In the aftermath of the first big story arc, James Robinson brings the crew in for a close-up, showing how Alan Scott copes with his loss in “Earth 2” #7. Of course, this issue doesn’t focus solely on a mopey Green Lantern, as the latter half of the issue showcases Amar Khan and his adversarial relationship with Terry Sloan, who has been appointed by the World Army Council to work alongside Khan. There’s history between the two and Sloan has proven to be a leading nutjob, albeit one of the most influential and charismatic nutjobs on Earth 2. That leads to some complications for Khan, who serves as a nice catalyst for the entire issue.
Robinson gives plenty of panel time to a nice mix of characters with Alan Scott, Hawkgirl (who we finally see without the helmet), Terry Sloan, Amar Khan, Michael Holt and Wes Dodds all getting some love. While some of Alan Scott’s dialog is overly inflated, the gist of it rings true and his proclivity to bristle at Hawkgirl’s invitation to band together helps further define this character as aloof and overly confident. Hawkgirl remains quite mysterious despite doffing her helmet and revealing her true name. The writer clearly has defined voices for the characters in this series and does a nice job of harmonizing those voices with the chorus of the world being built in the pages of “Earth 2.”
Despite a really tricky (or impossible, depending on the level of suspension you apply to your disbelief) shot from Hawkgirl’s crossbow, Yildiray Cinar performs to expected levels on art for “Earth 2” #7. Giving regular artist Nicola Scott a two-issue breather, Cinar brings a very similar storytelling style and sense of character construction. He might not be as meticulous in his details as Scott is, but inker Trevor Scott adds a nice layer of familiarity to the artwork despite the quartet of colorists who splash this book with various shades and hues.
As Robinson has noted in his recent interview with CBR, titling the book “Earth 2” allows for more than just a focus on one team or a small group of characters. With that freedom, readers are able to follow the exploits of the Sandmen as they attempt to help Khan. Robinson and Cinar also provide a glimpse of the Red Tornado couched in the posturing between Terry Sloan and Amar Khan. By creating an entire world, Robinson is able to take readers to the World Army Central Headquarters in Tokyo and have Wesley Dodds and his international strikeforce of Sandmen attack the heart of Sloan’s secret empire in France. This world is starting to come together nicely. The story is a bit of a slow burn, but Robinson bolsters the pace with significant character moments and pleasant surprises. As much as “Starman” ever was Robinson’s to shape and mold, this book (and its surrounding universe) is limited to the writer and thereby quite entertaining for the reader.