It’s the final issue of World’s End, so of course the world has to end!  Or does it!?  No, it does.  And the best part is that “End Times” gives this rocky road a satisfying and powerful conclusion that leaves me full of genuine anticipation to read Convergence to hopefully find out the fates of many of the Wonders.  If the tagline for the upcoming DC event is that each world’s heroes deserve a chance to exist, I’ll place my support behind the Earth 2 Wonders against the best of them.

From the beginning of this book we know this is the last stand of Earth 2 and its Wonders, and the entire creative team comes together to produce something that feels very much like a desperate, chaotic battle.  What makes this different from many of the other issues that tried to match the same tone is that this time around, there is a definite purpose behind each character’s actions.  Things aren’t happening for the sake of happening.  Whether the improved quality in story-telling is thanks to some kind of recently renewed focus or the simple fact that Daniel Wilson and his writing team have almost double the space to work with is up for debate.  Either way, this issue reads smoothly and offers plenty of entertaining moments to enjoy.

While this is an ensemble series, this was without a doubt a Green Lantern issue.  We get one final stand for control of Earth 2 as Alan Scott unleashes his full power against Darkseid.  The two engage in a full-out, if criminally short, round of fisticuffs with Alan wielding the combined power of every Earth’s Green energy.  There is even the briefest of moments where one could convince themselves that maybe Alan will be able to pull off the upset and defeat the destructive deity, but if there has been one theme that has been done exceptionally well during this run it would be the sheer dominance of Darkseid.  By the time the dust settles, Earth 2 has fallen into the clutches of Apokolips.  Though one cannot be surprised, seeing as how we knew this would happen from the moment the series’ title was announced.

Here’s a question I found myself asking: If Alan Scott had the powers of all the Earths in the multiverse and still wasn’t enough to defeat Darkseid, just how powerful is he?  And on top of that, how powerful does that really make someone like Superman, who has been able to beat Darkseid in physical combat?  In the upcoming Darkseid War I would love some kind of explanation for how the Justice League was able to put him away so easily when the combined might of every Wonder couldn’t so much as slow him down.

Now this issue was by no means perfect.  There were a few of smaller arcs that probably should have been finished long before this.  Jay’s search for his mother was definitely one of these stories that took away from the overall narrative and cheapened both characters.  His mother comes off as suicidal and Jay spends most of the issue trying to get her onto a rescue ship.  It doesn’t make her much of a likeable character and does not make good use of Jay.  Also, Dick Grayson seemingly acquires more and more abilities as this series goes on.  He’s shown with some kind of massive wrench-thing fixing a giant gun for Batman to use, though where this journalist picked up military-grade engineering skills on the fly is beyond me.  I know he’s something of a fan favorite but I would have liked a different story for him than just pairing him with Thomas.  It just felt like the easy way out.

The artwork and panel-planning was also very hit or miss, contrary to the rather stellar work that we’ve been receiving from World’s End for the last month or so.  Just like how the story probably benefitted from the added pages, the art definitely took a hit.  What we get is too many artists using one too many different styles that ended up looking muddled and confusing at times.  It was painfully obvious when other artists or teams took over duty, and the varied level of skill and execution detracted from the overall reading experience.  There was also the problem of far too many location indicators in the top corners of certain panels.  In a normal issue, there might be three or four time/location stamps to guide the reader along.  Even in a book like World’s End that jumped across the globe, there would be a half-dozen at the most.  There are so many in this issue; sometimes two or three on the same page.

Even with these issues, I would suggest anyone who has been following Earth 2 or World’s End go out and pic this up.  It was a wonderful read that this title deserved to have every week.

Spoiler

  • Here are the definite Wonder survivors: Powergirl, Huntress, Red Tornado, Aquawoman, Jimmy Olsen, Hawkgirl, Red Arrow, and Steel.
  • Those missing in action include: Dick Grayson, Batman, Flash, Superman, Green Lantern, and Doctor Fate.

Favorite Quote: “No matter what happens here…I hope you remember how this feels, monster.  To be dominated instead of dominate.  To suffer as you have made so many others suffer.  To feel small.” – Alan Scott

Recommended If…

  • You want to read the epic conclusion of World’s End.
  • You’re a Green Lantern/Alan Scott fan.
  • You want to see Darkseid get tested for real for the first time in World’s End.

Overall:  I didn’t call this an “epic conclusion” for sensationalist reasons.  This issue is truly epic, and was such a joy to read that I went through it three times before writing this.  Although the artwork falters in the latter half, and there are some rushed character arcs that should have been taken care of way earlier than now, I suggest anyone who’s read Earth 2 or World’s End pick this up immediately.  It was well worth it.

SCORE: 8.5/10