Release Date: July 4, 2012
Cover Date: September 2012
Story: James Robinson
Pencils: Nicola Scott
Inks: Trevor Scott
Cover: Ivan Reis and Joe Prado
After the horrific train crash in China, Alan Scott is the sole survivor. He’s badly wounded, but a mysterious green flame heals him. The flame explains that it is an aspect of the Earth itself known as the Green, and it has chosen Alan to be its avatar. Since Superman has fallen, the world needs a new champion! Alan agrees, and the flame suffuses him with power, making him the Green Lantern. To focus his power, he needs an implement, and Alan chooses the ring he was going to give to Sam. Meanwhile, the Flash squares off against Hawkgirl in Poland, but the two soon realize that they’ve got bigger concerns: everything around them is rotting and dying. Finally, the Grey raises its own warrior to oppose the Green: the monster known as Grundy.
Before we get started with the analysis of this issue, let’s make one thing clear: I don’t give a shit about the fact that this version of Alan Scott is gay. All I do care about is whether he’s a good character, and so far, things seem to be going well. If his homosexuality is continually used as a selling point rather than his role as a superhero, then we’ve got cause to complain, but there’s been no evidence of that outside of the press releases that outed him. (True, the dialogue between Alan and Sam in Earth 2 #2 was godawful, but nobody’s perfect.)
It’s notable that the Earth 2 universe apparently does not have a Green Lantern Corps, unless the Green is just ripping off that organization for its earthly avatar. (Which I doubt.) Being a champion of the Green puts this Green Lantern much closer to the prime universe’s Swamp Thing than anything else, regardless, rather than willpower or that ridiculous emotional spectrum. Aside from being a unique and fresh take on the Green Lantern concept, this naturally frees up limitless new options for the character.
Let’s move on to this issue’s art design. The Green Lantern logo on the cover is the same one used on Green Lantern (Vol. 3) #150-181:
from Earth 2 #3
from Green Lantern (Vol. 3) #150
Likewise, Alan’s new costume is very similar to the one Kyle Rayner sported during that era, right down to the glowing symbol on his chest:
Cripes, it’s even the same pose!
Alan’s threads don’t look bad, per se, but I would have preferred something a little more original. Ditching the cape was a bold move, but I still think the powers-that-be could have included the classic Golden Age color scheme in some form instead of going monotone. No matter what, Alan certainly fares better than Grundy, who apparently shops at the same fetishwear store as Nekron. Even Pinhead would laugh at that costume.
Costume quirks aside, Nicola Scott’s interiors look great. Characters are expressive and believable, and her constant change of the camera angle during Alan’s conversation with the Green kept those scenes from feeling static or boring. Finally, let’s not discount that badass Ivan Reis cover. Even fans who have complained about this version of Alan Scott for whatever reason all agree that this particular piece of art is fantastic.
You’ll notice I didn’t mention the Flash/Hawkgirl scene outside of the initial issue synopsis. This was for two reasons: one, I’m trying to focus on Green Lantern here, and two…the scene just wasn’t that good. Veteran hero slaps down rookie? That’s nothing we haven’t seen before, and the encroachment of the Grey still had more to do with the new ring slinger than the speedster and the hawk.
Overall, Earth 2 #3 was a decent issue; the series has gotten a bit of flak so far, but as an origin story for the new Green Lantern, it worked out fine. We’ll see what adventures await the newest emerald knight, no matter what alternate universe he’s in. (A crossover with the prime DC Universe is a given within the next few years, I’m sure.) Hopefully this incarnation of Alan Scott will make for a fine hero.