Well, the steam had to run out some time.  After a strong start, a few of the cracks in the quality of the earlier issues have become full-fledged problems.  This is just my personal observation from my limited reading of Future’s End and to a greater extent Batman Eternal, but these weekly books suffer from the desire to fit too much into each issue.  Do I really care about what Jimmy Olsen is up to when War is mind-controlling three of our Wonders to fight Batman and Zod?  Not unless it’s incredibly important, and honestly, it usually isn’t.

World’s End has the clichéd dilemma of too many chefs in the kitchen, or too many creative directions and minds for one book.  Some have criticized the previous issue for feeling scattered and unfocused, though I believed that for what was going on in the book the hectic tone was a good thing.  Now we have a solid moment to hang on to, War fighting the new Wonders, but it still feels rushed and thin.  I would have loved if we could have seen the entire fight with War and the Wonders in one mini-arc.  Anyway, here’s the breakdown by characters and setting.

Outside Geneva:

Batman and Zod are battling War, Red Tornado, Huntress, and Powergirl, when War just decides to pull the classic villain move of “I’m going to leave you here for my minions to deal with instead of just killing you myself.”  They never learn.  Red Tornado Lois does some sort of system reboot and then breaks War’s control over Huntress and Powergirl.  There are some little tidbits here about the Furies’ plan, but mostly just action.

Amazonia:

The World’s Army, Sloan, Mr. Terrific, Khan, and Major Sato are all just hanging out monitoring the battles while Sandman questions Mr. Miracle.  Apparently, Apokolips is still on course for Earth 2, and there’s 23 days until Apokolips’ arrival.  Accountability also has a conversation with some hidden tech and it sets up another cool cameo.  (Spoilers)

Chicago:

The Grayson’s are experiencing life in a refugee camp.  It’s a weirdly plotted scene.

London/Rio/Atlantis:

There’s Doctor Fate, Hawkgirl, Green Lantern, Aquawoman, and SEE THE SPOILERS.

Now, I’m not going to tell Daniel H. Wilson how to write a story, but I can already tell that this comic is going to suffer from my patented “Anime Multiple Fight Problem.”  This is when a whole bunch of fights are going on at the same time, and the writer has to take one of two paths.  They can either jump between each one, having each fight run concurrently.  This allows each story to be told in equal amounts, but it can be jerky and stilted and toss the reader’s attention.  The other method would be to play out on fight at a time: take a few issues for each Fury “GL vs. Famine” would take x number of issues, “Aquawoman vs. Death” would take x number.  This would allow characters to have their own arcs and focus on individual fights, as long as the writer does not drag out the fight. *coughcough*DragonBallZ*coughcough*  I personally hope they choose the latter, though the former seems more of the direction they’re going in.

Even with the incredibly misleading cover – Hawkgirl and Doctor Fate are in about four panels – and the rushed, stretched story, the artwork is easily the biggest detriment to this issue.  Having an entire team working on one issue has its benefits in terms of time restraints and meeting deadlines, but it creates a jarring effect and lessens the quality of art.  The one page with Dick and Barbara in particular are totally different from what comes before and after it, and it just doesn’t feel right.  It’s as if the creative team said “Oh yeah, we introduced the Graysons, we should bring them up again,” and sort of just threw it in there.  Barrows et al are lacking when it comes to facial construction this issue, and every character looks like they have these unnatural faces and dispositions.  Inconsistent artwork is an almost unavoidable result of having so many artists on one team, especially if their styles do not flow well.  That splash page of Green Lantern was super awesome though.

Spoiler

  • Throwback Moment: Reread Earth 2 #13 (I think, whichever one introduces Steel) because I believe that will come into play. It’s hinted at in this issue.
  • Jimmy talks to a Mother Box, and we have an android/robot-with-a-human-brain Jonathan Crane! That looked pretty…weird.
  • Nabu no longer wants Khalid to be Doctor Fate, and is looking for a new host. Guess who pops on the scene in London?  None other than Constantine!  More people in this series!
  • Barda breaks Mr. Miracle out of jail and it looks like the World’s Army won’t appreciate that.
  • Green Lantern is a beast.
  • So Death took control of all of the Atlanteans and is using them to fight Aquawoman it seems.

Favorite Quote: “Great.  He’s moved on from one word answers.  Now he’s a poet.” – Accountability

Recommended If…

  • You’ve been keeping up with Earth 2 and Earth 2: World’s End.
  • You want to see what every single character has been up to.
  • You don’t mind a lot of setting up.

Overall:

Definitely the weakest of the three issues so far, the melding of artists is the biggest knock on World’s End so far.  For a weekly book, I expected there to be a lot of setting up and a bunch of issues where “nothing happens.”  Perhaps I’m just not used to it yet.

SCORE: 5/10