Ahead of May’s Earth Two #1 and Worlds’ Finest #1, DC Comics has spent this week at their blog, The Source, rolling out a series of updated looks for the “Earth-2″ versions of their popular superhero characters. Beginning with Batman at the beginning of the week, the publisher not only rolled out alternate Earth versions of its “big three” flagship characters but also that world’s Robin and Supergirl–more familiar to readers as The Huntress and Power Girl, now that they find themselves stranded on our world.
The Earth 2 versions of these characters seem darker, more haunted and more violent than the versions we’re accustomed to–which perhaps is a result of the circumstances they find themselves in. Not only has Superman lost Lois Lane on Earth 2, but the loss of Robin (back when Jason Todd died) has been known to drive Batman to a pretty dark place, as well. With no Tim Drake to help him recover, maybe this Batman just stayed there.
“What would you have to do to teach Superman to kill?” asks Earth 2 editor Pat McCallum at today’s installment on The Source. “He’s endured the loss of his home world, and now the Last Son of Krypton must weather the death of his soul mate Lois Lane. Just how far can you bend the Man of Steel before he breaks?”
As expected, DC announced yesterday that the Supergirl of Earth 2 is not only our Power Girl but also the same Karen Starr who has been hiding in plain sight in the soon-to-be-canceled Mister Terrific series.
“Superman’s cousin loves her adopted world with a passion, seeing how the people of Earth have adopted her and taken her to their hearts,” hinted writer James Robinson. “She is the definitely brightest light among this first group of Earth 2 heroes.” Still, editor Will Moss asked of her trip through the Multiverse and her relationship with Holt, “what are her true motives behind those actions?”
That design, like the one for Earth 2′s Robin, discussed here just a couple of days ago, was by Kevin Maguire, one of two veteran artists who will trade off issues of Worlds’ Finest (the other being outgoing Superman writer/artist George Perez, who beefed up for the role by including Supergirl in last week’s Superman #6 and drawing a fill-in issue of her own title to see print soon). The Superman sketch above, as well as the Batman and Wonder Woman looks below, were put together by Justice League penciller and DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee, who was a driving force behind many of the revamped New 52 costumes.
Wonder Woman, according to the blog post centered around her character, is more alone on Earth 2 than ever and more integrated into the man’s world by necessity rather than choice.
Says Robinson, “Due the events that open the saga of Earth 2, Wonder Woman is already the last Amazon of this world and she is determined to avenge her sisters…at whatever cost.”
If the cover of Earth Two #1 and the recent events of Justice League are any indicator, it may well be that those powerful warrior women were slaughtered while Darkseid searched Paradise Island for another powerful woman–his own daughter, who seems to be the thing motivating his current series of attacks.
Whatever the cause, if that means that the Amazons Attack storyline is an impossibility, Earth 2 might be a nice place to spend some time as a reader.
The earliest reveal of the week, of course, was Batman. In addition to being the character who gets more page time and has more ongoing solo titles than anyone else at DC, Batman was also named the greatest superhero of all time earlier this week by Comic Heroes magazine in the United Kingdom.
While many fans and critics speculated that the use of escrima sticks on the cover of Earth Two #1 might suggest a change of the man under the mask, leaving Dick Grayson the Batman of this world, DC’s description of the character seems to suggest that’s not happening, or at least tease the possibility:
“Who will Batman kill to save his own daughter?” editor Pat McCallum asked at the Source. “Right out of the gate that should tell you we’re dealing with a different kind of Dark Knight here. More ruthless, dangerous…the costume is familiar and yeah, there is a Wayne under the mask, but we’re looking at a man desperate to save the only family he has left. Earth 2 is about to become a very bad place to be a bad guy.”
While the phrase “A Wayne” leaves quite a bit of room for ambiguity, as both Bruce’s biological and adopted son are active on DC’s primary earth, The Huntress on Earth 2 used to be the daughter of Batman and Catwoman in the old days. That Huntress is once again Batman’s daughter makes it seem–at least on face value–likely that the Batman who sired her is the same one as before.