The concept of parallel worlds is in no ways new to speculative literature. Indeed, DC Comics introduced this idea in the famous "Flash of Two Worlds" story decades ago, but then came the equally renown (infamous?) "Crisis on Infinite Earths" in the mid-eighties and DC's parallel worlds mess was cleaned up, more or less. But now it's back; this time lightly veiled as an "anti-matter universe". This, the first hardcover JLA graphic novel, is an enjoyable tale for longtime DC fanboys and will cause little problem for those less familiar with the JLA and its also decades-long history. The villains here will look familiar, being the anti-matter universe (where everything is the opposite of the regular universe) counterparts of the JLA's "big guns": Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern as reflected in Ultraman; Owlman, Superwoman, Johnny Quick, and Power Ring. Grant Morrison with his usual mastery portrays the antithetical characters with wit and a bit more maturity than would be expected in a monthly four-color comic. Superwoman, apparently more of a dominatrix, is supposedly involved with Ultraman, but has Owlman as well on the side. Johnny Quick seems to have some sort of drug addiction which evinces itself in truly bizarre ways as it passes through his Speed Force. Power Ring, depicted with a very spiffy costume and spiky haircut, seems a tad schizophrenic and somewhat controlled by, rather than controlling his magic ring. Alexander Luthor, a hero in the antimatter universe, is also portrayed superbly with essentially the same personality as his "Earth 2" (his phrase for the DC Universe best known and home to Superman and the JLA), but neatly converted from villainy to heroism. Amazon has a great price for this sure-to-be a collector's item. Again, a fun read for fanboys and first-timers alike.
on October 28, 2003
In'JLA: Earth 2' we see a pair of creators firing on all cylinders. Grant Morrison's highly divisive run on the monthly JLA book was hampered by marginal art and an at times suffocating overabundance of characters. Here, he hones it down to the basics: DC's 'Big Seven', and proves what can be done with these characters.
The story thumbs its nose at the monolithic changes made to the DC Comics universe by the 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' and 'Zero Hour' series, which streamlined all the many worlds down into one universe. What fun is super hero/science fiction, Morrison asks, if you can't go to other dimensions? He does what the genre does best: mindbending, impossible scenarios and fantastic action. It was refreshing, in a dark sort of way, to see actual death and destruction in a DC Comic, which usually feature countless 'injuries'.
Frank Quietly's art, as per usual, is astounding. The fine details he invests in virtually every panel reward rereading. His attention to technological detail and architecture are in evidence throughout this book. It's enough to make you wish he could keep to a monthly schedule, or abandon them altogether and stick to larger graphic novels. Pay attention to the many sight gags that populate the alternate universe, especially the Crime Syndicate's headquarters, for an extra treat.
Morrison and Quietly have crafted a highly entertaining story. It's not high-minded. It's not deeply moving. It doesn't aspire to be. It's designed to impress you, and it hits the mark.
When it comes to Grant Morrison, he's the Alan Moore of the modern age. He breathed new life into the X-Men for Marvel, as well as Animal Man and Doom Patrol for DC/Vertigo, and of course, JLA for DC. Earth 2 finds Morrison once again writing DC's superteam as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Martian Manhunter get their world rocked when Alexander Luthor makes a visit. On his alternate world, he's the only hero, and the JLA's evil alter-egos, the Crime Syndicate of Amerika, have total control. In response to Luthor's pleas, Supes, Bats, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern plan to overthrow the evil empire, but as they soon find out, things aren't so easily done in this alternate world. Morrison has taken the classic pre-Crisis Earth 2 world and used it brilliantly here, making Ultraman, Owlman, Superwoman, Johnny Quick, and Power Ring some of the most evil and coloful villains you'll ever see. Morrison's longtime partner in crime Frank Quitely provides his usual superb art here, so longtime Morrison fans know what to expect here. All in all, Earth 2 is one of, if not the, best JLA yarns you'll ever check out, and it's easily one of Morrison's best superhero stories.
on March 23, 2013
Grant Morrison has many misses and very few hits. At least in my opinion. Why are there many misses? Well, because like this novel he tends to build up a plot and then it all breaks apart towards the end. This one hides a few things from the reader and pulls it all out in the last few pages, making the plot feel broken and out of place. Grant Morrison is a great writer, he has some very well done work such as Arkham Asylum, The Black Glove, Batman and Son, and Batman R.I.P. Honestly the movie that came out a few years ago based on this novel is far better in plot and content and I'd suggest picking that up and not bothering with this one, unless you really want to read the key material for the movie, then go ahead. 3/5
on February 12, 2014
I like the concept of there are other versions of Earth - and I like the idea of Batman and Wonder Woman's alters sneaking around - I always wanted Batman and Wonder Woman to get together- also it shows those with unlimited power could become the greatest villians. (This is a Spiderman line "with great power comes great responsibilty"
on August 17, 2013
Another brilliant work by the duo that gave us WE3, one of my favorite graphic novels of all time. Here, the JLA his up against an alternate universe version of themselves, the Crime Syndicate of America, that is evil! I can't say more, just grab this as soon as you can!
on February 10, 2011
Not to sound corny, but when Frank Quietly and Grant Morrison work together they almost always produce something both weird and magical. Say what you will about Grant Morrison and his writing style, let's face it..he's either your cup of tea or not; however when he gets his hands on the JLA and DCU characters a great sense of love for the source material comes through. This is especially true when he writes Superman, Wonder Woman, and especially Batman.
Equally important to this piece is Frank Quietly's art work. Like Morrison, people seem to either love him or hate him. Personally, I appreciate his unique style of cartooning. While this graphic novel is not quite as sharp as his magnum opus, All-Star Superman, Quietly's work always seems to choke me up at some point. Evocative is a great word for the work he does.
Without going into details, I really enjoyed the story overall. It is a fun Justice League story told in under a 100 pages. If anything on the negative side, I felt the ending was a little anti-climatic. Still, I wish there were more short JLA graphic novels like this. If you want a quick, fun, and accessible super hero romp this is your book.
on March 8, 2009
This is a great, entertaining story by Grant Morrison, beautifully illustrated by master Frank Quitely. Morrison adeptly sets up a nice sense of foreboding and tension with the instigating action sequence that serves to introduce the familiar heroes, and their evil counterparts, and maintains this atmosphere as a buildup to an expected confrontation ensues. The story explores the issues of what happens when people of great power interfere in a foreign society, in part through Morrison's explanation of why the JLA can never bring their brand of justice to Earth 2, and succeeds in surprising us with a climactic twist. Frank Quitely's art is simply amazing, as his hatching style brings a down-to-earth sense of realistic sketchiness to the material. Admittedly, one area that gets short-changed is his treatment of the female main characters. He manages the dubious feat of making Wonder Woman look unattractive, and his renderings of Superwoman show that his understanding of the proportions of the female body was not at its best here. Nonetheless, overall readers who follow his work can see that he has since improved in this regard in his subsequent work. Overall his art is dead-on, and his style unique among the pantheon of American comic book artists. One area in which the book falters story-wise (though it may again be attributable to Quitely) is in the confusing decision to give a mustache and glasses to two high-ranking members of Earth 2's Gotham police force, which may cause the reader to understand that they are Commissioner Jim Gordon, despite the fact that one is just an unnamed cop, and another is Thomas Wayne. When we finally meet Gordon, he too has a mustache, but is fat, short, and balding, a design decision that jarringly required me to go back and make sure that I understood who everyone was. In general though, the book is solid entertainment in terms of the writing and the art, and I recommend to anyone wanting to sit back and have an entertaining read.
on June 3, 2012
JLA: Earth 2 is a stand alone graphic novel by Grant Morrison featuring the Justice League's evil opposites from a parallel universe, the Crime Syndicate, paying a visit.
The Crime Syndicate are intriguing villains, and Morrison does show a fair amount of clever ideas and twists within these pages, but as seems to be the usual with him the story does not reach it's potential. The story is not clearly told and too many interesting points are crammed in and not given enough development. What's here is decent, but could've been so much better.
As with Morrison's writing, in general I find Quitely's art hit or miss for me personally. I have to say with the exception of two awful facial renditions (our universe's Wonder Woman and Green Lantern) this is probably the best I've seen from him. It's striking, well detailed and really shows off Quitely's ample talent.
I find myself saying this often with regards to Morrison's works, but it continues to be accurate: Earth 2 is a good comic that could have been better. Despite that it is well worth checking out for the things it does do right and for a glimpse of the unrealized potential it had.
on September 22, 2001
Yes, it's a comic book.
More specifically, it's what those in the know like to call a "graphic novel". It's hardcover, it's longer than your average comic book, and it's usually a self-contained story or story arc from a series. This is one of the former types of GNs, and likely one of the best GNs I've ever read. It's so good, non-comic book readers who venture to pick it up will likely find themselves drawn quickly and uncontrollably to the story and characters.
And why not? Anybody who's been living on Earth for the past 50 years already knows these characters: The Justice League of America, specifically Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter.
You know, the Super Friends.
This graphic novel actually takes off from an idea from one of te old "Super Friends" cartoons and runs with it like an Olympian quarterhorse: what would happen if there was an anti-matter version of our own world, where things that were good are bad? What would happen if beings from these alternate dimensions found their way to their counterpart realities?
Think of that old "Star Trek" episode "Mirror Mirror", where the Federation was a pirate outfit and Mr. Spock had a goatee.
Now think if Batman killed cops, Superman fried citizens who questioned him with x-ray vision and Wonder Woman was a sex-craved vixen with super strength.
White Boy Kevin said, "wow".
The story starts off with an interesting twist right off the bat: Lex Luthor is the only GOOD person on this alternate Earth and breaks through the dimensional anti-mater barrier to get to our Earth to recruit the JLA to come back to his world and fix things. They go, and mayhem ensues on both sides of the barrier (don't want to give anything juicy away), as the worlds slowly start a collision course that could mean the extinction of both realities.
Powerful, epic stuff here, folks, and filled with intelligence, humor and characters you don't want to see go away, even if they are evil.
Thanks to the deft writing of Grant Morrison (living legend in comic writing who wrote the first 20 or so issues of the new JLA book that's hot now), you are as equally drawn to the evil characters as you are your favorite icons. Especially when you see OwlMan and Super Woman (you match them up; it's fun) necking behind every corner of the villain clubhouse, and Ultraman (Superman-minus) using his x-ray vision to fry citizens and cats in trees.
Quitely's art is phenomenal, and his style, which lends all kinds of interesting depth to his regular "The Authority" series, literally pumps up the volume of the characters in JLA: Earyth 2. Superman LOOKS like a super man, and Super Woman (the evil Wonder Woman) changing from her alter-ego to her villain persona is, well, downright sexy. Muscles ripple, buildings explode, and heroes look like heroes.
Anyone who thinks comic books are for kids and are immature fare haven't the faintest clue as to what's going on in that medium anymore. Comics are filled with incredible stories, lessons and are ten times more mature work more times than not than the average movie that no one seems inclined to dismiss as juvenile (unless it's animated, of course, which flies in the face of logic when "Shrek", "Akira" and "Ghost In The Shell" totally slam most contemporary films in scope, story and sense).
Pick it up. You WON'T be sorry. If the price makes you balk (tip: don't buy it at a comic store; they'll charge you cover. Go to Media Play), pick it up at your local library. Then, if you really got balls, pick up some "Hellblazer".