Monday, October 14, 2013

World's Finest #16 - A Review

World's Finest #16 offers more of the same high-quality superhero action readers have come to expect from this title.  Trapped once more on Earth One following their battle with the villain Desadd last issue, our heroines are reacting quite differently to their missed chance to leap home.  Helena "Huntress" Wayne elects to throw herself into her work and an investigation of a mysterious arsonist targeting fashion shows.  Karen "Power Girl" Star, by contrast, is wallowing in self-pity - not only because of the missed homecoming but because the battle with Desadd has left her superpowers in a state of flux. 

Paul Levitz does a fine job of playing up Karen's loss without making her seem overly emotional.  It helps that Karen's reaction seems far more natural than Helena's mute acceptance of that which she can't control.  Then again, Helena's always been more of a cypher compared to Karen under Levitz's pen and her interest in returning to Earth Two was limited to begin with.

This title's biggest problem has always been its' artwork and a lack of consistency due to the continually rotating art teams.  That trend continues with yet another new team of artists that proves to be far less competent than the previous one.  Scott McDaniel has delivered quality work in the past and indeed his work with Chuck Dixon on Nightwing remains one of my favorite series of all time.  That being said, his breakdowns on this issue are sloppy and R.B. Silva is a poor choice for a finisher.  I liked Silva's work on Superboy but Silva's rounded, deliberate style is at odds with McDaniel's angular sketchy schtick.  The final product is odd to say the least! 

I fear World's Finest is a title adrift.  With the road to Earth Two closed, there is no long-term goal for its' characters nor is their ultimately a point other than heroism for heroism's sake.  That is not necessarily a bad thing given how rare it is to see honestly heroic characters in modern superhero books.  Yet one senses this divide is the one of the few things preventing this book from being a great title rather than a merely good one.  A consistent art team couldn't hurt, either! 

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