Welcome to the Second Wave.
Worlds’ Finest #1
If your going to do an issue one you need a selling point. This has a few in the form of art by both George Pérez and Kevin Maguire which depicts the reinterpretation of two fan favourite female protagonists. From the get go you know that whatever happens the book will look great. But the joy to be had here is that Paul Levitz delivers a great script that is quite possibly the best thing he has written in a while.
Of course this issue is all about set up and for the most part it succeeds in presenting Huntress and Power Girl as two very interesting and distinct characters. It is somewhat refreshing that both characters are not trading off on their sexuality and are instead capable women using their powers and skills to manipulate their situation to their advantage. Levitz’s script plays out like a buddy caper as Karen Starr (Power Girl) and Helena Wayne (Huntress) face danger with a smile on their faces. There is a certain amount of fun to be had with this duo and by the end of the issue Levitz has sold their friendship to the reader. This aspect of the book is the most interesting and is easily worth coming back for next issue.
Levitz also divides the book up with flashbacks of how Karen and Helena come to terms with life on a different Earth and fills in the gaps of what they have been doing since they arrived five years ago. These scenes really flesh out the characters and are the more engaging moments. Not to say the present day arc is uninteresting, it is just an average tale. The cliffhanger reveal of DC’s answer to Radioactive Man fails to really spark any excitement. But with characterization this good you can forgive some of the lesser moments.
The only concern the book raises is in how it is clearly linked to three other titles. It is a minor concern and it isn’t as if you need to read Earth 2, Mr Terrific or The Huntress mini-series. But the references to other titles gives the sense that your missing something.
George Pérez and Kevin Maguire deliver a great looking book. Pérez is a comics legend for a reason and although his work here isn’t the best he’s done it still manages to visually engage with the reader. His Karen is the girl next door with super powers and his Helena is the bad girl with attitude. He manages to capture these opposing characteristics perfectly and his work is clear and classical. Maguire however does steal the show a bit with his more expressive takes on the main characters and he does get to work with some of the more interesting emotional beats. At the end of the book Maguire’s work does manage to stay with you longer.
So for a first issue it really does a great job in establishing these two very different female leads. Their friendship and the fun tone of the book are solid selling points. The art is vibrant and expressive as it captures the two heroines perfectly. It is nice to see a buddy book that focuses on strong female leads and Levitz has really made an effort to make Karen and Helena seem like capable female protagonist. Yes people have grumbled at Power Girls new costume and the actual present day plot isn’t very inspiring. But this is an enjoyable read that manages to come alive due to a pair of ladies who are utterly compelling.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|The characterization was surprising, the tone fun and art great||The plot was a little conventional|
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