DC Comics has made some stupid decisions this year, just from the top down, and I thought none could get dumber than firing Gail Simone who was then rehired as the writer for Batgirl. Welp, I was dead wrong.
I was looking on my Twitter timeline on the bus on the way home from work when I saw a couple of strange tweets from one of my favorite comic writer, okay, he’s my second favorite behind Simone, James D. Robinson of Earth 2. After Batgirl, the other comic I became absorbed in and made a habit of buying and catching up with is the alternate world of Earth 2. The writing was fantastic, the artwork enjoyable. It was just good stuff. Robinson announced via twitter that he was walking away from Earth 2 after issue 16 in October. In recent weeks, I had been rather excited, because Earth 2 Batman was schedule to debut and there was also the announcement that there were going to be more comics set on Earth 2.
Rather than speculate on what happened, I would like to offer reasons why Robinson should #1, be on Earth 2 the book, and #2, be given more creative freedom to expand his story-world.
1. Dystopian fiction can be hit or miss, especially when it comes to comic book fans. Robinson hits all of the right keys on science fiction themes. Dystopian fiction are rather popular these days, with the Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy and Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. There have been few and far between comic books that have caught my attention over the years that had well written, believeable pictures of tragic futures, including Spiderman 2099 and Joss Whedon’s Fray: You can see my two reviews of that work here and here. From what I hear Saga is pretty good (I plan on getting into it), and Earth 2 finds its place at the top with these futuristic-oriented works.
2. Diversity has been a major problem for both Marvel and DC Comics. Earth 2’s cast, the growing Justice Society of an alternative universe was pretty multicultural, and the characters were all complex. Robinson’s Alan Scott is an anti-Tony Stark, a businessman who practices will-power. Kendra Munoz-Saunders/ Earth 2 Hawkgirl was the reason I started reading Earth 2 in the first place, and after enmeshing myself in Earth 2 issue #4, I haven’t looked back. She is the one who initially reaches out to Jay Garrick (Earth 2 Flash) and Alan Scott/Earth 2 Green Lantern to start a team. The characters are not some version of hegemony; there is real conflict in their approaches, and that is really what diversity is about, difference and community, not the silencing of that plurality. The addition of Mister Terrific was also a plus IMO.
3. Lastly, Earth 2 brought a sense of the history to the chaotic waters that is the DC New 52. From Alan Scott to the Sandmen to Mister Miracle to Terry Sloane (the original Mister Terrific now turned “evil” ruler of Earth 2), James Robinson was able to bring back characters from DC’s past to make them relevant again. He has certainly piqued my interest in me wanting to read past comics and trades where these characters were originally written prior to the new 52. If DC Comics knew what was best for them, they would keep Robinson, give him more creative license to add to the Earth 2 story, and start making more TPB’s available so they can make a profit; I mean, isn’t that something they would want to do?