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?