Discovery Channel Presents: New Gods
I guess I understand that Worlds' Finest really is pretty much a spinoff of Earth 2, so it's not totally crazy for the villain issue for Worlds' Finest to be Earth 2... But like... Why couldn't Worlds' Finest just have its own villain issue? There's a lot of bizarre arbitrary oversimplification involved in Villains Month, and ironically it just made things 10x as complicated.
I was initially a bit excited about this issue. Despite Worlds' Finest being seven layers of awful, I know Paul Levitz can be a great writer. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, without the duo we might get a great story for a change. And honestly this issue wasn't bad. It just wasn't exactly great either, I finished it feeling incredibly neutral.
Things started off really well. The opening narration is very telling about the character in a variety of ways, in terms of abilities and a deeper subconscious level of his motivations; but once everything's all well and established, nothing else really goes anywhere. We see Desaad working on his big plan, but it's nothing new to anyone who's been reading Worlds' Finest. He wants to get back to Earth 2.... or whatever other dimension Apokolips is in or whatever. In fact, since the New 52 the true nature of Apokolips and its location has been really vague and confusing to piece together. Is there only one in the multiverse or is this just Earth 2's Desaad? I'm definitely leaning towards the former, but I find that a bit underwhelming.
The problem with Desaad in this issue is that depth of his abilities are very ill-defined. At first it seems he's a bit overpowered, and can control people completely down to the soul upon instantly meeting them; but later it appears the brainwashing process is far more involved. And what's the deal with the artist? I don't understand what the deal is at all with his powers.
But the bigger problem is how pointless is all feels in the end. There's no real new information on what he's been doing all this time. In fact it makes his activities in Earth Zero feel almost mundane and routine. And his endgame is what we already knew. I was hoping maybe we'd gain a deeper insight into the character, but that kind of faded early on, and by the end of the issue I didn't feel like we had reached the end of some journey, even minor. It just ended. Like this was a chunk of a documentary or something. No real end or beginning because there was no real progression. Things just happened as they naturally do.
In Conclusion: 2/5
Also I must note, I liked the art, but it REALLY didn't look like Yildiray Cinar to me. Plus the colors were odd, almost like they were left unfinished before it went to print. Like, the colors are all there, but they feel like a step was missed in digitizing them or something or whatever. Either way, this issue feels so meaningless. It wasn't a story so much as observations. It made space-god-supervillain activities almost mundane, and that's impressive in a way, but ultimately makes for a bland and empty final product.