Double Issue Review
Today, I have two reviews of the first two issues of Dial H and Earth 2. Now, the easy review would be that I love both series and urge everyone to check both out. But, to do a just review, one must utilize depth.
From the brilliant and creative mind of China Mieville, this series has all of the elements that makes a great Mieville story. The series follows Nelson, an obese out of luck Londoner, who happens on the H Dial when his friend is attacked by the gangsters he works for. Thus begins the random heroic career of a most unlikely superhero.
And that’s the key. Nelson should not be a super hero, but he is. And that, I think, makes this series work so well. Nelson is not even an everyman. He is someone no body would want to be. He doesn’t even want to be himself. Which introduces an amazing series of characterization shots.
Indeed, beyond the superhero surface is a heartfelt and compassionate study of identity and the desire to become someone else, someone heroic.
The progression of the series has so far been fast paced and addicting. And the villains have so far been very cool and extremely weird.
Mieville has found an excellent partner in Mateus Santolouco and the rest of the art team. My goodness, the art is gorgeous in a weird, somewhat surrealist style.
For those of you who have not checked out Dial H, what are you waiting for? Do it now!
To begin this review, one must acknowledge the controversies surrounding it. For one thing, the revelation of Alan Scott as a gay man in this new universe. And, of course, there are the deaths of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in the first issue during the final battle with the forces of Apokolips.
The thing is, you see, this series is a radical departure from the usual Earth Two depiction. Instead of these heroes existing in a Golden Age of Super Heroes, these heroes (Scott, Garrick, etc.) are the second generation of heroes (or wonders as the residents of Earth 2 call them).
James Robinson has embarked on something akin to an superhero epic. The old heroes, hell the old gods, are dead. Who will take their place when the world needs new heroes? I look forward to that answer.
The first issue is powerful and heart breaking. Especially the relationship between Batman and his daughter, Robin. And that last scene, wow.
The second issue picks up with the introduction of the Flash (Jay Garrick). In this reality, he gains his powers from a dying god (guess who). So, much of this issue is built around him learning how to use his new powers and his first experiences as a hero. Indeed, his growth as a character is very well done. He is, I think, going to develop in to a fine hero.
Less time is devoted to Alan Scott and the newly arrived Michael Holt. I look forward to seeing how Mr. Terrific integrates into this new world.
Moving on to the future Green Lantern, the handling of his sexuality and his love life is excellently handled. There is a touching frankness to it that is deceptively simple to achieve. And Robinson achieves it. Now, the question is, what will happen to Sam? That final splash does not look good for him. Again, making a reader worry for a newly introduced character mere moments after their introduction is an excellent achievement.
The art team on this book led by Nicola Scott is excellent. Again, I think the series is very well served by the art.
This series has me dying to know what is coming for the future Justice Society.
If you haven’t checked this series out, why the hell not. Get to it! Now!!