“Worlds’ Finest” #2 is a book split into two; the past drawn by Kevin Maguire, the present by George Perez. It’s a smart way to have two artists who are best served not drawing a full comic a month, but the thing I find surprising about “Worlds’ Finest” #2 is that both halves of the book are written by Paul Levitz. The difference between past and present is strong enough that I find you almost have to think of them as separate comics.
The flashback sequences by Levitz and Maguire are great. Maguire’s soft, gentle lines and forms are a delight to look at; it’s good girl cheesecake, sure, but it’s exceptionally drawn good girl art. Maguire draws his characters in a calm and beautiful manner, and Levitz’s story works well with that style. Reading about the pair adjusting to being dropped into the main DC Universe is entertaining; I like the matter-of-fact way that Power Girl restocks rare earths for her company’s manufacturing, or how blase her staff has become about their boss’ casual use of her super-powers. Reading their story reminds me almost of elements of the classic manga “Sanctuary” where Power Girl has taken the more legitimate path of gaining power, while Huntress sticks to the shadows and the underworld side for the duo.
The present day sequences by Levitz and Perez, though, are a drag. Perez’s pencils feel a little stiff and lacking in energy, and there’s something about his trademark details here that come across looking cramped and overworked rather than lush and textured. It doesn’t help that the plot itself is dull with 12 of its 13 pages involving the pair fighting an extremely unexciting villain. The fight itself isn’t interesting, which is part of the problem; neither Levitz nor Perez gives the characters anything out of the ordinary to do. This part of “Worlds’ Finest” #2 is the essence of the word “slugfest.”
“Worlds’ Finest” has an interesting basic idea, and I’d like to see a book like this succeed. But while the flashback sequences feel right on target, the present day portion of the book could use a bit of a boost. This should be fun, but it ends up just a touch dull instead.