COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Earth 2: The Tower of Fate
By The Masked Medic
Those of you that have been following this page and my reviewing journey for a while know that there are two things that I love to see in comic books; Time Travel and Alternate Realities. I had enjoyed my fill of time-travel recently with Spider-man 2099, but I felt that it was time that I filled my other appetite. And where better to go to do that than DC’s Earth-2 series. The first novel introduced us to an alternate world where Darkseid’s armies actually won and took out Earth-2’s main heroes. Now new heroes have appeared, ready to take on the mantle of this world’s protectors.
‘The Tower of Fate’ is a sort of in-between story that fills in the gaps for the readers about Earth-2. It starts with a prequel issue explaining the role of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and a fourth hero, Terry Sloan, in fighting the armies of Apokolips. It’s all a little confusing, but essentially Mr Terrific, from Earth Prime somehow finds his way to this Earth unknowingly and it’s all Sloan’s fault. We then cut to our new heroes who have gone their separate ways. Hawkgirl desperate for the team to come together seeks out Alan Scott, the Green Lantern, whilst Jay Garrick, the Flash, returns home. He is tailed by a man named Khalid Ben-Hassin, an associate of Hawkgirl. Garrick is subsequently ambushed by The World Army, a military group who look to protect the Earth from future Apokoliptan attacks. Just as Garrick and Ben-Hassin are about to be captured, they are transported to a magical realm where a villainous mage known as ‘Wotan’ is looking to get their help to get the mystical Helmet of Fate. It’s fairly full steam ahead from there as Khalid decides to put on the Helmet and become Dr. Fate. His battle with Wotan ends up in Boston and as he battles his new nemesis, Green Lantern and the Flash run interference with the World Army. At the same time we get a side story involving Steppenwolf, Darkseid’s uncle who led their forces to victory in this world. Steppenwolf has a secret weapon who may be the key to him taking over the whole planet. Can a new team arise in time to face the threat?
So as you have probably guessed by reading all of that above, there was a lot going on in this novel. Yet, somehow it felt as if nothing really happened. From a pragmatic perspective I can understand that the authors needed to lay out some groundwork because everyone is new to this dimension. ‘The Tower of Fate’ gives us enough of a surrounding backstory that we feel like we’re in the know with Earth-2. In terms of the characters, I liked that we got exposure to a new hero in the form of Dr. Fate. I also appreciated the spotlight on Steppenwolf and what he’s been doing since the initial invasion. He’s very different looking to his film counterpart, but I can’t hate on that moustache, haha! Despite all these positives, I have to admit that I struggled to enjoy this novel as I did find it boring in parts. I know that at some point there will be some more action, but I want it now. Sorry, I’m impatient!
The artwork for the most part was okay, although I found the more intricate sketches of character close-ups a little off. The covers, although drawn by one of my favourite artists, Brett Booth, also weren’t fantastic. Overall, not an awful novel, but the lack of a centrally connecting storyline left me both a little bored and confused! I really hope the series picks up soon!
Doesn’t matter what Earth we’re on. Flashes are all the same.
I think it’s probably Jay Garrick. He’s the only one who’s honest enough to admit he doesn’t know what he’s doing, but still very optimistic.
Story Arc: ★★★
Character Development: ★★★½