DC Comics: Earth Prime

If you read my reviews, odds are you have at least some interest in the Arrowverse. Now, in an interesting spin on things, the tv shows based on the comics return to their roots in a six issue comic book series. “Earth Prime” visits several different shows from the CW, filling in some things we didn’t see, due to a combination of budget and COVID. Leading off is Batwoman in “Flesh and Mud.” A note on the first page helpfully explains this is set in season three, after episode seven, as the team is dealing with flashback villains, Mary’s infection, and the Jet family drama, as well as Rene Montoya’s blackmail of our heroine.

One of the classic Batman villains we didn’t get to see updated on the show was Clayface, but they rectify that here. Clayface is arguably one of the most powerful of the Bat-foes, and Ryan doesn’t have a lot of experience in dealing with superpowered villains. This puts her at an even bigger disadvantage than usual. Poor Ryan has spent a lot of her career as Batwoman playing catchup. Hopefully, if the show gets a fourth season, she’ll get a chance to show how she’s grown into the role.

A great touch in this issue was a special guest star. I won’t say who it was here, but it was someone who actually made a great deal of sense, and stepped in at the perfect time to offer some much-needed expertise. This is the kind of crossover that really cemented the Arrowverse as a favorite thing for me, and something the increasingly complex network of shows started having trouble with later on. Another great touch was some talk about Crisis, which Ryan didn’t experience and the two who did in this particular conversation don’t have time to explain. The story ends with a hint at a big threat coming, and my guess is the first five issues have a gradually linking menace, with the sixth being a team-up/resolution.

The backup story was another great touch. Camrus Johnson plays Luke Fox on the show, and did a great job directing at least one episode. Now he adds writer to his credit, as he pens a behind the scenes story showing us how Luke spends a bit of his time, and following up on something they introduced a while ago. It was a plot idea I was excited by at the time, and I really hope we get to see more of it.

The next issue will take us from Gotham to Smallville, as we check in with Superman and Lois. Later issues are slated for Legends of Tomorrow, Stargirl, and Flash. I really hope my theory is right and we get a big crossover event for the sixth issue. If nothing else, Ryan came on as Batwoman after the big crossovers had happened (although I hope they comeback as COVID gets under control, some year), and it’d be great to let her experience that. I’m not counting Armageddon, as Ryan’s part in that was in the future, and so hasn’t happened yet. I’d also love to see Stargirl meet some of the other heroes, and the Arrowverse veterans learning that there are still multiple Earths, just not the way they remember.

What I liked: The story was good, they picked a great villain. The guest star was wonderful and something I’d actually like to see happen on one of the shows. The back-up was really well done, and I hope we get to see more from the creative side of Mr. Johnson.

What I didn’t: Really, very little. Alice is one of the most entertaining characters on the show and got absolutely minimal screen time here. The backup flowed well and was believable, but I wish Luke would have caught a bit more of a break.

This was a lot of fun, and gives me high hopes for the rest of the series. I’ll give this a 4 out of 5, and am looking forward to seeing what they do with the rest of the issues.