In a recent Bullet Review post I commented that we finally saw the meeting of Power Girl and her counterpart, Supergirl. In that same issue we also saw Power Girl put on her classic outfit from the DC universe of old. Well, we now move on to Worlds’ Finest #12. And I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to already see Kara in her classic uniform right off the bat (as you can see from the cover above).
This has been an interesting title in general to get into, partly because it deals with a topic that was, from what I can tell, more or less taboo in the old DC: characters from Earth-2 being present on Earth-1. Yes, I know there were always a multitude of crossovers before Crisis on Infinite Earths between the worlds, but you rarely – if ever – saw an overt mention of them unless the crossover was in play. This series, though, is the exact opposite: Let’s take 2 characters from Earth-2 and strand them on Earth-1. And let’s make a series out of it. And, at times, I truly didn’t think it was going to work and was so close to telling my LCS to remove it from my pull list.
Then, in past issues, we had Huntress meet Damian Wayne – first she teamed up with him, and then she mourned the little brother she never had. Power Girl, though, had a direct counterpart in this universe and, as I said above, it was about time for the 2 to meet. (That story has yet to be completed, too; I’m looking forward to Supergirl #20.)
This particular issue of Worlds’ Finest had some ups but also some downs for me.
Writer Paul Levitz has had a rather daunting task in ensuring that the characters here are properly utilized but also keeping in touch with what’s going on in other titles, a little more concretely. He needs to know what’s going on in Earth 2, Supergirl, as well as peripherally knowing the Bat-books (as we know there will be a meetup between Huntress and Batman at some point). He uses Michael Holt, a.k.a. Mister Terrific, who was shunted over to Earth 2 as his own title was ending. But he also uses some more Apokolyptic characters here, which jives with the actions from the other Earth – coincidentally, it was also invaded by Apokolips (see Justice League #1 for the possible invasion in this main universe). But he’s telling a story that exists here but lets these heroines use their knowledge to actually make a difference. What I didn’t like here (and is a personal pet peeve of mine in both comics and TV) is the jumping around in time to move the story along. I don’t mind it from time to time, but too often today it’s become the only way to tell a story – start near the end, jump back to the beginning, then to the middle, then that spot between the beginning and the middle, then back to where you started… I don’t mind it, as I said, but it’s done to excess and I don’t think it’s necessary here. This story could have gotten by without it, I think.
As for the art… That’s a different beast. This issue had 3 art teams for a single story: Kevin Maguire, Geraldo Borges and JP Mayer, and Robson Rocha and Wayne Faucher. Now, I know this book had multiple artists from the get-go, but the artist separation at the start made sense: one for Power Girl, one for Huntress, and then alternate the shared pages. Now that they are both equally prevalent, the jumping around of artists is much more noticeable to me and is actually distracting. What I find really disappointing about having to say that is that none of them are bad artists at all! I have enjoyed Maguire’s work since his classic JLI days, and the others I am getting introduced to here. And they are all good! I just don’t know why they couldn’t keep one art team to the book, maybe 2 at the start, but 3? For a 20-page book? It’s not necessary. And if that keeps up, no matter how good the story is (and I think Levitz is leading up to something) I’ll drop it. If the visuals are distracting in a negative way, it’s most definitely not a good sign.
I really cannot give this book more than a 2.5. Why even that? The story has a lot of potential and it was nice to see some IMMEDIATE continuity with other books here. The artwork is good, but not when they pair off after a handful of pages each – it was not worth it. Had this issue been all Maguire, then another issue one of the other artists, I don’t think it would take away from the quality of the issue as a standalone one (which I am trying to do more of and not worry about other things). But I found it distracting, mostly because the shift away from Maguire was easily noticeable.