Earlier this week, Newsarama gave us some Earth 2 dish with an interview with writer James Robinson, revealing the cover to Earth 2 #2 and the first look at the New 52 version of Jay Garrick as the Flash. A younger Jay Garrick. In the interview, Robinson notes that while Jay, original Green Lantern Alan Scott and original Atom Al Pratt are going to be strong presences in the book, he also stresses that "the point of this book is that it isn't the Justice Society. It's Earth 2. So it's going to be a whole world of different characters." Including, as we've seen, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
Trouble is, this is the only version of the Justice Society we're going to get.
Now, before I start whining about that, I should note that Robinson regrets on record that he has to be as cryptic as he is about this book right now. "I wish I could speak with candor," he said, "but in this instance, it's a bit of a knife walk, I have to say. Unfortunately, for everything that I don't say, there are a million theories and concepts, and people get angry because they don't know what's going on. This is a very tricky book to promote." So we'll keep in mind the fact that we haven't read any of this yet and we don't know exactly how it's going to be handled. We'll also note that Robinson's The Shade series is so damn delightful we should all give him the benefit of the doubt.
That said, it must be noted that the first thing we know about Earth 2 is that Lois Lane and all the Amazons are dead, and that notion has earned some criticism, although you might expect it from a site called DC Women Kicking Ass when they hear about that many female characters being offed. From Twitter: "All I ask is this. The next time a writer says, 'We start off with Lois Lane and all the Amazon's dead' someone says. 'No. Next idea.' 'cuz if your story depends on killing a woman to drive the narrative your story, it's not an original idea in comics." At least they're happy that Nicola Scott is handling the art, though.
So there's some trepidation out there of what's to come, as there always is when things change. Things that Robinson has revealed include that Batman may not be Bruce Wayne, Alan Scott "is a titan of industry and communications. He's a noble, gallant man who will rise to the challenges presented to him," Al Pratt is "a solider who is also everything that you want Al Pratt, this tough little fighter, to be" and Jay Garrick is "very much our point of entry to the world. He's the 'everyman' character that we all like, that we all want to be, want to hang out with."
And this is what Jay Garrick's Flash looks like now:
How… New 52y.
The fact that Robinson's The Shade was such a refreshing change of pace in terms of look, tone and style gave us hope that Earth 2 would give us some of the same, taking the discarded characters of the Justice Society of America and give us longtime fans a nice other dimension in which to hang out and kick it somewhat old school. It didn't have to be exactly the same as it was before, but a sense of that classic sensibility would have been welcome.
And who knows? Maybe Robinson will bring that feel. He's certainly earned our trust, and it's way too early to judge. But it's never too early to dread, which is what fans tend to do.