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Worlds' Finest #4 - Rebirth, Conclusion Review

3

The conclusion of the "Rebirth" story-arc is here, and it leaves something to be desired.

The Good

I liked Kevin Maguire's pencils on the flashback scenes of this issue a lot -- I thought they were fun and fluid, even though there were moments where I felt I needed to go back and take a closer look at the panels to see what was going on (the ca scene comes to mind). George Perez's pencils, however, just aren't what they used to be, I guess. I love when emotions translate through the expressions and movement of the characters, and I did not get that in this at all.

The flashbacks are the best part about the issue. You get a sense for who these girls are and their relationship to one another -- and I think that's interesting. I also like the idea of these two powerful ladies, globetrotting across the world on a big adventure, but there's something about it that I am just not buying 100% of the time. I love the scene where Helena is reminiscing about her past and her parents -- it's a little bit sad. I think it's a great scene and I really hope that we do get to learn more about the identities of these girls -- where they come from, who they are and what they are struggling with internally.

The Bad

I really was not a big fan of George Perez's pencils on this issue. To me, they just weren't what they used to be, I guess. I love when emotions translate through the expressions and movement of characters, and I did not get that in this issue very much at all. The girls seemed expressionless and very stoic, and you could not tell what they are feeling through the art at all.

Did anyone else find that the Japanese sailors in this issue were less than a little bit articulate? Okay, for the record, when I read something printed between two angle brackets (like so: < >), I assume that what is being said in a word bubble by a character is a direct translation. So I have to ask: in Paul Levitz's mind, does Japanese just not smoothly translate to English?

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I did feel slightly curious reading the panel. To me, it's as though the Japanese sailors couldn't form proper sentences when the American sailors (shown later in the issue) seem to have no problem. I posted the panel in part to reference what I mean. If anyone's speech should appear "broken" it should be Huntress' and not the Japanese sailors since she is speaking to them in Japanese in this panel.

There were some other fundamental flaws in this issue, as well. The fight with the giant atomic bomb eating monster was just okay -- not really what I thought to be thrilling. Like I mentioned above, the best moments in this issue are the flashbacks.

Did anyone else also notice the strategic hole that tore through Power Girl's costume, smack dab in the middle of her chest? If we're going to see that, what's the point in changing her costume in the first place? There was really nothing wrong with the old one -- especially not after Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Amanda Connor got their hands on her. Enough of my reminiscing about a series that was really good, though.

I did see this mentioned elsewhere, and I think it's a good point. The entire last two pages of this issue outline all the problems that appeared in the book. Huntress is exposed to a massive amount of radiation...and she's okay? Yet when Power Girl is, she has problems? something just isn't right. Unless this is character development in the making, it's a huge oversight by Levitz. Also, why would he pinpoint the flaws with the issue?

The Verdict

I think that if a little bit more thought were put into this issue, it would be fantastic. There's so much potential here: a book featuring two really kick butt female heroes with interesting dialogue and banter? Sign me up, please! Yet even with all of that potential I feel like this book has some flaws, and that's unfortunate. I do hope that those flashback scenes are addressed in the series' zero issue and that things eventually pick up for the two ladies. They are great characters that a whole lot of us DC fans were missing from the relaunch of their universe, but the series -- as it is -- just isn't doing them the justice the deserve.

22 Comments
Posted by CODYSF

God I hope this comic get cancelled quick and just bring the better costume for PG.

Posted by Gordo789

I'm a huge Power Girl fan and really want this comic to be great but am just not feeling it. I think you hit the nail on the head with this review, Babs, this book just screams wasted potential. I think you might be reading too much into the dialog there with the Japanese sailors, it doesn't seem broken to me so much as it does just bad. I think it's the way the sailor says "away from here," which doesn't make any sense to us but in a nautical context "away" seems like a perfectly reasonable way to say "get the ship out of here." As for her costume, I was actually really happy to see the return of the boob window, if only briefly. I loved her old costume and hope this is a hint that she'll be changing back to something similar in future issues. Lastly, the way all of the ridiculous events of the previous issues just wrapped up neatly on the last page was pretty lame, and even if there are going to be answers coming in future issues I'd rather not have answers to what are basically stupid questions.

I might pick up the next issue if it looks good, but if it's more sub-par stuff I think I'm out.

Posted by Rise2Ragnarok

@Gordo789 said:

I'm a huge Power Girl fan and really want this comic to be great but am just not feeling it. I think you hit the nail on the head with this review, Babs, this book just screams wasted potential. I think you might be reading too much into the dialog there with the Japanese sailors, it doesn't seem broken to me so much as it does just bad. I think it's the way the sailor says "away from here," which doesn't make any sense to us but in a nautical context "away" seems like a perfectly reasonable way to say "get the ship out of here." As for her costume, I was actually really happy to see the return of the boob window, if only briefly. I loved her old costume and hope this is a hint that she'll be changing back to something similar in future issues. Lastly, the way all of the ridiculous events of the previous issues just wrapped up neatly on the last page was pretty lame, and even if there are going to be answers coming in future issues I'd rather not have answers to what are basically stupid questions.

I might pick up the next issue if it looks good, but if it's more sub-par stuff I think I'm out.

I'm very much feeling the same thing that you are. Being a huge PG fan myself, reading it just feels weird. Wasted Potential for sure.

And thank you so much Sara, I was beginning to think I was the only one who just wasn't feeling Perez's pencils. I really hope this books picks up after this first arc. Dropping a book with Power Girl in it would be a huge bummer.

Posted by xAnimosity

My girlfriend has been picking this up each month, so I have been reading. It has been decent but not enough to pull me in. If she wasnt buying it, I wouldnt be reading it.

Posted by JayMar89

this issue was ok i hope it picks up and dose not get cancelled and with PGs costume destoryed hopefully she gets a different one

Posted by blindisaac

Japanese doesnt translate directly to English in many situations as with many languages and vice-versa.

Posted by No_Name_

@blindisaac said:

Japanese doesnt translate directly to English in many situations as with many languages and vice-versa.

Then why wasn't there a discrepancy in the way Huntress was speaking in Japanese?

Posted by The Stegman

I dropped this series recently, I love Huntress, I love PG,but the writing is meh, the art is terrible, and the story is bland, maybe once Perez leaves I'll return.

Posted by x_29

BOOBIES!!!!!!!!

Posted by Cavemold

Boob window ! Nothing else matters

Posted by Mistah_B

honestly all this series needs is Amanda Conner and then all is well

Posted by blindisaac

@Babs: I dont know. I was speaking as a Japanese major. Not really defending the writing.

Posted by RiddlingGambit

2 more great characters being underutilized by DC. You would think Power Girl & Huntress fighting a a giant atomic bomb eating monster would be thrilling! But noo...

Edited by Zoch81

I liked it I thought fun and plenty of action I like the flashbacks and more information on Power girl and Huntress overall good issue

Posted by venomoushatred1001

@CODYSF said:

God I hope this comic get cancelled quick and just bring the better costume for PG.

This.

Posted by warpgirl

I think I like flirty/horny Kara. No wonder she had such a fan club amongst military guys on Earth 2. It's a side of her I've never seen and I think it's fun.
I really really hope they put the hole in her costume so that "she" decides she likes it and gets back to the original concept of Power Girl.

Posted by modunhanul

Is that Anti Monitor?

Edited by Ravager4

@warpgirl: Could not disagree more. This is a complete 180 of her character, and it is not what I grew to like about her before the reboot. She's a completely different character now, they might as well have just made a different character to begin with. Simply making a character less sexy but more sexual instead is not good writing, it's lazy. There was absolutely no point to it, and zero justification that can be given for it.

Posted by Amathar

The radiation thing was just dumb. Between the new costume and Perez's art, Power Girl looks like a generic pseudo-hero.

Posted by warpgirl

Why does a girl being sexual need justification? Some girls act that way. I never understand why so many female comic readers get so up-in-arms when a female character shows a sexual side. It's almost like they personally feel exploited by a cartoon acting that way. In the past, Power Girl dressed like a slut but barely even acknowledged having a libido. Now she covers up more but acts like a normal woman who's attracted to guys.
Just because you don't care for the change in personality does not make it lazy.

Edited by Ravager4

@warpgirl: You know, I love how people say that Power Girl "dressed like a slut" when there are heaps more characters who showed more skin than her and never get commented on in the discussion. Just because she had a "boob window", it somehow made her dress like more of a slut than characters whose cleavage are spilling out of their costumes (e.g. Wonder Woman). For the record, I have no problem with female characters who are open and sexual... if that was their original intent. However, to see a character so drastically and needlessly altered to fit some sort of status quo is just heartbreaking and frustrating. As previously mentioned, there are plenty of characters who showed more skin off than Power Girl (Wonder Woman, Starfire, Star Sapphhires, etc.), and yet she for some reason gets the most flak, and that notion is really getting irritating.

If the same thing had been done to Wonder Woman, if they had given her a more reserved costume but suddenly 180'd her personality to be super flirtatious and sexual, fans would be up in arms over it. But since in this case, "oh, it's just Power Girl" and people have the notion of "oh she already dressed like a slut", then it's perfectly fine and nobody has a problem with it. I cannot tell you how irritating it is to see this, to see one of my favorite characters changed into the point of being essentially a completely different character in nearly all senses possible.

Before the reboot, sex, in relation to Power Girl, had always been something of a joke. A well told joke, mind you, one that worked, mainly because PG herself was in on it. This was done to perfection in the brilliant run with Amanda Conner, Jim Palmioti, and Justin Gray. They made her into an iconic "look but don't touch" heroine, with humor worked into it. To see the character that Power Girl had become in the years leading up to the reboot just disappear and instantly reversed is beyond crushing. It's as if, when coming up with the New 52 Power Girl, DC said "hey, you know everything that made Power Girl an interesting character before the reboot? Yeah, let's get rid of all of that and turn her into something else entirely."

Posted by GrandHarrier

@CODYSF said:

God I hope this comic get cancelled quick and just bring the better costume for PG.

Troll elsewhere troll. Your kind of one line garbage isn't helpful.

Personally, I've grown to like parts of this comic. Especially the flashback. At first the art didn't draw me in but then, over time, it just grew on me. I especially love the scene with Helena on the pile of bodies. Yes, it needs work, but I feel there is a dynamic between the pair that is worth exploring and I look forward to future issues.