Saturday, August 13, 2011

E-Man Part Two--The Entropy Twins

by Jack Seabrook

Having established the characters and relationship between E-Man and Nova Kane in the first issue, Nicola Cuti and Joe Staton began to expand their storytelling in the second, bi-monthly issue.

It turns out that The Brain was not killed at the end of the first story.  Instead, the badly injured mass of grey matter was able to repair itself and contact its home planet, Sirius, for another weapon.

E-Man and Nova continue to live together and develop their flirtatious relationship.  During a trip to the zoo, they meet a young blonde couple who look like twins.  Nova introduces E-Man as Alec Tronn, a name she makes up on the spot, and Staton obviously relishes drawing the beautiful redhead in revealing costumes and alluring poses.  She discloses that her real name is Katrinka Colchnzski!

Nova continues to favor
as little clothing as
E-Man battles and defeats a monster comprised of millions of tiny amoebas working together, as well as one made up of pieces of every animal in the zoo.

In chapter two, cars float into the air as if magnetized, and the earth shakes and splits open.  Nova falls through a fissure and lands atop a speeding subway car.  E-Man makes himself into a giant net to save her.

In the Catskills, Michael and Juno, the young couple that E-Man and Nova met at the zoo, are revealed to be Entropy--the forces of order and disorder.  All is well when they are together, but when they are apart, chaos reigns.

E-Man appears on the scene and kills each of them with a bolt of energy--or does he?  He later explains to Nova that, instead of killing them, he changed their chemical composition so that they can never be near each other again.

This always struck me as a very sad panel.

The story ends with an image of The Brain, undefeated and surely planning another attack.

Don't miss the groovy jacket!
"The Entropy Twins" features outstanding artwork by Joe Staton.  E-Man "wears" cool 1970s duds, as do Michael and Juno, and Nova is stunning.  The rescue by web of the speeding subway car prefigures a similar sequence in the film, Spider-Man 2, and the scene where E-Man "kills" the Entropy Twins is chilling.  The story's next to last panel is tragic.

This issue features a letters column entitled "E-Mail," which is certainly a look into the future.

In 1973--who knew!

A good example
of Ditko's "subtlety."
The second story is called "Killjoy" and, although uncredited, it is written and illustrated by Steve Ditko.  This is a strange little story that fits in well with Ditko's growing fondness for Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy.  Criminals cry "He's prejudiced against us because we're a minority group fighting exploitation!"  A lawyer works for the "Foundation to Protect the Guilty From Justice," and so on.

Ditko's heroes always
could move!

Ditko's draftsmanship was as strong as ever, but plotting is virtually absent and the script is filled with slogans. I recommend this book for more on Steve Ditko:

E-Man #2 is thus a mixed bag.  The E-Man story is excellent, while the backup story is a disappointment.

We think E-man has killed them, but not so!

A rather menacing shot of our hero, appearing out of nowhere!

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