Daniel H. Wilson, the writer of Earth 2: World’s End #11, was born to be a screenwriter. His Robopocalypse novels and his comics read like movie scripts. With this proclivity comes a great weakness; he thinks, not in storylines or in character arcs, but in scenes. In this issue he presents not a flowing narrative, but a set of static scenes so focused as to be paintings.
The breakdowns by Scott McDaniel play into Wilson’s tendency by using multiple splash pages and meta-panels, so many in fact that the movement of the story slows to the pace of a sonorous dirge. Hi-Fi’s colors, on the other hand, are clear and vibrant, punctuating each tableau vividly, while Paulo Siqueira’s pencils prove clear and clean, as do the inks by Hi-Fi and Cam Smith.
As for Wilson’s script, it consists of revelations, once again playing into his preference for posed moments and frozen layouts. The book picks up where the last left off, with the awakening of Darkseid by Mr. Miracle’s boom spheres. It transpires that Barda has betrayed Miracle and friends to the King of Apokalips, who has been devouring the heart of his own planet to power his healing from the wounds he suffered in a previous battle, presumably his struggle with the Justice League when he attempted to invade Prime Earth. Fury joins in the betrayal, only to reveal that her faithlessness was a ruse designed to allow her to rescue of Mr. Miracle, whose skills at escape seem to have deserted him.
All of this, however, is only stage-setting for the ultimate revelation. In the course of their flight, Miracle and Fury spy on the mysterious Terry Sloan’s audience with the newly awakened Lord of Apokalips. In the course of that conversation, Wilson answers a question that readers have been raising since the reappearance of the Apokaliptan forces on Earth 2: where are the other New Gods? It seems that Darkseid and High Father have reached another of their questionable agreements. Darkseid has pledged to leave the rest of the multiverse alone, and in return the gods of New Genesis will allow him to devour the Earth 2 universe.
It may all be a lie, of course. It is entirely possible that Darkseid has arranged for the revelation in order to sow dissension between the people of Earth 2 and any possible allies from New Genesis. However, it does fit with the behavior of High Father and the New Gods in the New 52. Whether true or not, it energizes Miracle and Fury to renounce the New Gods and swear to stand by the much less powerful but much more faithful humans.
The answers given in this issue might have been powerful and important. They still may prove to be so. But the turgid narrative and slow pace rob them of much of their force. We do not have a story here, but a set of moments. Like disconnected images in a gallery, they impress, they even move, but they do not engage. The scenes are striking, but they serve their purpose poorly.