It is incredibly strange for someone who does not read much of the other weekly titles that World’s End can feel so fast-paced and yet have nothing happen.  There’s always a feeling that something is happening regardless of which one of the five alternating plots is consuming my attention at one particular moment, but by the end of the issue I’ve been left with a jumbled mess of things.  Some of the talk amongst casual Earth 2 and World’s End readers is that this would be best served as a massive trade paperback, and after a stellar start, I’m beginning to agree.  This appears to be a running theme with World’s End’s sister book Future’s End, and at times Batman Eternal.

“Gods & Monsters” consists of strange alliances, unexplained plot points, and a handful of moments that promise things to come next week.  One thing to note is the beyond misleading cover which, like last week, had pretty much nothing to do with this comic.  It’s bad when that’s a good thing, because the two pages involving Aquawoman felt tossed into this issue.  Then again, a lot of moments tend to come across as such in World’s End.  One wishes that Daniel H. Wilson would just grab a thread of this plot and stick to it in order to give us a deeper look into the machinations behind some of the book’s more interesting moments.

Barrows et al. do an above-average job on the artwork this week, which has a recognizable difference from the previous week’s work.  The amount of artists is still taking a toll on the book, with each section being drawn by separate designers.  Normally this does not cause too much of a disconnect from the reading experience, but some scenes, particularly the ones in Chicago, break the continuous creative flow.

Amazonia:

Mister Miracle, Barda, and Fury (who I thought was a villain but I guess isn’t anymore?) have broken out of World’s Army prison and are trying to find Miracle’s Mother Box.  The Box, however, has found its way into the possession of Accountability, and the Box can apparently purify people’s minds.  I don’t know what that means, but it sounds like an easy Get-Out-Of-Jail Card for removing Bedlam’s influence over the trio.  Also, to get the full breadth of this issue, you might have to have read Earth 2 #0 for Terry Sloan’s backstory.  The World’s Army, Sloan, Mr. Terrific, Accountability, and the Apokolips trio claim to know a way to stop Apokolips’ coming.

Outside Geneva:

It’s a shame when the part that has the most Wonders is the most scatterbrained and nonsensical.  Here’s a list of the stuff that makes no sense:

  • Val finds kale among the ruins of a destroyed and aflame Geneva, because remember that one time Kara made a joke about kale?
  • Val “studied science” which means he can create fully-functional combat suits from the rubble of C.E.R.N. for Thomas and Helena that withstand the radiations of Apokolips fire pits similar to the one Bruce made in Batman & Robin in two pages, because plot devices.
  • Desaad was just chilling in the fire pits since Helena and Kara got back to Earth 2, because we need a villain?

The Court of Apokolips:

There’s some craziness that’s going on with a bunch of characters I’m not aware of, but I was genuinely interested in what they were talking about.  Apparently there is this thing called a Hornblower which is on a collision course for Earth 2 and/or Apokolips, and whichever planet that this entity comes in contact with is destroyed.  So all of the Court is understandably concerned.  Also, Apokolips is some old man sitting on a throne and not just a planet.

Atlantis/Rio:

Aquawoman has some kind of super weapon from Atlantis to fight the Furies, and Death turned all of the Atlantians into her subjects off-panel and just left.  Green Lantern apparently smoked all the Apokolips soldiers in Rio, which would have been awesome to see if, you know, we were able to see it.  But before he can jet off to help the World’s Army, Grundy – who got off the Moon somehow – shows up to fight.

Chicago:

The most unnecessary part of this has the Grayson family dealing with life in a refugee camp.  There’s a scene that looks like Babs gets messed up pretty badly but I’ll take it as another allusion to previous comics that Earth 2 has been full of.

Spoiler

  • Nothing really to spoil here, I’m just coming around more and more to the idea that nothing has been happening in these issues. It’s a trend that I’d rather not have propagate.
  • Where’s Flash been? I get that Jay isn’t fighting anyone, but he’s my favorite character so I’m certainly biased.

Favorite Quote: “Only the weak flee.  The strong welcome death’s approach…” – Apokolips.

Recommended If…

  • You’ve been reading Earth 2 and World’s End.
  • You still don’t mind little happening.

Overall:

There has to be some way to get these weekly titles off the ground and have them be more accessible to readers who pick up each issue and do not want to wait for a trade book.  World’s End has not hit its stride yet after four issues, and the last two I’ve come away with a lot of sound and fury with little substance.

SCORE: 4/10