Friday, February 13, 2015

Genesis #2

Edge of Destruction

Ron Wagner Penciller
Jose Rubinstein Inker
John Byrne Writer
Patricia Mulvihill Colorist
Clem Robins Letterer
Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt Assistant Editor
Paul Kupperberg Editor

Once again, our cover is by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer, showing us the mighty Highfather summoning all the heroes. Next to Highfather's right hand is a rather small Flash. Just above him is a figure that could be Max Mercury, and above him is a very small Impulse. I think. At this point it's pretty much impossible to tell.

Our story begins with a quick recap of Genesis #1 and a repeat of the arrival of the space armada. However, nobody seems to care that Batman had something else to say last issue. Superman tells all the heroes to teleport down to Earth to see if they can do something even with their powers in flux.

On New Genesis, Highfather and the new gods speculate about where Darkseid has gone and even if he's traveled back in time to cause this mess. Suddenly, an old man appears out of nowhere and transforms into a taller, stronger man in gold armor. Highfather immediately bows down to Arzaz, calling him one of the old ones — the first gods. Arzaz explains that he's been watching countless generations go by without interfering, but now he has decided to act before the current fourth world is swept from the universe to make way for the new fifth world.

We then get a few quick glimpses of how everyone on Earth is handling all the craziness. Former Darkstar Donna Troy teams with Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, and Artemis, a top Amazon warrior, to help quell a riot. Superboy reunites with the Ravers in Hawaii, but they are all suddenly teleported away to a mysterious location. In Gotham City, a suddenly timid and unsure Robin teams with Catwoman and Huntress. They're all feeling down and depressed, but give themselves a pick-up talk and work together to fight some riots.

Meanwhile, the JLA meets with President Bill Clinton in the White House to discuss the alien invaders. Superman strongly opposes the plan to launch a nuclear strike against the armada, and he volunteers to serve as a mediator with the aliens. Since everyone's still unsure about Superman's new powers, they decide to send several other heroes with him just in case.

CNN then reports that several of Darkseid's minions — such as Kalibak and Granny Goodness — have begun attacking various points around the globe with troops of Parademons. Although Darkseid himself remains to be seen. Several groups of superheroes engage this threat, including the Teen Titans, Legion of Super-Heroes, Aquaman and Sovereign Seven.

Up in space, Superman, Green Lantern and Supergirl begin to take on the alien armada while Martian Manhunter phases into the mothership. He is shocked to see the armada is being led by the Darkstars, who claim they've tracked a blight to Earth and are prepared to destroy the entire solar system to end the scheme. Suddenly, Highfather appears before them and puts an end to all the fighting. He performs a massive mind meld to speak to all the concerned superhero parties at once.

You can just spot Impulse on the right side, awkwardly sitting in midair. Behind him are Max Mercury and Jesse Quick. Anyway, Highfather explains everything to everyone, pretty much collaborating Dr. Faulkner's analysis, but with more detail. Apparently a great world exploded ages ago, sending out a powerful wave across all creation. This wave is called the Godwave, since it created divinity and gods throughout the universe. Then when the Godwave reached the limits of reality, it bounced back on itself, making a second passage through the universe. But this time, its effects were weaker, so instead of creating more gods, it spawned the demigods, or superheroes. Highfather says the Godwave is the source of the Speed Force and Green Lantern's energy.

The problem now, Highfather explains, is that Godwave has almost contracted back to the point from which it sprang, creating a resonance that is felt across the universe, which is causing all the heroes' powers to fluctuate. When the Godwave does finally return to its point of origin, it will create a huge shockwave that will destroy the whole universe and give birth to a new one. And to make matters worse, Highfather says, Darkseid is seeking to harness the power of the Godwave and gain infinite power.

So Highfather presents a plan. He has a small amount of special mother boxes that are designed specifically to help superheroes retain their powers. This group of heroes would then penetrate the collapsing Godwave and go into The Source to stop Darkseid. But since no one's been to The Source, no one knows what will happen to them once they get there. And since they can't decide who should be a part of this suicide group, Green Lantern suggests they draw straws.

This actually wasn't a terrible issue. I especially liked the end, with Highfather explaining everything with a couple of accompanying diagram panels. This is much more preferable to a random scientist vaguely describing things. I don't understand why it was such a big deal for the JLA to just talk to the Darkstar armada — that seemed like something they should have immediately done. Or better yet, why didn't the Darkstars contact the JLA before invading Earth? I also was underwhelmed with the art once again, as well as the look at the "common" man during this scenario. But I guess that's what tie-in issues such as Impulse #30 are for.

I'm not too upset with the inclusion of Max Mercury here, since it seems like this meeting with Highfather is just a telepathic mind meld, so Max can easily still be in Dr. Morlo's basement while all this is happening. However, it did seem like Highfather physically teleported the Ravers away, so there could be a bit more to this mind meld thing. John Byrne is frustratingly vague on the details of how, when and where.

All the ads are the same, so I'll leave you until next time with another quick Impulse cameo in Superman #128.

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