard Gray
'Rama Rating: 9 out of 10

Earth 2 is one of those rare books from DC that has been on a slow build since its inception, on the cusp of forming a team, but forever teasing the audience with one more twist. It’s unique in the New 52 as maintaining that original spirit of exploring the uncovered alternative stories of the DCU, and has not only survived a change of writers, but exponentially improved as a result.

Tom Taylor may have inherited an evil Superman from outgoing writer James Robinson almost a year ago, but he has wasted no opportunity to twist the knife even further. Case in point is a rather nasty dinnertime at the Kent farm, with a dark Clark, a robotic Lois, and his terrified parents. Taylor seems to almost gleefully subvert the Superman mythos, taking a leaf out of his Injustice series, as the character literally destroys an important part of his past. It’s a moment as shocking as one would expect from a man who has done some very bad things to Superman over the years, but wholly in keeping with the spirit of the book as well.

While he may be destroying any fond memories of a beloved hero in one corner, the rest of the book is all about character building. Both Earth 2’s Flash and Green Lantern truly begin to comprehend and push the limits of their powers, and Taylor masterfully paces multiple story arcs across this plus-side issue. Yet the massive reveal of the last installment gives way to this anniversary issue’s biggest triumph moment, as Val-Zod finally steps out of the shadows, and with the help of (Doctor) Fate, embraces his own. Taylor sets the stage for a massive confrontation between the Kryptonians,

Which is where the magnificent design work of Nicola Scott comes into play. Having already created an all-new Batman design for the series, Scott plays with the notion of red, white and blue in an outfit that departs significantly from what has come before for Kryptonians, but keeps some level of continuity with the lengthy histories of the characters. The character is instantly iconic, and it isn’t the only moment where Scott excels. The Flash breaks the sound barrier and goes into something he can only describe as "Infinity," a stylish layout of fractured panels and white light.

Earth 2 could quite easily be the most frustrating book in the entire New 52. In the previous issue, Hawkgirl acknowledged that they all felt like they were meant to be a team, but weren’t quite there yet. So while this edge-of-the-precipice teasing has kept readers guessing since the beginning, the notion that this is still all part of an alternative Earth’s “Year One” is a bold move. However, with the Kryptonians poised to clash next month, one gets the impression that Taylor is set to sweep the old cobwebs away so he has unfettered access to the sandbox that he is currently building, demolishing and re-imagining sandcastles in.

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