This is going to be a doozy.  An extra-sized review for an extra-sized issue, and what an issue it was.  I came in with trepidation when Future’s End Month came out and it was just a horrifying nightmare of incoherent story, poor artwork, and boring characters.  But then came this lovely issue, and provided me with a fun ride into this new weekly series.  Right off the bat, we are introduced to the Multiverse, which I’m not a huge fan of, but it seems that it won’t harp on the whole idea of multiple realities that much.

Over half of this book is dedicated to explaining what has been happening in Earth 2, and subsequently Worlds’ Finest, for the last couple years.  It actually goes beyond that and delves into moments we haven’t even seen yet, exploring what each Wonder was up to prior to the Apokolips War.  It’s an awesome look into the past of each Wonder, and it ties up a bunch of loose ends that had readers questioning since the very first issue.

There are so many intense scenes in this book alone, jumping from Wonder to Wonder touching base with what each one has been up to since the defeat of Bizarro and the forces of Steppenwolf.  If you’ve read Earth 2 #27 (it’s not a spoiler don’t worry) but you know what happens in Geneva.  The panels highlighting what’s going on in the outskirts of Geneva really have some luster.  The quiet moments in Chicago (not saying anything here, go to spoilers) are some heart-tugging and humorous sentimental moments that show how the common person has dealt with the Apokolips invasion.

The artwork on such a large issue is incredibly important, and it works here on a number of levels.  The spacing of the panels can be clustered at times, and there aren’t nearly as many big splash pages as I would have liked, but an entire line is being squashed into one issue.  The art team of *inhale* Ardian Syaf, Sandra Hope, Danny Miki, Jorge Jimenez, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Paolo Siqueira, and Cam Smith *whew* are able to blend the high-velocity action sequences with the more docile dramatic scenes.  Whoever drew Batman should be commended, as he looks like an older, just as menacing Bruce.

Here’s my favorite part of this review: The Characters! I’ll give a detailed rundown of everything each Wonder does in this issue in order of appearance, so if you want to see who’s in this issue, read on.

Spoiler

  • Alan Scott and Sam Zhou – Green Lantern serves as the narrator for this issue, and we learn that he was the main funding behind Dr. Terry Sloan’s research into the boom tubes, making this all kind of his fault. Sam exposed Alan’s connection to Sloan, out of fear that Alan was making decisions for the entire world.  Sloan found out and was the one who killed Sam (I think that’s implied).  Green Lantern is last seen keeping Earth 2 in orbit at the end of the last arc, but he is alive and facing off against the Furies of Apokolips.
  • Lois Lane – Seen with Clark in Smallville, but she is killed in Metropolis by the Parademon invasion of the Apokolips War. then we find that Sloan was the one who commissioned her to be turned into Red Tornado.  Read Earth 2 #27 for more.
  • Helena Wayne – Flashback shows her eating with Bruce and Selina. Then, she and Bruce take down Accountability.  She, Kara, Bruce, Diana, and Clark meet in the Arkham World Army Base to discuss their counterattack against the Parademons.  There’s a panel that shows Selina being killed by a Parademon pretty gruesomely, which differs from the story we got in Worlds’ Finest #0.  Read Earth 2 #27 for more.
  • Jay Garrick – Flash takes a backseat in this issue, he is seen looking for his mom in the safe zones scattered around the country.
  • The Graysons – YEAH I SAID IT! THE GRAYSONS ARE HERE! Dick is working as a journalist in Chicago, and is in a civilian safe zone. His wife – BARBARA! – is a police officer and also alive.  They are safe with their son Johnny.
  • Kendra Munoz-Saunders – Hawkgirl is shown with Khalid Ben-Hassin in a flashback, and is currently searching for survivors and leading the recovery missions. She meets up with Doctor Fate.
  • Khalid Ben-Hassin – Doctor Fate is spewing nonsense again. Let’s have a listen, shall we?  (I’m not going to write it all out, but it seems like another prophecy)
  • Jimmy Olsen – Accountability was the one who helped uncover Terry Sloan’s plans and was trying to get out the word about him but was taken down by Bruce and Helena. He apparently developed the virus that Bruce used to defeat Steppenwolf the first time.
  • Val-Zod – Superman 2 is in the background for the most part. Read Earth 2 #27 for more.
  • Karen Starr – Powergirl is in the background for most of this. Read Earth 2 #27 for more.
  • Captain Atom – Missing an arm, but alive.
  • Red Arrow – Dead (did you think I was going to shock you?!)
  • Sand Man – Alive, searching for Terry Sloan
  • Marella – Aquawoman and Queen of Atlantis is barely seen.
  • Oliver Queen – YEP! HIM TOO! Green Arrow is missing, but I think that’s explained in Future’s End? I…haven’t…been reading it…
  • Terry Sloan – This guy. The guy responsible for everything that’s gone wrong in this series is missing.  He’s also known as The Traveler (I think?) and there’s something big about him, but Apokolips and Earth seem to be playing to his tune.  I don’t like this guy.  About to be killed by Bedlam but something stops him.
  • Terrific – About to get killed by Bedlam, but something stops him.
  • The Grey – Grundy was working for Apokolips? That’s weird to me.

Here are the spoilers that don’t exactly relate to the Wonders or characters we’ve met so far, and for what’s to come going forward in World’s End.

Spoiler

  • DARKSEID’S COMING, and it feels like old Darkseid not New 52 Justice League
  • Next up for the Wonders are the Furies of Apokolips, akin to the Four Horsemen.

Recommended If…

  • You’ve been reading Earth 2
  • You…wait…you haven’t bought this?! Go! Now! Buy it! Read!

Overall:

At $2.99, this might be the most bang I’ve gotten for my buck in a long, long time.  A comprehensive break-down of everything that’s been going on in the past two years, backstory’s I’ve been dying to hear about, and the characters – Oh! The Characters! – push this story to the forefront of books I’ll be reading from now on.

SCORE: 9.5/10