Tuesday, October 23, 2012

JL #22 "Crisis On Earth-2!" part two AFTERWARD

So, what did you think?
Let me criticize it first so you don't feel like you have to protect my feelings....there were too many characters, and not enough action.

It starts off okay....with a one-page synopsis of what "Earth 2" is and what has been going on....I always liked those scenes with Flash and Green Lantern of both Earths, and this time I used Huntress as the equivalent of Batman. Long-time fans will understand why. I still don't understand why DC thinks the "parallel earth" concept is so hard for fans to understand....!

I also liked this panel below, which had each of the groups separating themselves. I always imagined that the characters stood around and did what I showed a little bit of last issue: ("I should take the ocean assignment." "I'll go with you." "Let's tackle that problem together.") Of these characters (and Batman, Wildcat, Huntress, and Sandman, who are not shown) I think I should have cut at least six characters. Oops! Oh, well...live and learn? Haha.

As I've said before, I consider my strength to be my plotting/writing, then maybe my design, and then my art is way waaaay down at the bottom. However, looking at these old issues I do sometimes come across something that I forget I'm good at: coloring! Just take a gander at this mountain scene from Indonesia. I count at least four separate shades of green! Plus, I don't know if it's just me, but I think I can feel that these four characters are actually flying ABOVE the green. There seems to be depth to this picture that I don't usually get to boast of.  

Of course, the main point of all of this drama was to have Red Tornado commit suicide. If you haven't read the stories that this one is based on, did this come as a surprise to you? I was trying to create a character that was desperate to be "human," but who was bullied by characters like Hourman and The Atom. That's why I included The Atom in the first place: to have one of the older characters not accept Red as an equal. We never saw The Atom again, by the way. :-) We will, however, see Red Tornado again. (spoiler? haha)


Something else I did not comment on last issue but noticed when I was scanning this issue....I actually researched and found specific locations ON Earth for the bombs. This panel appeared last issue (with an awful drawing of The Spectre, if I may say so...) Well, I had forgotten that I actually researched the correct latitude and longitude for those six locations! Obviously two of them were the North Pole and the South Pole, but the others were in the middle of the South Pacific and Ecuador (last issue) and Indonesia and Gabon this issue. Sometimes my geekiness surprises even myself. :-)  

So that just leaves the individual chapters.....first up, my all-time least favorite story. Basically we have an adventure that any ONE of these characters could have handled by him/herself. The coloring is the best part of this section, which ends on some sort of moral to respect your elders or something. Bad, bad, bad. Re-reading this now I have no idea why I wanted to include the elder Hawkman. I should not have. 

Now this chapter I come back strongly....in my opinion, this chapter is what "team-up" is all about. Unlike in the previous chapter, this time none of the heroes on their own could have succeeded: they NEEDED each other. And I liked the way Red Tornado is trying desperately to "get" Green Arrow and Hourman. Colors this time were browns, bronzes, and yellows to represent the arid environment of Africa. Nicely done.

Here's another one of those "everyone plays an important part" stories, yada yada yada. I do like that two of the characters are wearing sun-glasses, though. I mean, come on....it's snow and ice everyone you look! Of course you don't want to get blinded by the snow! Anyway, by this point I knew I had nothing for some of these characters to do, and so Jay Garrick thanking Ralph Dibny for coming up with a good idea while an invisible Manhunter does all the actual work is....well, stretching things. Moving on.

Now sure why I didn't have Starman wearing sunglasses here, too. In hindsight I should have. I remember in this story trying to desperately differentiate it from the previous chapter. Three of the most powerful men of two worlds and they can't defeat one little bomb? Not my best moment. By the way, I also remember thinking about including the then-current Starman, Jack Knight, instead of Ted or David. I think I left it a bit vague as to which character this is, but I guess it must have been the late, lamented David. In my universe maybe he didn't die quite as quickly as he did in the actual comics. 

And now we are at the whole point of this story. Look at the following panels and play "Where's Red?" Now you see him, now you don't....If you are paying attention you can see Red Tornado in the background walk off and decide to go commit suicide. In fact, originally my story went directly from page 37 to 39. It was only as I was working on it that I realized one panel was not long enough for Red to write his note and high-tail it into outer space (page 40). So I added page 38. That's why, if you are paying attention, the same quote about "I'll take Power Girl, Red Tornado, etc with me..." is used on both pages 37 and 39. Now it can be told!

And lastly, here's another Justice League "group shot" that I only used once or twice. I cribbed it from a George Perez pose of The Avengers. I didn't use it very long for several reasons: 1. Hawkwoman looks too small next to Hawkman; 2. I don't like the way I drew Elongated Man; 3. I don't like bearded Aquaman; 4. the membership changed again. And that is all I will say about that for now. :-) 

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