Earth 2: Who Could Replace James Robinson?

Earth 2 #15With James Robinson wrapping up his run on Earth 2 in the fall, fans were left wondering on Friday night not only why he elected to leave--but who will replace him?

The former question doesn't interest us that much--unless it's something hilarious or scandalous, "Why did you leave?" is almost always answered with the same three or four answers: "I wanted to go out on top," "the publisher had a different take than me," "it just felt like time," etc.

But who could take over? Well, that's got promise as an interesting discussion.

So here are some of the candidates we'd consider if we were DC. As is almost always the case with something like this, somebody's probably already got the job sewn up and the odds of us picking the right guy are slim. Still, it's like fancasting a movie.

jerry-ordway-jsaJerry Ordway

Here's a guy who has pretty substantial experience with Earth Two characters and properties (albeit in a very different context)--and with bringing them into the DC Universe mainstream in a big way. That last bit is key, since it seems from solicitations and convention panels that Earth Two will be interacting with the main DCU quite a lot this year.

It would also be seen as a big PR win for DC, which would be nice considering that a lot of fans are assuming the worst about Robinson's departure, even though there is nothing in his announcement or follow-ups that would lead anyone to reasonably assume the situation between the writer and publisher got ugly. Ordway famously took to his blog recently to express his discontent with how he felt he was being treated while under an exclusive deal with the publisher. Giving him a regular monthly book on which it seems logical he could thrive would not only fulfill their need to replace Robinson, but communicate that things between Ordway and the publisher are all patched up, implying that they're not as bad as many in the press tend to paint them lately.

manhunter37Marc Andreyko

Speaking of guys who have some serious JSA street cred...

Andreyko managed to pick up where Robinson left off, not in a literal but a spiritual sense, once before- - crafting a book in Manhunter that was a bit of a sequel in spirit to Starman.

Like Robinson, he managed to seamlessly integrate new concepts with old, modern history (Chase) with Golden, Silver and Bronze Age history and come up with a book that celebrated the concept of family in a way that few modern writers have done in DC comics (Geoff Johns and James Robinson are really the only others who came close, both also with Earth 2/JSA characters).

He's also shown an ability to write a gay, male character in a way that's neither pandering nor self-parody. That would be helpful as long as Alan Scott stays a key component of the title.

Plus--if he were to take on a book like this it would raise the possibility of Kate Spencer coming back...which we've asked for a bunch of times before.

Geoff Johns

While Johns is always the go-to choice at DC when somebody needs a gig, here's the thing: He did say a while back that he and outgoing Green Lantern artist Doug Mahnke had a new series yet to be announced together.

Months later, it's still yet to be announced. Could it be that they've known for a while that a Johns-written Earth Two was coming together, but it's only now that they and Robinson finally finalized the dates? That could explain the "as of today" part of Robinson's announcement...

zero-hour-jsa-jurgensDan Jurgens

Jurgens has worked with almost every character in the DC Universe in the past, has a strong sense of pacing and character and can both write and draw a solid 20-page book without ever missing a deadline.

That last bit, of course, might actually count against him if DC hopes to keep artist Nicola Scott on board, as it would make more sense to give Jurgens, currently without a DC ongoing for the first time in years, a book where he can both write and draw.

He also vastly improved the quality of a floundering Firestorm series when he was brought on board to close out the struggling book recently. That its final issue comes out on Wednesday is in spite of Jurgens, not because of them, and his ability to improve quality and stabilize free-falling sales a bit at the end suggest, more than anything else, that he can write a challenging, B-list DC property strongly enough to keep readers on board.

Sterling Gates

Gates was one of the up-and-coming young talents at DC (although he's been loathe to accept that label, if you talk to him on Facebook) prior to the New 52, and has recently reappeared, working on titles like Justice League of America's Vibe and the Man of Steel Prequel, both of which involve big players like DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and Arrow showrunner Andrew Kreisberg.

His take on Supergirl is still a fan-favorite, and the younger feel of Supergirl as opposed to many of the DC heroes fits well with the "replacement heroes" feel  that Robinson cultivated on Earth 2.

david-gallaher-earth-2David Gallaher

The writer of is hugely underappreciated, and could bring a sense of both widescreen adventure and fun to the title, both of which are necessary to make Earth 2 work.

Best known for creator-owned work, he's nevertheless done work with Marvel, DC's Zuda imprint and other more restrictive environments that would suggest he's capable of doing work in the DC editorial structure.

Beyond that, though, things like Box 13 and High Moon have been really terrific work, and if this guy has any interest in working with the Big Two, they should jump on them just like they have comparable talent like Justin Jordan and Joshua Hale Fialkov.

Which, of course, brings us to the image at left...