Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The end of Earth 2?

Please note that, prior to writing this I had not read beyond Earth 2 #28 and Earth 2: World's End #5. P.S. Some spoliers.

It's no secret (like my previous posts will indicate) that I've really been digging Earth 2 since DC started that series over two years ago. Whereas Earth 1 (where damn near every other DC book resides) feels like it is trapped by it's own continuity as well as company directives, Earth 2 has always had a real sense of freedom regarding the stories it can tell.

However, since Earth 2: World's End began at the start of October, I've noticed a big drop in the quality of the franchise (Is that the word??) which I find worrying in what is DC's only book which has been consistently different and interesting enough to keep picking up.

But why has this book so suddenly dropped it's standards? I have some theories: 

Not enough material - The thing which springs to mind to me first of all is the possibility that, when all is said and done, there just isn't enough story set within Earth 2 to justify having 5 books a month (one monthly series and one weekly series). Since World's End started, I've noticed that Earth 2 has become something of an anthology series, used to detail the minutia of the world, while World's End takes over the main 'war' story. If that's the case then, for me, I could do without Earth 2 as I only have so much to spend on comics and am not really interested in the origins of the Furies unless it influences the story. Of course, if there isn't enough material then the blame could be placed right at the door of......

Future's End/Convergence - The Earth 2 tie-in to Futures End gave everyone a brief insight into the future: Earth 2 will be lost and their characters moved to Earth 1. Now presuming that this ends up being the case, then Earth 2 will be a dead series come Convergence next April. But the story needs to be wrapped up in order to 'converge' (see what I did there) with the rest of the DCU and, presumably, for Earth 2, there is more to wrap up than can be done in 6/7 issues. Hence a 24 part weekly series. This then begs a new question......

Executive Interference - I said earlier that the main Earth 2 series has always felt like it has a remarkable amount of freedom for a DC book, but given that it's current trajectory appears to be in line with where Future's End concludes, I'm under the impression that the high ups might have taken a more direct interest into where the title goes and how it gets there and everyone knows how well things turn out when cthey are made by committee (remember the Green Lantern movie). If this IS the case, then it could explain another factor....

New Creative Team - When the book started way back when, James Robinson was writing and Nicola Scott was drawing and this book was pretty good. Then Robinson left and Tom Taylor came on board, and then Earth 2 totally blew away the competition. Now both Taylor and Scott are gone, replaced by a long list of creators over the two Earth 2 books and it is since then I've found the drop in quality to have begun. Now, I'd heard rumours that Robinson got kicked off the book because his plans didn't mesh with DC's and one could assume Taylor got the same marching orders if he didn't agree with this ongoing story, replacing him with more complient writers. Of course, that doesn't mean the talent on the book is sub-standard, Marguerite Bennett in particular is a great writer to have on board. So if it isn't any of the prior reasons aren't right, there is always one more....

Is it me? - People's taste over time change. My best example is that I went from listening to Rap as a teen (I know, what was I thinking) to rock and metal as an adult. The same goes for comic books, with my pull list looking nothing like it did five plus years ago. If this book has lost itself in my eyes it might simply be that what I want from a book is no longer the same as it was when I picked up and loved issue 1.

So, what do I do now? Well, spend good money after bad on a book I dislike seems very counterintuitive, but yet I still suck at not finishing things. Therefore, I might stick with both titles until World's End finishes and, if the series' haven't improved, then I will drop them from my ongoings. That way, earth 2 still has time to rise from it's own ashes and wow me once again.

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