Over all three incarnations Earth 2 has been a title offering hope before slipping back into the same old, which has pretty much been the pattern followed by the lead characters. Yes, much has changed, the core cast altered, but that rut is always hit. Thankfully, this conclusion ranks with the better Earth 2 graphic novels.

To conclude A Whole New World, someone attempted to provide just that. It was a risky procedure on a previously unknown scale with no certainty of outcome, but at the time it seemed the preferable option. Whether it was too impulsive or not is a matter occupying the opening chapters of Life After Death.

Contributing to Earth 2 not always looking as good as it might have been artists skimping on backgrounds, yet the needs of the story require the backgrounds to remain minimal across the opening chapters and Bruno Redondo still makes the people look magnificent. His are heroes to inspire, cleanly drawn and well drawn whether standing or moving, and his are the most appealing pages from a regular artist since Nicola Scott in the original Earth 2 series. Vicente Cifuentes can’t quite match that, but he’s also solid, and also has an eye for the spectacular or iconic image.

From a clever opening to a heartwarming ending, Life After Death shines. There’s a mystery to begin with, revelation and to some extent reprise for the middle section, and during the final chapter every character of note receives a moment of closure. However, it’s a story that only works in signing off an alternate world. It turns out apart from a few name and role changes Abnett’s ideal universe isn’t distinguished greatly from the mainstream DC settings. It’s a crowd pleaser, though, and it’s unlikely anyone who’s followed the cast for any length of time will be disappointed.