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 an ongoing series from DC Comics starting in 2012 as part of the New 52, with scripts by James Robinson (Starman) and art by Nicola Scott (Birds of Prey). 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.
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.
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"). Super-villains are called "Terrors".
Godzilla Threshold: With the heroes rapidly losing the battle against Brutaal/ Superman, Batman II infiltrates the World Army's stasis prison to get additional help.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Terry Sloan has minor scarring on his face. Issue #0 reveals this is due to shrapnel from a grenade.
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.
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.
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 first name caused a bit of confusion, since it flipped between Amir and Amar. Word of God states that it was supposed to be "Amar", and the other is a typo.
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.
Time Skip: Right at the end of the first issue the series skips 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 the fight with Grundy and rescue civilains 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.
Undying Loyalty: Brutaal, not to Steppenwolf, but to Darkseid. When Steppenwolf defies Darkseid, Brutaal kills him and takes over as the main threat.
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 WW 2. 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.