With a new issue comes not only the slimmed-down creative team that I’ve been hoping for, but also a focused plot and a solid direction that sets the stage for the rest of World’s End.  This so far one-sided war between Earth 2 and Apokolips is but a mere sham for the true machinations at work behind the powers that be, and the direction that Daniel Wilson is going in could indeed result in a story of epic proportions.

The ending of last issue highlighted Mr. Miracle’s unwise choice to try and kill Darkseid using Mr. Terrific’s u-Spheres, which inadvertently freed him from the Heart of Apokolips.  The issue picks up at that spot, where Darkseid looks a little goofy, but immediate establishes himself as a terrifying combatant by taking it to his adopted son.  It seems like we’re going to get a 3-on-1 showdown in the heart of Apokolips, when Barda decides to turn on Miracle and Fury and align herself with Darkseid.  This felt somewhat forced and there was really no precedent for it, but hey, we needed to even the teams.

After the beatdown that Darkseid and Batman had in Batman & Robin earlier this week, it’s good to see him acting like a god for once and striking fear into the heart of someone like Mr. Miracle.  While the New 52 has not gone to great lengths to show the power of Darkseid, having imagery like Mr. Miracle literally running from him in terror like a child would run from an angry parent (making connections here) was a solid return to power.  Even the uSpheres, designed for killing gods, cannot bring down Darkseid.

With the focus on an imprisoned Mr. Miracle and a seemingly turncoat Fury trying to survive on Apokolips, Darkseid is without a doubt the focus of this issue.  His sheer strength, powers, and manipulative abilities are on full display as his forces lay siege to Earth 2.  As soon as the action ramps up though, it’s over.  Fury runs into Terry Sloan in some dark hallway.  It’s completely over the top cliché straight out an old noir film, but a circumstantial events that probably should never happen in real life are a necessary evil in such an expansive comic like World’s End.  Sure, we could spend a page showing Sloan sneaking around Apokolips, but that would just waste time.

His next actions reveal much about the direction of World’s End and raise some questions that will have to be answered going forward.  I’m actually incredibly excited about the ramifications to the news that Sloan brings, and it could lead to a truly unique story.

The biggest news from this issue has to be the defined creative team.  With Wilson running the story and Paulo Siqueira/Hi-Fi on the art, there is a narrative and artistic flow that has been missing from this series.  My biggest complaint has been about the lack of focus and a scattered story with inconsistent artwork.  This issue has both a coherent story and fantastic artwork!  Definitely a strong improvement and a step in the right direction going forward.

Spoiler

  • Alright, so apparently the invasion of Earth 2 is a cover for Apokolips and New Genesis to form a peace treaty. The two sides will have a truce as long as Apokolips only consumes Earth 2, which is designated as a “Feeder Universe.”  I think that solves the question that Apokolips isn’t from this universe and is indeed an independent entity.
  • Terry Sloan reveals himself to be The Traveler, which is still a pretty undefined thing. I don’t know what that entails other than him being some sort of celestial messenger.
  • The whole betrayal/not betrayal/redemption/betrayal thing felt rushed, but I was pretty cool with that.

Favorite Quote: “You were born a god, but I was something else…once.  I forged myself into a god.” – Darkseid.  (Totally reminded me of the “molded by it” line from Bane in TDKR)

Recommended If…

  • You’ve been waiting for this book to find its direction.
  • You’ve always wanted to see the inner workings of Apokolips.
  • You’re a Mr. Miracle fan. He’s pretty badass here.

Overall: Major changes and a stylistic overhaul that seemed long overdue contribute to the success of this issue.  For the first time since this series started, I’m looking forward to see where the endgame of World’s End is heading.  If it’s done properly, this book could live up to its promise of shaking the entire DC Universe.

SCORE: 8/10