We have reached just about the halfway point of Earth 2: World’s End’s run, and there is a great deal that still has to be resolved before the dust has settled between the Wonders of Earth 2 and the forces of Apokolips. This issue picks up where last issue left off, and now more than ever I wish that I could skip forward in time and just read Daniel Wilson’s story in trade form.
Apokolips: Remember the end of last issue? When Khan was gallantly ready to charge his ship full of explosives at Darkseid and end his reign of terror once and for all? Yeah that ended about as well as you could imagine. Khan doesn’t get within a mile of Darkseid before he Omega-Beams him into oblivion.
Beneath Oklahoma City: Atom is dead. Mark it down, because everyone just sort of skims over the fact that one of the Wonders sacrificed himself after being comatose for five months’ worth of issues. Hawkgirl, Flash, and Major Sato are busy setting up Atom’s Haven when Sato gets word from Accountability that Khan is dead. Flash has an idea on how to stop the Furies.
Chicago: Dick Grayson and Ted Grant stand on a building looking out over the aftermath of the tidal wave that swept through Chicago, looking despondent. Their budding bro-ness is a delight to read, with all the clichés of an action movie that I personally love. Ted spends three hours (that’s what the time stamp says) training Dick, teaching him how to fight and survive in the new, chaotic world around them. They reach a subway station that supposedly has a train that will take them to the World’s Army bunker, but apparently the train is derailed. This is the same train that Constantine and Dick’s son were on, but we’re left with the fleeting image of Grayson and Grant rushing underground.
Geneva Firepit: The Wonder Squad is still busy fighting Desaad’s shape-shifting weapons that he developed from the strength of Wildcat, the Avatar of the Red. Clark is badly injured and Thomas takes him aside to attend to him. Thomas brings up needing Miraclo again and Clark says that the pipes that power the firepit are full of Clark’s blood. So, logically, Thomas breaks open a pipe and injects himself with Clark’s blood. I can’t wait to see Thomas shoot laser beams out of his eyes.
Siberia: The Avatars are still battling the Furies, who have started laying waste to Russia. Helena is looking more and more inhuman with each issue, which doesn’t bode well for her going forward. Alan calls on the Parliament of Elements to give them as much strength as they can to battle the Furies. I know that these Furies are supposed to be four of the five or six best warriors on Apokolips, but Doctor Fate beat one in literally two pages.
Apokolips Slums: Mr. Miracle, Mr. Terrific, Fury, and Sandman are busy planting the nuclear devices around Apokolips. They must manually activate the devices, which causes Mr. Terrific to come up with some insane idea about how those glow pad-things that the warriors of Apokolips stand on. I’m going to throw it in the Spoilers, but the nuke goes off.
I am well aware that the majority of the artistic team has not been changed from the first issue of World’s End, but I also can’t help but swoon over the art these last three issues. From the covers, which exude war propaganda/movie poster awesomeness, to the varied artistic styles in each section, my opinion of the artwork has skyrocketed. Kirkham et al. do an excellent job with the distribution of labors and choosing which art style goes with each section. The gritty style of the Chicago sections would not work in, say, the Firepit storyline. The vibrancy of the Siberian battle, the more “generic” comic book feel of the Flash/Hawkgirl scenes, and the havoc of the Firepit all come together in a symbiotic palette that raises the fractured narrative.
- Flash’s plan to stop the Furies involves interrogating the previous Famine, who was defeated by Doctor Fate. He and Hawkgirl come across the emaciated husk of what used to be Famine in the ruins of London, though whether or not she is alive is left unclear.
- Alright, so apparently the light disc things that Mr. Miracle and Fury stand on are actually little doorways to other universes that the Apokolipsians stand on. So they are little doorways into the multiverse (I hate that explanation). Now that opens up a thousand questions: What if they’re standing on air or water? What if something else is standing there? Are we all just at the whims of the randomized nature of the Apokolips light disc things? I’m scared now.
Favorite Quote: “Every cell in my body hurts.” – Dick Grayson
- You’re investing in World’s End.
- You have been enjoying this new art team.
- You’ve been waiting for the casualties to start piling up.
Overall: Storylines have begun converging, and with only three more months left the pace of World’s End better pick up soon. I’ve enjoyed the new artistic direction and the narrative has improved, but I can’t shake the feeling that this whole series could go very wrong very quickly.