The Justice Society has not officially arrived yet, however James Robinson sets the scene for a showdown with the villain Steppenwolf, who is playing a game of thrones in a retro-futuristic city.
Earth 2 #8.
Steppenwolf has been living comfortably since he was defeated. Back in issue #1 of this series, the Earth 2 versions of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman sacrificed themselves to stop Steppenwolf. It’s frustrating to see he escaped unharmed.
As the issue begins, he enjoys champagne – there are no wines, or celebrations of any kind on his homeworld – while toasting “a pleasant Sunday”. Steppenwolf has a new plan. He retreated to the closed country of Dehrain, and then used his advanced scientific experience to build an army over five years.
The capital city is now a retro-futuristic metropolis. His army is ready to mobilise. And his new protege – Fury – has already started his insurrection against the king of Dehrain. She is the last Amazon of Earth 2, and Wonder Woman’s daughter.
How Fury can even stand to be near Steppenwolf considering he fought and killed her mother is mentioned, but not explained. Villains from Apokolips are known for their supreme manipulation skills, however. Fury could be compared to Supergirl in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse – captured, and turned into a weapon to be used against her family.
There are some standard action scenes of Fury flipping tanks over, and Steppenwolf throwing his axe around. It’s great to see the kirby-dots effect used for Steppenwolf (created by Jack Kirby in 1972) even though it is not used consistently.
The real strength of the art are the quiet moments – Fury announces “long live the king” in a stunning splash page – I think the best art in the issue by guest art team Yildiray Cinar, Ryan Winn, and Ruy Jose. Dezi Sienty’s lettering on this page is powerful.
There was no connection with the Justice Society other than Fury, unless I have missed a hint or nod toward the golden age history and characters. The issue seems to simply set a scene for upcoming stories, but the world building at work here is effective. At the end of the issue, a giant, horned robot constructs a new building in the Retro-future city. It would be great to see the Justice Society fighting one of these titans.