The unfortunate thing about “Worlds’ Finest Annual” #1 from Paul Levitz and Diogenes Neves is that the story is less of a celebratory Annual and more of an anthology-like collection of smaller adventures not worthy of individual issue status. The Annual is divided into three chapters, for no apparent reason other than to shift gears from Robin to Supergirl and over to them as a duo. This isn’t their first team-up, nor is it an exceptionally historic meeting, but it does bring most of the primary players from Earth 2 into the same story.
While the monthly issues of “Worlds’ Finest” focus on Huntress and Power Girl on the primary Earth of the post-New 52 DC Universe, this annual takes a look back into their collective past on their homeworld. Levitz spends more time describing the adventures of the heroines through dialog caption boxes than through the action and word balloons of “Worlds’ Finest Annual” #1. The stories he provides readers are prescribed, as Robin begins to prove her capabilities to her father, Batman, while Supergirl learns how fragile life can be when you are virtually indestructible. On her path of discovery, she attempts to “practice flirting” and even spends a little time trying to fit in in the most cliched manner possible.
Despite the waterworks from Wonder Woman being more effusive than those of Knowshon Moreno for the National Anthem, the third chapter blends the two earlier, faulty pieces together and sends the young ladies off on a quest that leads to a fight with Fury. The duo also tussles with Wonder Woman, giving most of Earth 2’s wonders a chance to cross paths. While the final seventeen pages are not enough to redeem this issue, they do a nice job with the plot of the quest for justice. The opening page of that final chapter is almost enough to eclipse the first two chapters of this comic book, if it only had a smidge more detail borrowed from each of the first installments.
Diogenes Neves submits a journeyman’s work here, but nothing on the pages of “Worlds’ Finest Annual” #1 is exceptionally spectacular. There are certain panels that could be bigger, bolder or more bombastic, but the condensed space of the third chapter marginalizes this issue’s ability to impress readers. That said, the first two chapters are lackluster, proving the fashion sense on yesterday’s Earth 2 is almost as bad as every horrible design from the 1980s of our own planet. Neves has the ability to tell a great story, but this falls well short of being great.
“Worlds’ Finest Annual” #1 is anything but the world’s finest. It struggles to achieve middling, but at least brings strong story potential. It appears as though DC has been attempting to weave “Worlds’ Finest” back together with “Earth 2,” and this annual makes a strong move in that direction, only to trip over itself. Nothing presented here gives me any indication that the contributions of “Worlds’ Finest Annual” #1 should in any way, shape or form impact the destiny of “Earth 2.” Let Power Girl and Huntress continue to fight the good fight on the main Earth, but let Earth 2 continue to expand its own backstory.