It would seem that the entire World’s Finest run has built up to this one issue, with Helena and Karen returning to Earth 2 after being displaced on Earth-Prime for nearly five years.  For the full recap of what’s been happening and how I’ve personally felt about this series since the very beginning, there’s the Issue 0-24 review where I crammed everything into a box and tried to duct tape it shut.  I was hoping for something different with a return to Earth 2, but it seems even that was too much to ask for.

Right off the bat, this issue has the feel of a television show’s series finale, right down to the completely clichéd scenes in the first half of the book.  Karen is still all about free-love in that “fake drunk teenager at the party who purposefully smokes the wrong end of the cigarette to get a rise,” kind of way, and although there is an attempt at making Helena and Karen have some sort of reflective cathartic moment about their time on Earth-Prime, it all falls somewhat flat.

We jump between the two storylines that have taken up the last few issues of World’s Finest, starting off with Helena and Karen in their apartment, and there’s way too much Helena with her tongue sticking out.  She also manages to make an inch-deep, fist-sized hole in the wall by throwing a spoon at Karen, because that’s possible for a normal human to do.

The issue splits off to follow Desaad, who has managed to erect a giant statue to Darkseid and is complaining how his boss never came back for him.  It turns a pretty spectacularly evil and well-drawn villain into a hurt pet, and Desaad believes that he can use the girls’ inter-dimensional technology to get back to Earth 2.

As I brought up earlier, there are a lot of attempts at closure on Earth-Prime, but they all seem just a little off or underdeveloped.  I get the idea of gallows humor and separation anxiety being alleviated by levity, but the dialogue could have been so much better than what the finished product offered.  Half the interactions between Powergirl and Huntress involved the same tired jokes that were annoying me in the first half-dozen issues.  Rather than make some generic joke about guys being hot, how about you use the time to consider how these heroines have had to cope with life on a different world or examine the relationship between the two and how it’s evolved.  It just felt like a missed opportunity.

Where the story falters, the artwork is front and center, doing its damnedest to make up lost ground.  The soft colors create the necessary atmosphere, while the detail in the characters’ facial expressions help convey the target emotions.  All in all, not much really happens in this issue; there’s a lot of talking, some walks by the river, and one brief fight scene before the girls get to see the fruits of their labors.

Paul Levitz has stated that the girls will be staying on Earth 2, and that there will be “big changes for the two.”  Personal belief: Powergirl and Huntress will become part of Earth 2 as New (Old?) Wonders, while Levitz changes the focus of World’s Finest to the adventures of Earth 2’s Superman and Batman.  Also, Levitz has also removed himself from Earth 2: World’s Finest, a fact I am grateful for.

Spoiler

  • So, does Desaad make it through that portal?
  • I wonder what point in the Earth 2 continuity the two arrive when they get out of that portal.

Favorite Quote: “It may be you and me against the whole damn army of Apokolips, with all of humanity up for target practice in between.  This is gonna suck.” – Powergirl

Recommended If…

  • You’ve been waiting for these two to finally get home.
  • You like the feel of series’ finales.

Overall:

Improved artwork and great character design are held back by a meandering story and shallow heroes.  Things look like they will spiral towards heavy action, as the issue’s conclusion gives readers a taste of just how bad the situation on Earth 2 is.

SCORE: 5/10