Wait a minute, what is this? What's this cover on Worlds' Finest #1? Why is there sweat-pant stripes on Power Girl's costume, and a weird red half-thing going on? What happened to this sleek, cool look from the initial teaser art?
That look is so much cleaner, less busy and captures the old style while de-emphasizing the cheesecake. For weeks, I've been hearing people complain about the Power Girl costume redesign, and with the above look in my head, I dismissed them mostly as boob-hounds sad that Karen Starr's predominant trait isn't going to be her ample bosom anymore. When I saw the preview images of the blue striped track-suit, I figured that was just some temporary transitional look. But no… apparently, they've changed it to this thing.
Now I understand more about why people are complaining. That's just not working well. It's too cluttered and lacking in snazz, and lawd help us, I think they re-ampled her bosom. I'm not one to question the greatness of the legendary George Perez, but I have to think there were some corporate edicts handed down in the revamping from the first image to the final look. It's not outright bad, but compared to the first draft look, it's a bit of an eyesore – looking more like something out of Legion of Super-Heroes. Oh, wait a minute, Legion-master Paul Levitz is the writer here – maybe those edicts weren't corporate after all. At least we can take solace in the fact that Huntress isn't thonging it up with the pointless belly window anymore.
Anyway, now that I've sexistly spent the first two paragraphs of a female-led book harping on how the leading ladies look, let's get into the meat of Worlds' Finest #1, the story of two refugees from Earth 2 – Robin and Supergirl – finding their way in the prime New 52 Earth, while flashing back between the modern day and their arrival five years ago. Perez is handling the art on the modern day sequences, while Kevin Maguire's got the job for the flashbacks.
We open with Helena Wayne, the former Robin and current Huntress, burning the identity of Helena Bertinelli, the identity she had pre-New 52. This makes things hazy about what's canon and what isn't, as we still haven't heard anything about whether or not Barbara Gordon was ever Oracle and thus pals with her in Birds of Prey, but it's probably safe to say that first page is basically an allegory for throwing old continuity out the window. This ain't the Huntress you know.
This ain't the Power Girl you know, either, unless you've read Mr. Terrific. She isn't the same person from the beforetime, the long, long ago, though. She's a mover and a shaker in her identity as Karen Starr, seemingly more hard-nosed and callous about traversing the corporate world to get what she wants. Thanks to Helena stealing a little seed money from Bruce Wayne upon their arrival, she's managed to build herself an empire, with a particular interest in high-tech companies – because she's dead set on finding a way back to Earth 2. It's still a mystery how they got here in the first place, aside from a mysterious boom-tube-esque portal opening up moments after the Trinity sacrificed themselves to free Earth 2 from conquering Parademons, with a mysterious figure on the other end who they thought was Darkseid – although curiously, Earth 2 made no mention of Darkseid, attributing everything to Steppenwolf. Continuity glitch or no? You decide.
Anyway, when one of her recent R&D acquisitions gets destroyed in a mysterious attack, destroying one of Michael Holt's projects that she'd hoped would be their ticket home, Karen reveals that Helena's example of becoming a costumed vigilante has inspired her, and she's finally developed her own companion identity as Power Girl, complete with the less appealing costume design seen on the final cover above. Cue last-page bad guy entrance.
Man, the 'P' is even on her boob. That's gotta be on purpose.
It's hard to say how I feel about Worlds' Finest #1. It's not bad, but I'm not sure I like these characters yet. The banter between the two is okay, but not as funny as it wants to be. Maybe I just don't click with Levitz as well as others do, but while I'm sort of curious as to how this series will play out, I can't say I'm fully engaged. It's a bit of a 'meh' so far. I'm sure the moment where Huntress mentions to Karen that she ought to cover up her torn-to-shreds dress, and she responds by teasingly calling her a prude is going to get a comment or two, as PG before was always sort of modest in personality, despite the vivacious costume. Perez is excellent as always on art, and Maguire is pretty good, too, but has the unfortunate problem of being compared to Perez.
Worlds' Finest #1 certainly has potential and room to grow, but there are some red flags that may or may not spell problems in the future. For now, though, optimism wins out, and hopefully the blue-striped track pants are a temporary thing. Please. This ain't the '70s.