Mercury: I am a dying god, and the task ahead needs living heroes. Jay Garrick: Wait! Heroes to fight something even greater than Apokolips? How...how can we? Mercury...sir. Earth simply doesn't have any. Back in the war, we had Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman too, our "Trinity of Wonders". Now...the Age of Wonders is over. Mercury: Then let a new age begin.
Earth 2 is a series from DC Comics starting in 2012 as part of the New 52. It reboots the DC Multiverse's Earth-2 world, the one based on characters from The Golden Age of Comic Books. In the new version of this universe, the Power Trio of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have died protecting the Earth from the Gods of Apokolips, while sidekicks Robin and Supergirl have vanished without a trace. Earth is left without costumed heroes, but Jay Garrick, Alan Scott, Kendra Munoz-Saunders (Hawkgirl), Khalid Ben-Hassin (Dr. Fate), and Al Pratt represent a new generation of heroes. A dimension-hopping Mister Terrific (Michael Holt) is also in the mix, tangling with an evil version of Terry Sloan, the Golden Age Mister Terrific.The series began with scripts by James Robinson (Starman) and art by Nicola Scott (Birds of Prey). After finishing issue #16, James Robinson announced that he was leaving the comic. He was replaced by Tom Taylor (Injustice: Gods Among Us).
Earth 2 uses the following Tropes
Adaptation Name Change: A few minor examples: Themyscira is instead called Amazonia, and the collective term for Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman is "Ternion" instead of "Trinity".
Affirmative Action Legacy: Val-Zod, a black Kryptonian, has been confirmed to be the one who eventually takes up the mantle of Superman.
Big Bad Wannabe: Steppenwolf as of issue #16. He proclaims himself The Starscream in lieu of any interference from Darkseid, and is immediately killed by Brutaal before he can even finish his sentence proclaiming this.
Colorful Theme Naming: Various projects by the World Army are named "Red x". This includes the Wonder archer Red Arrow, the high-tech submarine Red Torpedo, and the wind-controlling automaton Red Tornado.
Green Lantern is Alan Scott, but he's gay like his pre-New 52 son Obsidian. The writer even stated that he made Scott gay in this universe because he felt bad about getting rid of one of DC's few gay characters.
The Atom is Al Pratt, but with his godson Atom-Smasher's size-changing powers and a costume more similar to his son Damage.
Red Tornado is an android (like the Silver Age Red Tornado) and female (like the Golden Age Red Tornado). Also, she is the Lois Lane of this earth.
Red Arrow is named Connor Hawke (originally Green Arrow II) but features the appearance, alias, and prosthetic arm of Roy Harper.
Batman II, a.k.a. Thomas Wayne, is a mix of his counterpart of Flashpoint and Hourman.
Conflict Ball: Green Lantern refusing the Flash and Hawkgirl's offer to form a new Trinity after the events of the first arc. Nobody ever said Alan Scott lacked an ego.
Crapsack World: Earth-2 is in a pretty terrible state. Darkseid's first invasion did a lot more damage than it did in the main universe, with three of the world's most inspirational superheroes dying in the process and several Apokalips-esque fire pits cropping up around the globe, and all of the new generation of heroes have some tragic element to their backstories, ranging from dead mentors and lovers to just being told by everyone that you're a failure.
Averted before the invasion, though. This universe's Batman and Superman lived long enough to have families, and in Batman/Superman, the reason that this world was doomed is because it isn't willing to do what is necessary, as in be willing to take risks and fight like the Batman and Superman of the mainstream universe, to survive.
In issue 15, it's the Flash, Green Lantern, Doctor Fate, the Atom, Red Arrow, and the Sandmen vs. the Hunger Dogs of Apokalips. The Hunger Dogs pulverize the Wonders, but leave most of them alive. Some of the Sandmen aren't so lucky.
Issue 16 has Green Lantern fighting Steppenwolf on even ground until Brutaal steps in. They literally stomp Green Lantern within an inch of his life.
In issue 17, Dr. Fate tries to fight Brutaal, thinking his magic will give him an advantage. It doesn't and Brutaal/Superman actually cracks the Helmet of Fate. Luckily, the Flash rescues Fate before he's killed.
Darker and Edgier: The new Batman, who's willing to kill much more (in fact he isn't shown using any non-lethal methods), complete with a red and black costume.
Differently Powered Individual: Superheroes are commonly called "Wonders"—according to Word of God, this is due to Wonder Woman being the first public superhero (as opposed to Superman being first, leading to the term "superhero"). Jay calls the Hunger Dogs "Terrors", but it's so far unclear if this is an established term for "supervillain" or just something Jay made up on the spot.
Tons of it. Robinson particularly loves hinting at upcoming characters in background details and aside mentions in character dialogue.
In issue #17, after Doctor Fate gets thrashed by Superman, he starts babbling again. Writer Tom Taylor mentions in an interview that Fate's babbling has details about things to come. Visit the analysis page for more info.
Doctor Fate: Crumbles! The space door opens! Crumbles... the Queen! It Crumbles. Green! Crumbles. Speed broken! The child, resurrected hope. Angel in the slaughter. They come from the fires! The alien. Crumbles green. It crumbles! Crumbles!
Healing Factor: Grundy has an impressive one; even reforming after having his head punched to a pulp by Green Lantern.
Heartbroken Badass: Alan Scott becomes this as Green Lantern shortly following the death of his lover Sam.
Henshin Hero: Green Lantern and the Flash can magically shift in and out of their costumes at will.
Heroic Sacrifice: Batman goes into one of the parademon towers to plant a computer virus that will kill all the parademons. However, the tower has a fail-safe that will self-destruct if tampered, something Batman knew would happen. He gives a tearful goodbye to Robin (his daughter Helena) as he plants the virus.
Heroic Spirit: Green Lantern needs to be focused in order to create constructs. While fighting Grundy he's unable to create constructs because he was still fazed by the death of his lover, Sam. When The Grey tries to tempt him with an apparition of Sam, Green Lantern fights it off and becomes focused enough to create constructs.
Human Popsicle/People Jars: The World Army's Black Basement holding facility is where the world's most dangerous criminals and other liabilities are put in pods and frozen in stasis. This includes Aquawoman, the Joker, and Jimmy Olsen.
A variation. Hawkgirl initiates it to gauge Jay's power level. Hawkgirl won.
Again when The Atom shows up. They each resolve themselves rather quickly.
Legacy Character: Earth 2 Annual #1 revealed a second Batman is currently active. His identity is unknown, but he wears red and black, uses a wrist-mounted gun in his arsenal, and is willing to kill enemies.
Legacy Implosion: Most notably with Alan Scott and Al Pratt. Alan is aged down, which eliminates his son, Obsidian, one of the more prominent gay characters in the DC universe. Robinson decides to make up for it by simply incorporating that into Alan's character. Al Pratt also is a combination of both his Golden Age character, as well as Damage and Atom Smasher, two of his successors in the modern JSA.
Military Superhero: The World Army has a few: The Atom, Wesley Dodds and his Sandmen, Captain Steel and Red Tornado. Hawkgirl was one of them, but has gone AWOL. The World Council HQ security guards in Guardian uniforms might count as well.
Monumental Damage: Grundy reveals himself to the world by destroying the Capitol building in Washington, DC.
The World Council seems to favor this action in regards to possible threats, under the advisement of Terry Sloan.
Sloan also solves the problem of large parts of the world being under Apokalips mind control by simply blowing them all up. As Amar Khan states, he's remarkably consistent in his love of this option.
Photographic Memory: Jimmy Olsen is a master hacker that remembers everything he sees. He was imprisoned by the World Army for hacking into their systems, but when the parademon invasion happens again, he is released along with Aquawoman to help stop the invasion.
Poorly Disguised Pilot: Supergirl and Robin (Helena Wayne) both dive into a wormhole at the end of the parademon battle, serving as a set-up for Huntress/Power Girl: Worlds' Finest, which features the pair being stranded on Prime Earth and taking on new superhero mantles.
Pretty Boy: Wotan. He was originally a woman, but he cast an reincarnation spell on himself; switching sexes every time he was reborn. He's been reborn so many times, he became androgynous as a result.
Spell My Name with an S: Khan's name has caused a bit of confusion, since it has flipped between all combinations of Amir/Amar Khan/Kahn. Word of God states that it was supposed to be "Amar", and the other is a typo, and the script appears to have settled on Khan.
The Starscream: Issue 16, Brutaal usurps Steppenwolf as the Big Bad when he cuts him in half because Steppenwolf would rather take Earth for himself instead of Darkseid. He then reveals himself to be Superman, who was thought to have died years ago and starts preparing the Earth for Apokalips.
Stuffed into the Fridge: Superman's wife, Lois Lane, was killed in the parademon invasion before the series even started. Issue #17 has her consciousness put into Red Tornado's body; bringing her out of the fridge. Writer Tom Taylor points out in an interview that the containment unit Red Tornado was deliberately made to look like a fridge to hang a lampshade on this trope.
The Amazons are supposedly extinct thanks to Apokalips, but in issue 8, we're introduced to Fury, Wonder Woman's daughter.
Issue 19 reveals that another Kryptonian named Val is being held by the World Army under Arkham. Issue 20 reveals that there were four capsules launched from Krypton. Since we only know of Superman, Supergirl/Power Girl, and Val, that means another Kryptonian is out there somewhere.
Time Skip: Right at the end of the first issue the series skips forward five years, introducing us to the first of the new age of heroes: Jay Garrick and Alan Scott.
Too Fast to Stop: The Flash hasn't quite gotten the hang of braking when running at full speed.
Took A Level In Bad Ass: When the Flash first got his powers, he couldn't use them very well and as a result, Hawkgirl told him to stay out of the fight with Grundy and rescue civilians instead. When the Atom appears and takes out Hawkgirl and Green Lantern, Flash decides to step up and topples the giant Atom with superfast blows.
Tragic Keepsake: The engagement ring Alan was going to propose to Sam with. It becomes his Green Lantern ring.
Fans were able to figure out that Superman had never died and had turned villain the moment the cover art to #16 was released. The art style does a good job of obscuring most identifying features, but the spit curl was still there...
Wizard Duel: Between Doctor Fate and Wotan. Doctor Fate wins by sending Wotan to another dimension.
World-Healing Wave: Downplayed: Grundy's presence absolutely devastates the Earth's flora. After defeating him, Green Lantern gives some of his energy back to the Earth; similar to a booster shot. Nothing happens at first, but when Green Lantern leaves, everything slowly starts coming back to life.
You Can't Go Home Again: Steppenwolf has been trapped on Earth for five years because he can't make another boom tube back to Apokolips. He decides to make the best of it and plans to take over the world.
Younger and Hipper: Prior to the New 52 reboot, the main gimmick of the surviving JSA was that members were elder statesmen who had been in their prime during WW2. Now they're young men and women beginning their super-hero careers in the modern day. It still maintains the themes of legacy that the old JSA had, with the twist that now the main characters inherit the legacy of the previous Trinity, instead of the other way around.