By: Paul Levitz (story), George Pérez, Scott Koblish, Kevin Maguire (art), Hi-Fi & Rosemary Cheetham (colors)
The Story: Next: Japan executes a nationwide no-entrance decree for Huntress and Power Girl.
The Review: Let me tell you, whenever I finally buckle down to drop a title, I always feel a relaxing feeling of relief, like breathing through your nose after a month of congestion or setting down a backpack full of textbooks after a long walk. That feeling lets me know that I’m making the right decision, and usually it gets preceded with a pretty substantial amount of longing for the moment I can finally unburden myself of something which gives me little pleasure.
And so it goes with this series. I can’t deny the end comes with some disappointment. I always want to support female-led titles, either in terms of characters or creators, so when they don’t work out, it feels like a step back for the cause, to a certain extent. But this title has also failed to live up to its own aspirations. World’s Finest was once the glowing byword by which one referred to DC’s two greatest icons, and to be honest, the pre-relaunch Supergirl and Batgirl naturally had more of that World’s Finest feel than Power Girl and Huntress.
Of course, a big obstacle is that our two heroines just don’t have the youthful, witty appeal of, say, a Bryan Q. Miller-written Kara Zor-El and Stephanie Brown. Huntress has a kind of dry sensibility that you like, not love, and she mostly squanders it on vaguely lecturing one-liners toward her best friend. As for Power Girl—call me a curmudgeon (and you won’t be the first), but while her impulsive, flirty, somewhat childish attitude may be supposed to come across as charming, I tend to find it annoying and generic.
About the only time where the dual chemistry really pops is in the flashbacks, when they had few other worries besides globe-trotting on embezzled funds and seeing where life took them. Had Levitz chosen to write the ongoing in this manner, rather than a labored and generic superhero adventure, then perhaps my tune would be different today.
Instead, we get a largely commonplace villain with wholly cliché, mindless ambitions, causing terror and havoc in the least affecting way possible. Hakkou may just be a starter opponent for Power Girl and Huntress, but it does the title no favors to portray him as a tunnel-visioned radiation guzzler. It also doesn’t help that our heroines use some of the least impressive tactics ever to defeat him, with P.G. going about it in her usually brawny way and Huntress coming up with a “plan” which succeeds by sheer narrative necessity—certainly not by logic.
I have to admit that dropping this series means I will never have to go through the awkward process of criticizing Pérez’s art again, at least for a while. For the record, I don’t find his art terrible, and there are moments, especially towards the end of the issue, where his form looks quite convincing. But most the time, I find his art stiff and old-fashioned, a callback to an earlier style of art which makes the title look like an homage rather than an attempt to create something new. Again, I have to say Maguire strikes that perfect balance of delivering warm, open figures with clean, modern lines.
Conclusion: While I feel a bit sad and guilty about how long I’ve waited for this moment, I have to admit that mostly I feel an overwhelming sense of relief that I can finally Drop this series.
- Minhquan Nguyen
Some Musings: - I appreciate that Pérez couldn’t wait that long to return Karen’s boobie-window to her costume. For reference, check out the issue’s last six pages.
- Man, I love Maguire’s facial expressions. If anyone ever commits to a Thelma-and-Louise type storyline for these ladies, Maguire should do that fulltime.
Filed under: DC Comics, Reviews Tagged: | DC, DC Comics, Earth Two, George Pérez, Helena Wayne, Hi-Fi, Huntress, Karen Starr, Kevin Maguire, Paul Levitz, Power Girl, Rosemary Cheetham, World's Finest #4, World's Finest #4 review, Worlds' Finest