Review: Earth 2 and Worlds Finest
StuckInPanels Issue #1 premieres
The Second Wave of DC titles have arrived. Are these titles worth a read? check out my reviews on them.
Hey there friends, this week I like to return to my on again off again series of #1 issues. To me #1 issues are what generally decide if I will want to continue to read comic, and I try very hard to not jump onto a book that has a bunch of continuity in it or is in the middle of a story arc that is a few issues in it. So with DC coming out with the Second Wave of the New 52 this week, I’m picking up only 2 of the 6 new titles that are coming on, and these two are very much interconnected, the first is EARTH 2 and the other WORLDS FINEST. When it comes to DC comics I never quite got into the JSA or JSA All-stars, however I did enjoy the Earth 2 based story KINGDOM COME, easily one of the best DC stories out there. So with the New 52 changes, along with hints from both JUSTICE LEAGUE and MISTER TERRIFIC, we heard that there is a multi-verse out there just waiting to be explored and the first stop is Earth 2.
So first on the reading is EARTH 2 written by the notoriously good/bad writer James Robinson and artwork by Nicola Scott. I say good/bad because for all the good stories he has written (Star Man), he has done notoriously bad stories (Cry for Justice). So he is a balanced writer in my opinion, will this new series be his A-game or will it be Cry for Justice all over again. The second is WORLDS FINEST, written by Paul Levitz and artwork by George Perez and Kevin Maguire, a unique take on the Batman/Superman team-up but with Huntress and Power Girl. This series I’m looking forward to the most, since Power Girl has been getting a lot of attention for no particular reason by so called “fans” that her outfit was changed dramatically. With the introductions out of the way, let us begin.
#1 Issue Premieres
EARTH 2 #1: Written by James Robinson/Artwork by Nicola Scott
The Price of Victory
Story: Five years ago Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman lead the battle against the para demons and their leader Steppenwolf. The plan Batman has in store for them proves to be both effective yet devastating, the heroes falling in battle. Cut to the present day Alan Scott and Jay Garrick are introduced as being survivors of the event. Alan Scott is a business CEO on his way to show a memorial to the fallen heroes, while Jay Garrick is a go nowhere 21 year old who discovers the god Mercury saying that the world needs new heroes.
-Story: Well this was a bit of a surprise, I liked it. The first issue of course has to establish so much in a small time span, since this is another Earth where events have taken place in a totally different way that it seems like we jumped into the middle of the story. We know some small aspects here and there of the big three heroes and only the big three heroes. To me the latter half where we are introduced to two prominent members of the JSA was the better segment since that’s what I wanted to see mostly. It’s hard to believe that we are introduced to the big three but as quickly as they are somewhat developed they are immediately killed off. Issue two is usually what makes a better sell for me, so far the story is above average.
-Writing: So from what I mentioned about James Robinson about being either really good or really bad, this title lands in the pile of good. He has really been a force for the Earth 2 characters and really develops the characters really well. Despite the limited panel time of the big three we do get to see in their best moments, fighting to save the world no matter the cost. The second half is where its much stronger in my opinion, I like how the retakes on the classic characters are done, seeing their lives before becoming superheroes, giving the characters more of a reluctance aspect.
-Artwork: Nicola Scott’s artwork is some of the best I have seen. I like the Earth 2 costume designs of the big three, they are vastly different from the new 52, I like the Earth 2 Superman costume design the most out of the three. Wonder Woman looks more like a warrior and Batman’s looks more like combat armor, similar to the Nolan movies. This was impressive artwork and I cannot wait to see the various costume designs for the new JSA.
-Character Dynamic: This issue quickly introduces the big three and instantly they had really great chemistry with one another. They were united by a common cause and went out with style. Alan Scott comes off greatly as a likeable guy with optimism in his eye. Jay Garrick is one who is vastly changed because of his age; he lacks direction and focus in his life, which many that age do.
What Works: The opening battle with the Big Three going out in style, the artwork is top notch, the costume designs are amazingly done, the great set-up with Worlds Finest.
What doesn’t work: They focused too much on the Big Three rather than letting us be introduced to the new Earth 2 character redesigns, Jay Garrick’s age might be a bit of an issue for die-hard fans.
Highlight of the Issue: Batman’s sacrifice
World’s Finest #1: Written by Paul Levitz/Artwork by George Perez and Kevin Maguire
Story: Spinning off from the events of Earth 2, Robin (Helena Wayne) and Super Girl (Kara) enter a strange dimensional portal that sends them into the world of Earth 1, where they are strangers in a foreign land. They begin to adjust in their own special way; Helena dons a new mantle of the Huntress, while Kara becomes a socialite/businesswoman. Their night is interrupted as one of the Star labs was attacked and Mr. Terrific gone, flung into Earth 2. Kara decides to don her new costume and hero name, Power Girl. They are not alone as they are attacked by the irradiated man.
-Story: I really dug this issue; this was from start to finish a superb comic. I would rank this up pretty highly with the first wave of the New 52. The story blends the events of them arriving on this new Earth and trying to assimilate properly with their lives from the Huntress mini-series as well as the now cancelled Mr. Terrific series. I like how they didn’t start out as their current heroic personas right away, having them be the Robin and Super girl of their world does properly showcase their abilities that can be used in the world one. The sudden appearance of the villain felt a bit tiny forced, I rather see them be fully introduced and then have their first villain encounter.
-Writing: Paul Levitz does a splendid job with the writing; I had so much faith in him from the beginning. Levitz to me is an old school writer; he focuses on good storytelling mixing in well done character development. The way he portrays these two characters make them the best of friends, like they were friends long before they became super heroes.
-Artwork: I like George Perez’s artwork since he too is a very old school artist, he did a good job with the new 52 superman but here it works really well and better. The character designs are top notch and their costumes are much better now that we can see them in proper action. The slight pages done by Kevin Maguire were superior to Perez’s but it complements it really well. These two artists work well off each other and I cannot wait to see it explored more.
-Character Dynamic: THE BEST character dynamic I have ever seen, the way these two characters play off of each other, which is already a clever take on the Batman/Superman team up, is one of the best examples of getting it right. Their personalities play well off of each other, Helena is more focused on her heroic persona while Kara loves the spotlight and her career in her secret identity. They are truly friends on a grand adventure and teaming up benefits them both.
What Works: Everything works. The writing, the art, the characters, the pace, the light hearted moments, all of them come together and form one of the best comics I have read.
What doesn’t work: none
Highlight of the Issue: Kara calling Helena a prude while nearly nude.
Well that’s all for this week friends. Hope you all give these look when
you can. Catch you all later.
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