Earth 2 returned last week with issue 8, which decided to take us away from the attempted joining of the soon to be (hopefully) Justice Society and instead focus on that final loose thread from the opening issue; whatever happened to Apokolips leader Steppenwolf?
Fortunately for the world's greatest villain (on this world anyway), he has gotten lucky and found safe haven in the isolated country of Dherain (can someone please find this on a map for me??), which has opened their doors to the most wanted man in the world in the hopes of acquiring some of his other worldly gadgets and exchanging him to the rest of the world for his bounty. However, Steppenwolf has shown up for something more than asylum; he wants to take charge, and he's brought help to achieve it ..... the lost daughter of Wonder Woman!!!
I've got to admit, this series is a little up and down in terms of quality storyline, but I'm glad to say with issue 8, James Robinson is kept this installment close to the up end of the spectrum. Steppenwolf is a traditional megalamanic and it's nice to see him written as such. He has no hidden depths or emotional motive, he's an all out warrior who knows what he wants and how to get it. He's the perfect type of silver age foil for this book's silver age inspired team and he's been set-up beautifully. Similiarly, but also in contrast, Steppenwolf's new acolyte "Fury" is given the 'less is more' treatment, which works tremendously well. Everything we learn about her is physical, beautifully portrayed in panels by Yildiray Cinar's gorgeous artwork, while small tidbits of her past are provided to tempt us to her story. It's successful here and I'm totally intrigued. In fact, I'm pretty tempted to query; is that long lost DC character Donna Troy??
The final page is extremely engrossing in its set up for the continuation of this story and leaves me wondering what can possibly happen next. Robinson appears to be let of the leash a little and isn't sticking to safe ground with this book, I just hope that for the foreseeable future it can become a little more consistent.