Thursday, January 30, 2014

Worlds' Finest Annual #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Paul Levitz
Art By: Diogenes Neves, Marc Deerining
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 29, 2014

A Long Time Ago In A Parallel Earth That's Pretty Close.

It's about time we got an annual for this title, and with it we get a flashback to Power Girl and Huntress, when they were young, and inexperienced, and using the names Supergirl, and Robin.  Now DC's calling this another prelude to the Worlds' Finest crossover with Batman/Superman, but does it really warrant a prelude subtitle?  Let's find out.

Explain It!:

We begin this story after Cat Woman died on Earth 2, and Batman and Robin are closing some of her open cases on human sex trafficking.  Is that redundant?  Or is there another kind of sex trafficking?  Just like tootsie pops the world might never know, and I'm certainly not googling it.  But as this Earth's dynamic duo takes down this ring, we see that Batman is very protective of Robin, and doesn't believe Selina should of trained her for this life.  But this chapter of the annual is pretty cut an dry, Robin makes a mistake, and Batman watches her correct it, and they stop the sex trafficking ring.  The only thing I find really odd about this story is that Robin stops a guy by ramming a fireplace poker through his chest, and Batman's okay with it.  I know that Cat Woman and him were married, and she had a tendency towards brutality, and this is another Earth, but this just doesn't feel right.  Oh well, moving on.

For the next chapter we see Supergirl go out for the first time on her own, but not strictly as Supergirl.  She's out to meet a guy, and be a normal girl.  So what does a young girl need for this?  Well obviously a fake ID so she can drink, and meet an older guy.  This is to catch a predator backwards.  But ethics aside, she does manage to find a nice guy, and the two leave the club, and they have a wonderful evening of walking and talking.  That is until a building nearby explodes.  Supergirl's new guy friend not knowing who she really is, gets her to safety and tries to help anyone who might be inside.  Once he's out of sight, it's time for the Girl of Steel.  Kara tries to catch all the falling debris, and heat vision it back into place, but she's just not as experienced as Superman.  During her duties she see's her new friend go back to find her, and before she can do anything she watches him being crushed by a falling side of the building.  Kara's not able to save him, and she's feels as lost as she did, when she first came to Earth.  This chapter is rather sad.

In our final chapter of this supposed prelude to First Contact, Kara goes to Helena for help after her new friend dies.  During the hodge podge rescue Supergirl noticed somebody in the building but they were moving to fast for her to see clearly.  The two suit up and go take another look at the building that was destroyed.  There they find Fury, who all the readers of Earth 2 know to be Wonder Woman's daughter who turned against her, and is now a soldier for Darkseid.  It looks like Fury made the turn towards darkness a little earlier than five years after Darkseid's invasion of Earth 2.  So our Worlds' Finest tangle with Fury, but she's able to make her escape when Kara is forced to save Helena from being crushed like her friend.  Eventually the two track Fury down in a cave system she's hiding out in, and the mega fist blows continue.  See Fury believes Supergirl isn't powerful enough to go toe to toe with her, but Kara plans on changing her mind.  It's a pretty bad beating Fury takes, and it might have been worse, luckily for Fury Wonder Woman shows up, and makes Kara stop.  But Kara's not done fighting and Wonder Woman's in her way.  So when Kara goes after Wonder Woman, Fury makes her escape.  She asks her father to open a portal to take her to Apokolips.  Once the fighting has stopped, Wonder Woman explains to the two that Fury is her daughter.  

Throughout this final chapter we kept seeing Batman and Superman talking about if they girls are ready for the coming war with Darkseid, so we're pretty close to the beginning of Earth 2 here.  They also talk about how Supergirl is their secret weapon.  Since Superman has kept her secret on an island training, they hope to use her when Darkseid comes as a kryptonian in their sleeves.  But now that Fury knows of her, and fled to Apokolips, all bets are off.

Bits and Pieces:

While I don't believe it should be called a Prelude to First Contact, I did find myself enjoying the adventures of Robin, and Supergirl.  This issue instead of a straight forward adventure story where the good guys beat the bad guys, we see a chaptered story dealing with these young heroes finding their place in the world, and seeking acceptance for who they are.  This was definitely one of the best issues of Worlds' Finest, but that's not saying much for this struggling title, that doesn't know what it's supposed to be.  But I love Earth 2, and this Earth 2 centric story really hit the spot.  I hope we can see more stories featuring these characters in their alter alter egos.


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