jueves, 28 de marzo de 2013

The Problem with Worlds Finest

 After DC launched the new 52 not all the books remained for long. 6 books were cancelled and 6 new books were produced and 2 of those books from the Second Wave dealt with a completely new universe, those books were Earth Two and Worlds Finest.

 Earth Two deals with a new portray of the Earth 2 Universe and gives an spin to the JSA concept, while WF deals with the Supergirl and Robin of this same universe now stranded in the main DC Earth, and it is just not very good. In fact it really sucks.


Worlds Finest has a very simplistic main plot. It is basically a Gilligan's Island scenario, the heroes get stranded in a place and all their effort goes on trying to go back home. The problem is that just like in Gilligan's Island the circumstances are set so that they will never return home.

This kind of plotting is not bad on its own but it has a major flaw and is that looking at the heroines attempting to do something which they are meant to fail at again and again and again is very repetitive and tiresome. We dont get anything from this experience and what is worst neither do the characters because anything that doesnt deal with them trying to return to E2 is not advancing the plot. They are literally in Plot Limbo.

However you can make the argument that the plot is not about them going home but accepting E0 as their home which would acceptable except that the book is not moving in that direction. Everything just focuses on how them trying to return to E2.

That attitude is what impulse the plot and the same time stops it completely


Another huge Problem with World Finest is the structure of the stories. On most cases have the chapters are divided between past and present.
The "Past" section is drawn by Kevin Mcguire and the "Present" is drawn by George Perez. The problem is that this two sections NEVER connect to one another either plotwise or thematically and most times we no only dont learn anything new but we get the same information that we already knew.
The irony is that in the comic the flashback sequences are often the most interesting part of the issues even thought they lead absolutely nowhere.


This is definitely the biggest problem with the entire book because even if the plot and structure are somehow flawed those still can be fixed, the characters cant change who they are in an organic way without provoking other problems.

There are two ways in which we can analyze this characters in the book: How are they on their own books as completely new characters and how they are compared to the older versions.


The new Powergirl is the Supergirl from Earth Two , as such she was pretty much raised by a darker version of superman.

Her first introduction was in Mister Terrific #1 where she is presented as Karen Starr, C.E.O. of Starr Industries and Michael Holt's friend with benefits.

This introduction comes as a big problem in the series because for all purposes this is the same character despite having been written by different writers.
The attitude and actions of Karen in the Mr Terrific series no only still count from a matter of continuity but also are relevant to the story. Specifically In Mr Terrific Karen uses her powers and her proximity to Michael to steal his research and technology to cross dimensions which in all honesty makes her look like a Terrible Person.
 Anyone can understand her situation, she just wants to go home but the problem is that she is willing to do anything to go home without any morality behind it and that is the problem with Powergirl in both Mr Terrific and this series. Powergirl doesnt act like a hero, she is selfish, she uses her powers for her own benefit, she doesnt measure the consequences of her actions. This doesnt apply only on Mister Terrific, This is exactly how she acts in Worlds Finest, this is who she is.

Probably the biggest problem, or at least the most noticeable is her oversexualized attitude in the book. On most of the flashbacks to her arrival at E0 start with her making a sexpun or saying how she wants to sleep with a bunch of guys, this happens in practically every issue. In addition to that, in the present her own costume gets torn apart as a running joke again on practically every issue.

There is a huge difference between a sexually liberated woman and a nymphomaniac and honestly Starfire got a bigger complains for much less.

This is where I make the comparison with the Old Powergirl. Kara has always been a sexualized character because of her design but she is not really a sexual character per say, In fact her old series it treated that factor with a lot of comedy and humor.

 However in Worlds Finest all these sexual comments and innuendos are not really funny because it is meant to be taken seriously, sex is not a joke like in the Old Powergirl series but in this case is Powergirl's new hobbie and it is never relevant for the plot.

There is one final problem which is the costume. I personally never consider costumes as anything important since it is just a superficial change and even now the costume that Powergirl uses will return to its more iconic iteration, however the problem that I have with the redesign that she got for the start of the series was the "P".
The "P" symbol in the front of the costume shows how much different is conceptually this new version of Powergirl.

 This little panels come from All-Star Comics #64 and i think it speaks loud of what Powergirl is at the very core. It not just superman with boobies, she has her own personality, confidence and strenght, she is in one word Unique and I believe she kept that uniqueness for most of her history.
Powergirl is not that in World's Finest, she is not a hero she is just a selfish and spoiled Supergirl of another earth who doesnt care of anything but her best friend and her nameless sex partners. 


Helena Wayne is the daughter of both Batman and Catwoman on Earth 2, in this other earth is raised to be Robin, Catwoman is not a criminal but a costumed heroine and a great mother while Batman has no problems of using lethal means to fight crime.

This is actually a very interesting story and a very interesting set up, unfortunately it doesnt really matter much. Huntress feels very alienated from all of this and is because of her context in the New 52 Earth.

The first appearance of Huntress in the new 52 was in her own miniseries, also written by Paul Levitz, the miniseries dealt with Huntress going to italy to disarm a slave trade operation and it was very boring. The story had a very monotone feeling and even though things were happening the plot didnt seem to be moving forward at all, it felt very repetitive and boring and Huntress is just like that.

The new Helena is just not interesting as a character, it is very hard to care for her or anything that she does because she doesnt really have a good motivation to do anything.

She has no attachments on this Earth but at the same time she doesnt care to go back home like Powergirl. It is not like she doesnt want to be back, I imagine that if she gets the chance to return she would do it, but she has nothing to return to since her family is gone.

 On the other hand the motivation of Helena Bertineli is different, that Huntress was a daughter of a mobster and because of that it ends up killing her whole family except for her. She HUNTS mobsters because of that. It is very easy to understand and empathize with her however the new Helena Wayne doesnt have that, she just hunts people because thats what she was train to do, it has nothing to do with avenging her family or returning to home, her motivation is nothing.

The final problem with Huntress is the "death" of Helena Bertinelli in the first issue. From the point of view of a fan of Helena Berinelli, by saying that she is effectively gone, DC is just saying that this new persona of Helena Wayne has nothing to do with he, esthetically is just the same but she a completely different character in the inside. 


Both Powergirl and Huntress were characters that had a loyal fanbase and the title of World's Finest evocated the best team in the DCU, Superman & Batman. By making Pg and Huntress the new Worlds Finest you might think that it would elavate all their good traits and make them worthy of that title but they are not.

Despite all the problems with the writing and the art the real problem with the book is the main characters. The funny thing is that Huntress used to be a very sexual character ho slept around a lot while being a badass and Pg was a caring well centred character, it could be that the intention was to invert their personalities and that is the reason of all the problems, but for what reason would anyone do that?

It is sad to see two characters that were once so interesting and complex being put to so much change that they are practically unrecognizable and uninteresting.

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