The Earth 2: World’s End series has thus far been all over the place primarily due to the massive cast and elaborate story. Despite surprising plot twists and revelations, the series just hasn’t been able to find its footing and deliver stunning arcs that made the Earth 2 series so great. Thankfully, with Primal Sacrifice, it appears that the writers are seemingly getting a hang of juggling the many characters while narrowing the focus of the overarching story while maintaining the integrity of the sub-plots.
Unlike most of the other arcs that centers around the heroes, or wonders as they are called, Primal Sacrifice diverts the focus of the overarching arc to the Parliament of the Primal Forces and their respective avatars as they battle the Furies of Apokolips. Story-wise, this confrontation from the great powers did not provide much. That said, it made for vibrant, emotional and just simply stunning action scenes that could, on its own, carry this arc. While the Parliament is certainly different that those of Prime Earth, the unity of the five elements has a breathtaking presence that really stood out. It’s a little surprising given that they did really do much except for talk and send their power to their avatars for them to have make such an incredible impact. Regardless of how this series plays out, the way the writers handled this achievement that future series could learn from and possibly be brought over to Prime Earth, though unlikely.
Sacrifices must be made to overcome great adversity. One of the key elements that makes Primal Sacrifice the best arc thus far is that it finally deals with the war – specifically the ramifications of war. Aesthetically, Earth 2: World’s End stands as one of the best out of all of the New 52 series – unfortunately, it severely lacks heart. Given the intense focus on super powered people, it is really hard for readers to connect with the series at a deeper emotional level even with the Grayson/Barbara subplot. Detailing touching moments such as Khan’s, Atom’s and even Clark’s decision to sacrifice their lives to save the world managed to rectify this problem.
While all these heroes made the selfless decision for the same purpose, there is a distinct different in their motivations. Exemplifying dedication and love for the world, Khan’s and Atom’s sacrifices truly embodies the characters at their core – a solider. Both characters have had a rather significant presence throughout the series which allowed their respective scenes to really shine – in doing so, does a great justice to the characters. Superman on the other hand had a more all-encompassing motivation – he is Superman! His selflessness and willingness to give it all up for humanity is one that is unfamiliar to us readers. That said, given that Superman is the epitome of heroes, we would probably never see his permanent death in Prime Earth. As mentioned before, Earth 2 gives the opportunity for writers to tell stories and proceed in directions that they otherwise couldn’t in the main Earth. While this sacrifice may be deemed as predictable, the shear impact of this action more than makes up for it as it allows them to truly push Superman to the extreme of his character.
What this arc also does well was to development minor plots such as the Grayson storyline without overshadowing the overarching story. That said, I still believe that they should have ended the aforementioned storyline with Barbara’s death. The Grayson/Barbara subplot initial intention of introduction a more human aspect to the series started off interesting but quickly faded primarily due to the significance and popularity of these characters in the Prime Earth. It’s easier to make the normal human characters such as Jimmy Olsen into superheroes than it is to make heroes appear as commoners – this is a lesson that can be learnt from the failures of this arc.
All in all, Primal Sacrifice delivers one of the most cohesive arcs in the Earth 2: World’s End series that truly makes use of the necessary characters without diluting the overarching story with subplots such as those involving Terry Sloan.