I've always said I don't keep up with alternate universe storylines when it comes to comic books. DC Comics has found a way to change that and further clutter my already jam-packed reading time with another series to struggle to keep up with. They knew exactly how to reel me in. They put Batman on the cover of the first issue of Earth 2 and I was sucked in.
Batman isn't even in the series on a regular basis. However, now I can't walk away from the storyline. My reading of the book pays off with Earth 2 Annual #2. "Origin" tells the tale of the Batman of this other world. Is it Bruce Wayne or someone else with a different motivation to fight crime in Gotham City?
Writer Tom Taylor does a fabulous job taking the classic story of Thomas and Martha Wayne's tragic shooting at the hands of Joe Chill and puts a clever twist on it. It makes the world of Earth 2 ever more interesting. Taylor does a great job establishing a Batman you want to keep up with and that could easily carry his own monthly title.
Robson Rocha carries the story along visually through his masterful penciling. His style is precise and you can tell he enjoys bringing the Dark Knight to life, no matter what version it is. He probably enjoys the freedom of taking the classic imagery of the character and coming up with something different but still recognizable.
Earth 2 Annual #2 is rated T for "Teens." It contains adult situations, drug use, and violence. This is definitely not for younger readers. I would give it a PG-13 rating if it were a movie.
If you're looking to explore some new ground outside of the regular New 52 continuity, Earth 2 Annual #2 is an interesting place to jump into the series. It's a stand-alone story that welcomes new readers and fills in gaps for long-time fans at the same time. There are just not enough hours in the day to devour all the great comics DC is putting out right now.