I believe summertime comics should, at their very essence, be fun reads, enjoyed in a hammock or on the floor in front of a box fan. “Worlds’ Finest” #3 by Paul Levitz with art by George Perez and Kevin Maguire is just such a comic: summertime fun in four-color splendor.
Levitz has the benefit of having not one, but two legendary artists to visualize his buddy tale starring Power Girl and Huntress. The issue opens in the present day, where George Perez’s hyper-detailed, rich artwork fills every pixel of every panel. The radioactive bad guy, Hakkou, fizzles with energy and Kirby Krackle. At one point, Hakkou’s fingers are splayed out, in a classic Jack Kirby pose lovingly illustrating Perez’s admiration of the King. Although this isn’t Perez’s best work in his career, it certainly isn’t bad. As a matter of fact, I see this as Perez trying new concepts and forcing himself to stretch a little bit. The end result is solid work from Perez, which is miles ahead of the majority of other artists pushing pencils today.
By comparison, Kevin Maguire is economical and deceptively simple in his rendering of the past. His characters’ emotions are more fluid than those Perez crafts, making it appear as though Maguire says more with less. While he doesn’t put as much detail into his panels, Maguire’s pages in “Worlds’ Finest” are wonderful. His depiction of Helena and Karen being sarcastic and funny, determined and crafty is exactly what you’ve come to expect from this master of emotion.
Unfortunately, we’re three issues in and I’m not certain we’ve really put any road behind us. Huntress and Power Girl try to return home, but they’ve crossed paths with Hakkou and now can consider themselves his enemies and maybe even targets. Like the early issues of “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” we get a tease of a story, but nothing complete enough to really measure out an accurate judgment. I’m eager for more of this book, and “Worlds’ Finest” #3 is a wonderful example of what to expect from the title, it just needs a clear direction. As that materialized with “Crisis,” I’m certain it will here. I just hope it does so soon.