Earth 2 4: The Dark Age

earth 2 volume 4 the dark age cover superman doug mahnke art
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Solid action with no boundaries due to the series' set-up

Too short of a collection, feels more like lead-up to next collection instead of a standalone

Comic Info

Comic Name:   Earth 2

Publisher:   DC Comics

Writer:   Tom Taylor

Artist:   Nicola Scott/Robson Rocha/Barry Kitson

# of Issues:  5

Release Date:  2014

earth 2 #17 cover batman ethan van sciver

Earth 2 #17

Reprints Earth 2 #17-20 and Annual #2 (January 2014-April 2014).  Superman has returned to Earth…but it isn’t the Superman that everyone knew and loved.  This Superman is an agent of Darkseid and threatens to tear the Earth apart.  With Lois Lane finding herself implanted in a robot called Red Tornado, and Mr. Miracle and the other heroes of the world crushed Superman’s invasion force could mean the end…but a hidden secret uncovered by Batman could change the tide of battle and the Earth forever!

Written by Tom Taylor, Earth 2 Volume 4:  The Dark Age is part of the New 52 relaunch of the DC Universe.  Following Earth 2 Volume 3:  Battle Cry, the collection features art by Nicola Scott, Robson Rocha, and Barry Kitson.  The collection features the four part “The Dark Age” storyline and the Batman origin Earth 2 Annual #2.

Earth 2 is a fun and different side to the DC’s New 52 series.  It is a dark look at the DCU through the eyes of a JSA stand-in group.  Since it isn’t Earth, Earth 2 is allowed to be darker and grittier…and you never know what is going to happen.

earth 2 #19 cover batman red tornado

Earth 2 #19

The collection is rather short and the storytelling is fast and furious.  Honestly, a lot happens in the volume, and it happens over a short period of time.  Superman begin attacking the Earth, Lois Lane becomes Red Tornado, and Batman unearths another Kryptonian on Earth.  The collection is mixed with deaths, potential deaths, and a shocking moment where Batman does what realistically should have been done to the Joker multiple times.  Earth 2 almost falls into an Elseworlds or What If? style comic book.

The collection also contains the Batman origin issue that features a tie-in ending to bring it into the fold of the collection.  It tells how Thomas Wayne became Batman, how he is able to keep fighting at his age, and what drives him.  The character (though unrealistically young despite the Miraclo) is interesting and worth exploring.

Earth 2 continues to be an entertaining ride in this volume though the short collection really doesn’t have a resolution and instead just feels like build up for the next volume.  With no boundaries for where the story can go, Earth 2 continues to surprise and evolve while being rather harmless to “real” DC continuity since it can always be written off as an alternate Earth.  The fact that the series continues and isn’t a limited series really allows for exploration of what would occur if an Elseworlds story kept going and going.  Earth 2 4:  The Dark Age is followed by Earth 2 5:  The Kryptonian.

Related Links:

Earth 2 1:  The Gathering

Earth 2 2:  The Tower of Fate

Earth 2 3:  Battle Cry

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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