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What's Wrong With The Huntress And Power Girl In The 'New 52'?

Here's why the series just doesn't stack up to what we had hoped.

The launch of WORLDS' FINEST came with DC's "second wave." It was a series that followed the six-issue release of The Huntress' self-titled miniseries drawn by Marcus To (which was gorgeous) and written by writer Paul Levitz, the current writer for WORLDS' FINEST. The story brought these two ladies together, and it was one comic that a lot of DC fans were excited about. It was the series that was meant to re-introduce both Power Girl and The Huntress to the DC Universe not only as the awesome characters that they are, but also too really great, kick-butt friends. A lot of people had high expectations for this series -- myself included -- and have been left wanting, a lot. For a lot of reasons, this series just isn't holding up.

The first four issues of WORLDS' FINEST were rather strange. In them, we saw the two ladies team up to battle the Irradiated Man who supposedly had some ties to Earth 2. Meanwhile, DC had released an EARTH 2 self-titled series by James Robinson (which is pretty great, mind you) but the two books are completely disconnected. Not only is WORLDS' FINEST disconnected from EARTH 2 continuity, it feels disconnected from the rest of the DC Universe as well. It feels like it's in its own little corner of the DCU, and not in a good way.

== TEASER ==

It was not until the "0" issue of the series that things began to feel cohesive; interesting even. In this issue we got a closer look at both the back story of The Huntress and Power Girl and we caught a glimpse at the relationship between The Huntress and Earth 2 Catwoman and Batman; her parents. It's a great series of panels that not only showcases the parent/child relationship between Batman, Catwoman and Huntress; but it depicts a real love between Batman and Catwoman. I for one so wanted to see more of these relationships play out. This issue was the gem; the redeeming issue of the series thus far. Everything before it had been sub-par. This story -- the origin of Power Girl and The Huntress; the story of the moment they first met and the building up of their friendship is what readers want to see. They don't want to see four issue of battling the "Irradiated Man." Who cares about that, anyway?

In the fifth issue of WORLD'S FINEST it seemed that both Huntress and Power Girl had gotten a few steps closer to finding their way back home to Earth 2. The discovery of the Boom Tube and the research on the device is featured here, at the very start of the issue. Yet Power Girl quickly realizes that getting home won't be so easy in a scene that feels forced and relatively contrived. Now, every character is going to sound different to the individual reader. The way I hear Power Girl may not be the same way someone else hears her character, but this to me, just doesn't feel like her.

I've said it before in my reviews of this series, and I'll say it again. There's nothing wrong with Power Girl's old costume. I really felt it was okay for PG to show cleavage with the hole in her suit if it meant that in her comic she would be treated with a certain level of dignity; which is what we had in Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray's self-titled POWER GIRL series. I would argue that Power Girl is more "cheesecake" now than ever before, and it's getting ridiculous. The fact that her suit is torn to shreds in every issue seems to be some kind of running joke -- and it's getting really tired. It feels like the writer doesn't have respect for the character. What other purpose does her character serve aside from being there to get naked? It feels tawdry. For whatever reason, rather than giving PG her old costume back, someone feels it's more interesting to tear up her new one.

The thing is, Power Girl didn't need an explanation for the costume she wore before because her character exuded so much confidence that it didn't matter -- and that's what was great about her. And if her clothes did happen to come off her body in that series it wasn't done in a way that felt tawdry. She was comfortable with her body, and when you read her book, she didn't feel cheap. That might be because she was just written so intelligently. In her previous series, PG started her own company; Starrware Labs which she financed herself. And although she may not have been a wiz-kid at science, she was still portrayed as this really intelligent entrepreneur -- which is what made her a strong female character. Her series was just a lot of fun, and the decisions she made in the comic made sense. Now, there's just a lot less of that. Yet, it's not just her costume that's the problem. It seems Miss. Starr can't get anything done without being "distracted," which sort of cheapens her character.

Yet, there are problems that go beyond costume changes and a lack of character back-story explanation. This is also about exploring the relationship between these two characters as friends. So far we've been told that both Power Girl and Huntress are close friends in recent issues, but it doesn't really feel real. It feels kind of forced.

So what needs to change in order for this book to be better? Well for starters, give Power Girl a flame-retardant suit. There's no reason she should be having her suit torn off or burned off in every issue. It cheapens her character and it feels ridiculous. Next, explore the way these two women became friends. There has to be more to how these two became such close friends that goes beyond Power Girl saving The Huntress. Explore their individual back-stories. These are clearly not the girls we knew and loved pre- 'New 52,' so explore who they actually are. Finally, make it feel cohesive. Connect the story to the rest of the universe. If these things are done, then there's still hope for this comic.

What do you think of WORLD'S FINEST? Have you been enjoying the series, or have you found it to be lackluster?

131 Comments Refresh
Posted by TheCrowbar

THANK YOU! I love PG but this series was such a joke. I'd rather it cancelled then continued.

Posted by Pokeysteve

I loved the #0 issue and how they met and all but you're right and the series is really missing something. I picked it up to get my Huntress fix and was never that fond of PG. Helena Wayne seems more timid and weak compared to the bad ass that is....was, Bertinelli. I miss that Huntress. World's Finest Huntress doesn't have that edge.Like she could snap and kill a bunch of people if pushed.

And yeah what's up with Karen's cloths getting ripped? Does she not have the protective aura that Kara and Clark have or what!

Posted by Mercy_

This article gets all of the awards.

I was so looking forward to this series despite it not being Bertinelli, but it's fallen flat at every turn. I dropped after the second issue and have no regrets. The 0 issue was admittedly great, but everything else is mediocre at best. This book was going to have to be AMAZING to assuage my mourning for Ms. Bertinelli and to say that it has fallen short is quite a bit of an understatement.

Moderator Online
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Unfortunately I have to agree with you. The series didn't really start to get interesting until issue zero when we finally saw some cohesive look into Helena's and Karen's backgrounds and how they came to be. It linked to other things going on in Earth-2 and everything made sense. Sadly I think what is being done here with World's Finest is an attempt to give continuity and linkage to not only the Huntress: Crossbow at the Crossroads six issue miniseries storyline, but also to the 8-issue Mister Terrific limited series that had come out when New 52. Mainly the mission of the two of them trying to find a way back to Earth-2 is what's taking up the mission and its interfering in the chemistry the two characters should be having together. Wardrobe issues aside as well as image, the first four issue arc just wasn't that exciting to me even if I was mildly curious about how Irradiated Man came across Apokolips tech. Only when Helena and Karen are back in Earth-2 will the story really take off I say...or unless we find something to have Helena and Karen of Earth-2 come into contact with Earth-0 characters in the meantime. Otherwise then its like you said, a book that's like crooked up in its own corner, and not in a good way. I'm still on board with the title though, hoping it gets out of its funk soon.

Posted by Teerack

Does batman know Huntress is his daughter from another dimension? Also wasn't their a earth 1 huntress series? Did she die or something? Or are they just two huntresses walking around?

Edited by hyenascar

The idea of a Bruce Wayne and Selina daughter should be more than enough excitement. I have wanted to see issues where she met them on the new 52 world. I haven't been keeping up with the book because i saw the first book in comic store and was not impressed. I loved Cassandra Cain, and I feel that her and Helena would be a lot alike. Maybe that's why they don't have a spot for Cassandra in the comics yet.

Posted by mpierce2690

I think that we're going in the right direction because we're about to get a Helena/Damian meeting in the near future, but what this series really needs is to end the "we need to get back to Earth-2" storyline. That's really hurting the story because it's not moving the characters forward development wise to have them constantly whining about it. I think, and bare with me as I say this, it's Power Girl holding the story back.

Don't get me wrong, Power Girl is an awesome character. Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray killed it with her solo series. They proved that this character is great in her own right, and doesn't need the House of El typical story lines to make her interesting. This Power Girl needs for them to find out there is no going back, accept that she is on Earth-1 to stay, and then mature into the Power Girl we know and love.

I don't want this story canceled, it has soooooo much potential.

Edited by ForeverMan

I think the biggest problem has been the pacing of the story. The fight with Hakkou could have done its job in 1/2 - 2 issues.

I also find Perez's art hit and miss from panel to panel in this.

Posted by longbowhunter

As a die hard JLI fan it breaks my heart that Kevin Maguire is drawing a comic for DC that I have zero interest in reading.

Posted by charlieboy

I actually like the book and am thrilled Helena Wayne is back. I do agree that Power Girl is different than her previous incarnation. But I don't hate her.She just hasn't matured into the woman she is going be. Not to mention her origin is a lot different now. So she is going to be different. I also love the art in this series.

Posted by Soldier zero

I think that the biggest flaw of this series is that (aside from #0) it feel like all build-up. While the art is good the story drags itself to a slugish pace with few interesting highlights. The various scenes where the ladies try to get along with Earth 1 are usually pretty good (I loved seeing Huntress at the "Take Back the Night" rally), but they are only inserts. The overall theme seem to be on the backburner.

Given that I'll keep buying this series a litle longer to see where is headed, but so far I'm not that impressed.

Posted by Fantasgasmic

I agree. There are PARTS of the new Huntress and Power Girl book that are absolutely BRILLIANT, but those parts can't carry the series.

Edited by FoxxFireArt

Always love your editorial work, Sara.

I love this picture by Adam Hughes

It does seem seriously contrive that you go to such an extent to redesign Power Girl's costume then go about destroying it in every issue. Yet, Superman gets a Kryptonian suit of armor on top of his indestructible skin.

DC likes to say that they don't listen to all the complaints and talk, but this seems like evidence that they do. Why else even redesign the outfit? They probably felt they were placating the haters of Power Girl's boob window, but just ended up making more people upset. Sometimes, you really have to wonder the process that DC uses to pick creative teams to work on a book,

That scene between Selina and Bruce is nice. They seem like a much better couple. I never quite got why Bruce was into Talia, but that's a separate issue.

Posted by Rumble Man

@FoxxFireArt: It was RIP cleavage, but I did not expect characterization to fall down as well in the beginning

Posted by Herx

i think im hearing an echo in this forum as i also only belived that the series only got interesting at issue zero. Before then it was just bland and uninteresting. The get back to earth 2 stroy push is a nice idea, but it should be more of a secondary overarching plot that carries on over the smaller plots brought to the forward. As for the costume redesigne i compleatly agree. Sure some people would say that having a suite with a hole expossing clevage is somehow disrespectfull but the character was writen competantly then and it pretty much felt like "yeh we all know the jokes, we're not going to hide it but we also know how much of a great character she is. So character first jokes later". But here, tearing up her costume all of the time (esspecially around the old window area) almost feel like a "wink, wink. nudge, nudge, see what we did there *giggle*" moment. It's not funny or respectfull as it's the joke being writen first before the character. Plus it confuses me (now that i think about it) where is Karens Earth-2 supergirl costume? I mean THAT should be fire resistant and, well, tear resistant as it's kryptonian ware (sure maby on earth-1 it doesnt share the compleatly same properties as Supermans armour or supergirls but it has to be better than what she's waring now right?) so all they hade to do was tweek it a bit and change it's colour to white. Now i do like Levitz work (BIG Legion of super-heroes fan here) and i do know that he can write characters, drama and action, but i think that he's been given the plan of "all their storys must involve them strying to get back to earth-2" with no place to explore anything else. What are their social lives like? How different are both of their lives now? throw in the little normal situation jokes. The series could have been worse, but at the moment it's just boring and fans of these characters know that they can (and have) been written 100 times better and more interesting than this.

Posted by sethysquare

do not agree. sorry.

Edited by MikeStark

I agree, great article Sara.

Posted by RedQueen

I agree completely. Had such high hopes for this series. Been a bit of a disappointment really, to put it mildly. Issue 0 was great though...we need more of that, more of Helena and Karen being, simply, friends.

Posted by Animelee

Hey Sara. I do agree that the first four issues were pretty bland and definitely drawn-out. I did love the flashback scenes in those issues however. The #0 was phenomenal! I have issue #5 here, but I haven't read it yet; I'll be reading it later today. One of the reasons I'm holding on is because of local Toronto artist's Marcus To's work on the miniseries, and the solicitations for November and December make me excited to see the dynamic between Helena and Damian, half-siblings from different dimensions! It's the main reason I've held on. The solicitation for January's issue starring Karen seems a bit generic, but I'll read it before I decide to drop the series or not. Great article though, but I disagree about her old suit. The new one, even with it's much-to-be-desired design and propensity to rip to shreds for idiotic and pedantic reasons, makes more sense in practicality. Here's hoping her cousins and self (Kara Zor-El) from Earth Zero can hook her up with some of that Kryptonian armor. :)

Posted by kagato

I really havent been feeling this series at all and im pretty much ready to drop it, on a purely visual side i hate Powergirls new costume, its almsot as bad as Earth 2's Flash, looks like some kind of Olympic tracksuit. Beyond that i just find both of them really dull, they exist in the DCU but you never get the feeling that its the same world that everyone else lives on. Would Superman or the JL really ignore a giant radioactive monster rampaging through Tokyo? It really feels like the writer is struggling to do anything interesting with them, dont know if thats because they have been given boundries they need to stay inside or because they are just bad at writing but i often find myself being distracted by anything whilst reading it, just dosent hold my attention.

Personally i hope they get back to Earth 2 sooner rather than later and James Robinson can do something interesting with them, whenever the current arc is done im out. Not since Red Lanterns have i read a book that nothing of any real importance actually happens.

Edited by TheJokerha

I agree. Part of what I loved about Power Girl is her self confidence and levelheadedness.She knew who she was, and if you liked her great. If you didn't, leave her the hell alone. But she wasn't going to change herself to please someone else.

Back when the Justice League was played for laughs a few decades ago, she was in it. And Booster Gold and Ted Kord's Blue Beetle were pretty adolescent when it came to Power Girl. to say nothing of Guy Gardner. Yet she shrugged it off, occasionally growled at them to tell them not to push it, and didn't give a damn. And she was the smartest of the group save Batman.

I don't miss the silliness of that run but I do miss that version of PG. And I guess I'm to set in my ways because the white one peice with the window just feels right to me. To me, this version feels like some other character using her name.

Posted by BumpyBoo

@Mercy_ said:

This article gets all of the awards.

I was so looking forward to this series despite it not being Bertinelli, but it's fallen flat at every turn. I dropped after the second issue and have no regrets. The 0 issue was admittedly great, but everything else is mediocre at best. This book was going to have to be AMAZING to assuage my mourning for Ms. Bertinelli and to say that it has fallen short is quite a bit of an understatement.

Whole-heartedly seconded.

Posted by ScarlettLynn

I enjoy the book & the friendship they have in it. Yes, I think the #0 issue has been the best of the series to date, but all-in-all I've liked all the other issues too. Karen has her own company in this world too, and unlike in her last series, she hasn't run it into the ground because she didn't pay attention to it.

Posted by Rise2Ragnarok

Power Girl is one of my favorite characters in comics, and sadly every month this series just keeps getting lower and lower on my stack. Great article Sara, I agree with everything you say here.

Posted by Dernman

I would cancel it if I had the power.

Posted by Eyz

Kevin Maguire should have drawn the entire thing :P Don't mind me, I do live Perez art, quite a lot.

But'd have preferred this series to be light, simple, fun - with Maguire fully in control.

Posted by Ravager4

Cold not agree more with this article. This new Power Girl doesn't feel like Power Girl at all, but rather some kind cheap imitation. And don't get me started on the mistreatment of Bertinelli...

Posted by Target_X

I have to agree with everything here except I do like the new outfit. I haven't got anything against the old one, but the new one isn't as bad as everyone makes out. Well, except for her hair. I do agree that it's pointless to have a new outfit that covers her if you're just going to shred it to pieces though. -.-

Posted by Faceman

YES. For starters, PG's new costume is really weak. Looks like it was designed by a focus group, bring back the old uniform. It was far more distinctive, and the chest hole doesn't have to be freaking massive. I only invested in the first 3 issues of World's Finest because the writing was so unengaging. Had to force myself to read it each month and found I kept moving it to the bottom of my stack if favour of other, more engaging reads. Funny, I bought the first 3 issues of the Huntress mini and got bored with it as well even though it looked beautiful. Guess I'm just not a Paul Heyman Levitz guy. I'd like to see the guys that write Supergirl get a crack at it. SG is one of my favorite new 52 titles. The Grey/Palmiotti team is really good too.

Posted by theTimeStreamer

the only great issue in this series was the 0 issue. everything else mediocre. blame the writer.

Posted by CaseyJustice

Yeah... yeah. Love the artists on this book (Perez can do no wrong, in my heart) but the plot and the relationship really aren't going anywhere. Even the action isn't as much fun as I'd hoped.

And god yes, what is up with destroying her costume every issue? You give her a new costume, and spend every issue showing that it's useless?

I will say, however, that the vehement defense of her old costume has always confuses to me. It's a weird form of comics apologetics, where folks try desperately to justify this strong, complex character's choice to wear a dominatrix leotard whenever she leaves the house. The very fact that every other issue of a PG book features our hero explaining why she wears it to someone else is very telling.

Posted by brightstarr731

The story sucked, and the art was atrocious! I stopped reading after two issues.

Posted by The Stegman

There are many things wrong with the series as Babs said

1.Good idea for a story, but bad execution

2. Poor dialogue

3. Lame villain

4. Horrendous art

However, the change of costume really doesn't bother me. I mean, I didn't find anything particularly wrong with Power Girl's old costume, but some people are throwing fits about the costume as if it's the sole condemning thing about the title. The costume is literally the least of this title's concerns.

Posted by pspin

Honestly the costume change was fine, her clothes get destroyed every issue anyway. The problem is that out of the six issues that have come out, four have basically been filler issues. The fist issue and zero issue were good everything else is not needed to understand the story. They need a villain or else it is over.

Great article by the way!

Posted by TheMess1428

@Teerack said:

Does batman know Huntress is his daughter from another dimension? Also wasn't their a earth 1 huntress series? Did she die or something? Or are they just two huntresses walking around?

We assume that Batman doesn't know because he doesn't know that Earth 2 exists. As for the other Huntress, it is explained that it was Helena Wayne posing as Helena Bertinelli as one of her many personas she has adopted so that she can pass off as a citizen of Earth-Prime. She is the only Huntress in existence so far in the New 52.

Posted by theTimeStreamer

@Teerack: the mini series with huntress was while she was still on her earth. and no batman doesnt appear to know of her but she has been taking money from his accounts. i dont imagine how he wouldnt know. probably saving it for a good issue.

Posted by Skogen

I fail to understand the reasoning behind making the first 5 issues filler. It's almost as if they want the book to fail.

Posted by notarandomguy

@longbowhunter said:

As a die hard JLI fan it breaks my heart that Kevin Maguire is drawing a comic for DC that I have zero interest in reading.

I feel the same way, but this series CAN be better, the art is gorgeous !!! if they change the writer it could work... I've never liked him anyway nor his work in Legion Of Super Heroes

Posted by Slugg22

It's got great potential, but I feel like I've been waiting and waiting for this series to get started and actually go somewhere. Also, am I the only one who thought Bruce and Selina looked like vampires or members of The Addams Family in the zero issue?

Posted by Fhiz

What's wrong is Paul Levitz's writing is REALLY boring and is squandering something with great potential.

Posted by sunhawk

DC needs to drive a dump truck full of money to the houses of Conner, Palmiotti, and Gray to get them to save PG and Huntress from this hell the new 52 put them in.

Posted by RioBravo

They really need to bring back Power Girl's previous costume ASAP. The new one is just hideous.

Posted by Frobin

Totally agreed!

Posted by EdBlank

The old costume was perfect. The new one is lame. The boob window is awesome. Forget all the irony of it, it's a boob window: can't really go wrong. Almost EVERY comic character is peak human sexy, so I really don't see the issue.

Posted by whitelantern64

I loved issue zero, why wont they just send them back to Earth 2 already? then it might be a little more interesting or if not that then, i want huntress meeting up with batman and powergirl with supes of this earth. I think the thought of having batman dealing with damien his son here and huntress, the alternate daughter that he had in parallel universe would be fun to play with, not to mention watching damien and huntress deal with sibling rivalry would be very interesting.The moment that they do either of those 2 things, that's the moment that I try this series again.

Posted by SlickyMike88

I really enjoyed the power girl comic written by Gail Simone and art by Amanda Conner , that was SO MUCH FUN. Worlds finest is so boring and goes nowhere :P So I dropped the comic, waiting for someone intresting to write it ,like Gail Simone and art by Amanda Conner:)

Posted by Mighty Thorion

Dropped the book after the 1st issue - there just wasn't enough to reel me back for more - and by the sound of some of these comments I may well have been right to do so.

Posted by Delphic

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS ARTICLE!!! I have been saying the exact same thing since the first couple of issues.

Edited by ThomasElliot

I have to point out... one third of this article is just about Power Girl's costume alone.

While I understand the readers/fans' issues w/ PG's costume, it really isn't a major factor of why the series is a bit lackluster so far.

The rest of the points are spot on... little to no connectivity to either universes. The problem really is the set-up is taking forever. Its basically a 4 issue 'introduction' that could have been done in 2.

Posted by ddrohan

Amen. I liked the #0 issue storyline but hated the artwork. It was too kiddy, like Superman Adventures or something. As far as finding the whole series lackluster? Yeah, I dropped it after #5.