Review: Earth 2 #26 – A Stunning Conclusion
This is the moment that Tom Taylor and Nicola Scott have been building up to in “Earth 2”. Val Zod has taken his place as the new defender of Earth and the final showdown between Earth’s forces and Apokolips’ worst demons. “Earth 2” #26 is a stellar conclusion to one of the best storylines of the year.
“Earth 2” #26 is the last part of the ‘The Kryptonian’ storyline that has brought all the Earth 2 heroes together against the threat of a power mad Superman. In this issue, the big throwdown happens between Val Zod and Superman as Green Lantern works to basically hold the Earth, preventing it from going through a Boom Tube. The team splits up as Batman leads a more aggressive assault against the forces of Apokolips and Val Zod gets a little help from Red Tornado (Lois Lane). Everything gets wrapped up here with Superman but not all is at it seems when Taylor drops a great twist at the end.
“Earth 2” #26 is a fantastic ending. It was the perfect payoff to the slow burn that Taylor’s whole run as writer has been. All the characters have come together as one team and were utilized. Everyone had a moment to shine. Aquawoman specifically. She was initially a character that seemed to be too rough around the edges to really like but has since grown into a hero that has a deep respect for the others who helped free her. She still plays by her own rules and that’s what makes her so much more interesting. Her and this version of Batman are big standouts because they do things that their counterparts on the main DCU Earth wouldn’t. It creates the divide between both casts in a more broad way and adds to why this series is so great.
The big fight between Val Zod and Superman is going to be looked at later down the road as probably one of Val Zod’s most important moments. He is a totally different hero. One we’ve never really seen before. He’s a pacifist with the power of a God. It’s an incredible dynamic that makes this evil version of Superman so much more scary. The fight itself has a very peculiar twist. It’s not an expected outcome but it does make a ton of sense. If anything, it’s far more heartbreaking than the theories fans had. While some have complained, it is a logical choice because it keeps the same emotion behind the damage but also in a sense redeems Superman.
The best part of all this has to be the ending of the issue. There’s a pretty significant twist at the end that makes the weekly series seem a whole lot more important. At this point in the “Earth 2” series, it feels like the new weekly series is an absolute necessity because the story is so big it can’t be contained in one series!
Nicola Scott once again kills it on this issue. After reading this you’re going to be left even more sad that she’s leaving the series. This is probably her biggest job yet as she has a TON of characters in this single issue. Everyone is here and everyone is fighting. Scott pulls it all of masterfully with detailed moves and backgrounds. No one gets lost. The way she illustrates the differences between Superman and Val Zod’s body language is fantastic. They are extremely similar in body shape and physique but she gives them a clear contrast. Val Zod is much more meek and less angry while Superman is in a constant rage but they move the same. It’s really amazing to study.
“Earth 2” #26 is a book worthy of a perfect score. It ends a major phase of the series while setting up an enticing future and makes the weekly series feel like a must own. Nicola Scott also gives the best art of the series yet. The future of Earth 2 itself might not be so bright but the series is at an all time high.