Let’s all face it, this hasn’t been the most stellar of books since the focus shifted from Huntress and Powergirl to Earth 2’s Batman and Superman. Hell, this might be one of the most underwhelming titles in all the New 52 that are still around, and the last two issues were proof enough for me that I should start grading on a curve. So this is the first review where I’ll implement the Worlds’ Finest Curve (WFC) that tries to remove all of my biases regarding the direction of this series and its – in my mind – lack of purpose.
Over the past two issues we have been entreated to a history of Earth 2’s Superman and Batman, as told in recordings by Red Tornado, formerly known as Lois Lane. Recording their tales might seem important to the woman who was a devoted wife to one and a friend of the other, which gives the story an interesting if not unique perspective when it comes to the narrator. She knows how the story ends, and it comes through in her narration.
A key piece of structure that has crippled this series from the outset has been its poor writing. I am unsure whether or not Paul Levitz made the creative choice to make Lois’ narration overdramatic and hyperbolic to show off the skills of the character or not, but it didn’t sit right with me as I was reading. Lois describing Catwoman and Batman in particular is not a thing of beauty, “Whoever she was, she had the confidence of a panther,” and “The alpha male in black wasn’t going to stop.” The exposition felt very grandiose and while not necessarily out of character for a reporter or someone telling a story, just wasn’t something I felt was a good direction.
I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the Bruce/Selina moments. There’s a few fun twists that I’ll throw in the Spoilers, but their relationship is by far the highlight of this new run.
Also, did I miss the lesson where we all find out Superman can speak Greek? Or that Lois was fast enough to grab on to Batman’s cape while he was running?
From the first few panels the artwork looked different from most comics today, and it took me a while to figure out what it was. Jed Dougherty’s art looks old, if that makes sense. Not that that is inherently a bad thing. There are times when the lack of detail and, at the risk of choosing the wrong analogy, coming off like Archie aren’t a bad thing in a DC comic. This is one of those times. Reading this issue felt like I had picked up a random issue of an older run, and I liked that.
The WFC must go in to effect, though. This issue was much better than the previous two, even with the sub-par writing. Maybe there is life for this book after all; I’ve only been viewing it as something other than a history lesson.
- That Apokolips woman shows up again. For some super-evil deity, she’s already failed killing Bruce and corrupting Clark like…three times.
- It was a nice twist to see that Selina was actually the wronged party when she stole those diamonds back, and that both Bruce and Selina knew each other’s secret identities.
- You want to look back at how the Wonders of Earth 2 got started.
- You like when artwork has an older feel to it.
- You enjoy Batman/Catwoman stories.
Overall: At least this book is moving away from any kind of origin story and is thankfully passing over how Clark met Bruce. There is no way this book will ever be groundbreaking or revelatory in any way, that’s just the nature of it. Providing an in-depth history into the destruction of Earth 2, however, holds some promise for entertaining story-telling.