In WORLDS’ FINEST #26 we delve into the ramifications of Karen and Helena leaving our native Earth for their own, both here and in that strange other world.
It’s a shame and I’m hoping there’s still more room in The New 52 for more of Karen Starr and Helena Wayne – perhaps now that they’ve returned to the world itself we’ll start to see them pop up more in the pages of EARTH 2. Since their journey is about to end, it’s somewhat worth holding out hope. If you aren’t aware: WORLDS’ FINEST is set to change creative teams and focus in just a few issues – going from our ersatz Batman and Superman to the actual Batman and Superman of EARTH 2.
So the last few issues we have to spend with Karen and Helena are mostly going to be focused on ending these two characters story arc – while possibly starting us off on the path of who the Power Girl of the native New 52 Earth is. I like that thought we won’t have Karen Starr in our native storyline possibly ever again, someone will still get to take up the mantle of Power Girl even if it only lasts for a little while.
How does WORLDS’ FINEST #26 measure up this week? Let’s get started.
This is probably the strongest I’ve ever seen Tyler Kirkham and Scott Kolins art, and it’s amazing that it happens on this issue when there’s really not a whole lot going on besides setting up a future storyline. If there was ever a “busy work” issue, this is pretty endemic of what they look like. Even though this is a ‘nothing’ issue that serves to mainly prepare the reader for revealing things already set in the pages of EARTH 2. At least the issue LOOKS great even if it’s a song-and-dance meant to make way for the conclusion. There’s strong color use all the way through and the fight with a group of Parademons is visually kinetic enough to be a welcome change from the other, more dialogue heavy parts of the issue.
WORLDS’ FINEST #26 could be called a ‘technically’ strong issue. There’s great application of technical skills – writing, art, all of that. It doesn’t come together so much as exist parallel to each other. Maybe if it were still the 80’s and this was in the heyday of that kind of storytelling I’d give it a higher mark, but I expect more from comic companies than a series of issues that only hold up for the technical application of skills the team exhibits. This issue is the equivalent of a college-student’s first thesis. It’s a display that the creators can tell a story and not much more.
With the additional bombshell being dropped near the end of this issue – if WORLDS’ FINEST wasn’t about to switch directions and creative teams I’d say the story is primed to go into a really interesting direction, and make a possible stronger push for a more inclusive DC Universe. We’ll merely have to wait for the other shoe to drop on this though, and I can instead say that I’m glad to see something so cool possibly come out of the work a ton of different creators have put into this series.
A character lifts a steel column pinning her to the ground, suddenly displaying super-strength when she previously had just been a normal human. A character behind her remarks “That’s impossible!” Come on, man? Like – seeing feats of superhuman ability are a daily thing. You live in a literal world of heroes. It would be one thing for the character to show exact surprise – but telling someone who clearly just became superhuman in a world where one of your biggest celebrities can fly and has an S on his chest is just a weird bit of writing.
Likewise, I enjoy the art in this issue more than I’ve enjoyed the artists work in the past, but it’s still missing something. In an earlier review of WORLDS’ FINEST my favorite artistic tactic in the book was the way they highlighted Karen and Helena’s two different natures. We haven’t seen anything exhibiting that kind of strong stylization in the art here for a few months now – It’s starting to look like every other superhero team up book. I know DC has lately been pushing for a house style to create some kind of consistency among their books, but it’s not really working.
WORLDS’ FINEST #26 reads like a brief taste of what’s to come. It’s a touch to the palate of flavors to get you interested in sticking around for the final curtain call.
There’s a few interesting things to be found in WORLDS’ FINEST this week that keep it from being a complete and total pass. Plus – it’s more than worth it to see one of the supporting characters
get a small glimmer of breaking out on her.