Rise and shine.
Val-Zod finally takes a stand even as Green Lantern and the rest try to fend off Beguiler and her Parademon army.
Taylor inserts interesting variations of known incidents and even gives a much shafted character a great moment here, showing that he is mindful of not putting anyone in the shadow.
As usual, Scott is great and she proves infallible this issue, whether it is the dynamic battle scenes or the emotional outbursts.
Batman aka Thomas Wayne learns that Hawkgirl and Green Lantern have broken the Flash out of Beguiler’s grasp, but are being chased by the scorned antagonist.
Outside, Jimmy finds out more background on Val-Zod. Apparently, his parents were removed after speaking out against the Kryptonian council. The El family took him in and in the time of Krypton’s death, he alongwith three others were sent away.
Three others, you say? Yes, Superman, Supergirl (now Power Girl) and………and?
Taylor inserts another surviving Kryptonian into the mix and this may factor in at a latter date, but for now we can only speculate.
Anyway, Val explains that as he was of the house of El, he wore Superman’s uniform but was afraid to show it due to the aforementioned hero’s current actions.
Over the North Pacific, Green Lantern fades as Beguiler manages to overcome Alan. But before she can hurt the rest, Marella aka Aquawoman rises up with her army, taking out the Parademons.
Before Beguiler can initiate another attack, Flash takes hold of her and pushes off. Reaching speeds unknown to him, Jay is able to dematerialize Beguiler though remains unsure exactly how he achieved that.
Now before going further, I have no idea whether the Speed Force is present on Earth 2 given I’ve yet to see Barry Allen here. So, where exactly Beguiler went is open for debate.
With the rescue successful, alongwith the weakening of Darkseid’s army, the attention now turns to Superman.
He is with Red Tornado Lois and the Kents at their Kansas home. But frayed tempers, especially from Jonathan Kent, lead to a terrible moment.
Pa Kent is vaporized by Superman’s heat vision when an insult against Darkseid comes out, leading to Superman leaving in a huff.
This is a cruel sight to see.
Normally, in fiction, Pa Kent is the first (and sometimes only) of his adopted parents to die, mostly for reasons beyond Clark’s abilities like heart attacks.
The fact that it is Superman himself who delivers the deathblow in a world where the Kents have survived into old age amid wartime situations is irony at its worst.
Bedlam and the others prove a welcome distraction from the sordid events as he reveals that the Mr Terrifics of two worlds have managed to create a gateway to send Earth over to Apocalips using an enlarged boom tube.
At Amazonia, Batman and his group feel the effects of the pull and Khalid, still muttering away, puts the Helmet of Nabu on Val’s head.
Having realized something, Val repairs the Helmet’s crack and then decides that he won’t kill Superman but with repair what he’s destroyed.
It seems Dr Fate may be soon in action again even as Green Lantern attempts to stop the Earth from being sucked in.
As Superman arrives to kill Alan, Val stops him.
A battle royale is about to begin.
With some excellent artwork and some tantalizing hints to what is to come, this proves to be an interesting read from the first to the last page.
Tom does have some problems setting Val up, as his origins feel somewhat designed for this situation, but the other moments make up for it.
And for those saying that the original trinity is being given too much focus, check this out.
So, I give it 9.0 out of 10.
+Some great bad-ass moments
+Excellent treatment to some little used players
+The Visuals are top notch
+Intense scenes work
-Val’s origin doesn’t come off properly