I fucking HATE being lied to by a cover. It's one thing to make it thematically fitting without showing an actual scene from the issue, but in the case of Earth 2 #7, the cover clearly promises an aerial battle between Hawkgirl and Green Lantern. It has huge freaking letters saying "Flight to the Death!" I'm sorry, but if we're literally not even going to see either character fly, let alone fight, then don't do that. It's a whack tactic.
Whack Tactic is now my punk band's name, if I ever start one.
Ok, so what about the stuff inside the cover? It's alright. James Robinson makes the strange decision to have the bulk of the issue focus on the power struggle between Amar Khan and Terry Sloan in the World Army. It's certainly an interesting and important conflict, I'm just not convinced it needed this much space. Khan and Sloan have two separate conversations about how much they dislike each other, and they're such similar dialogues I can't figure out what the purpose of including them both could be. It comes across as a way to fill out the issue, to pad the pages, rather than a necessary narrative point. But in between these conversations we get to see a team of Sandmen battle and capture Mr. Terrific in Sloan's secret base, and it is easily the high point of the issue. So, if nothing else, the boring parts were punctuated with action.
And even though it made the cover into a big fat lie, I liked the opening scene with Kendra (Hawkgirl) and Alan (Green Lantern). It didn't make any real progress, but it gave us some background on Kendra and really solidified her voice for me. She's confident almost to a fault, and obviously not one to willingly take "no" for an answer. Intelligent and collected, but with some real rage bubbling underneath. I'm excited to see more of her as the series develops. And Khan is much the same way, except that his rage is buried deeper than Kendra's, to the point that Sloan openly notices an absence of anger where Khan should be seething. Robinson writes both of these characters impressively, handling the disconnect between what they feel, what they do, and what they say quite well.
Yildiray Cinar doesn't quite bring the level of detail that Nicola Scott typically does, but the artwork is still full and focused. His Sloan stood out to me as being almost featureless in the face, save for his one distinctive scar, which I found odd. But the rest of the cast looks good, most notably the Sandmen. The two-page splash where they and Mr. Terrific first come info conflict is astounding and, again, the strongest single moment in the issue. I also loved the level of creepiness Red Tornado gives off. Saw just enough of her here to establish that she's going to be a significant threat down the line.
Earth 2 #7 is a bit of a breather issue, and as such does little to thrill me. But it has it's exciting moments, and does some very enjoyable character work along the way. I'm still upset about the cover, though. Seriously...don't do that.