Earth 2: World's End #26

Sporting fifteen names on the cover credits, "Earth 2: World's End" #26 packs twenty-odd creators inside the covers. Among those names are talents like Cullen Bunn, Daniel Wilson, Mike Johnson and Marguerite Bennett on the writing side and Eddy Barrows, R. B. Silva, and Tyler Kirkham on the art, but this might simply be an instance of too many cooks in the kitchen.

"Earth 2: World's End" #26 opens with a grandiose image from Eddy Barrows of Green Lantern (Alan Scott) unleashing the green on Darkseid. The Apokoliptian ruler is massive in comparison and crackling with energy, which visually anchors the following few pages as Scott struggles to defend the Earth against Darkseid. As the Lantern stumbles, the other heroes of Earth-2 move into action, which is fairly coherent, but -- from there -- the story goes sideways. It presses on towards the conclusion declared in this series' title, but there is no direct path for the story, the characters or the reader.

As should be expected when the creative team reaches a score in number, the sheer weight threatens the structure. Fan favorite characters make appearances, but those appearances lack depth or development. They become appliances in the story, churning the plot and moving forward, and wind up teleporting from one scene or confrontation to the next. By the time the issue is ready to wrap, the pieces are so scattered that even location tags from letterer Corey Breen can't keep things clean. Thread the codex subplot of "Man of Steel" through this adventure but remove the threat to the codex proper, and "Earth 2: World's End" #26 just gets too full for even an oversized story.

Unfortunately, with such a vast array of creators chipping in to this title, it is nearly impossible to properly identify every creator's individual contributions, right down to the trio of colorists. There are some wildly imaginative drawings in this comic, but there are also some headscratchers and other distracting pieces. The final eight pages are such a collage of attempted money shots that all sense of storytelling disappears. It's unclear how the characters aboard the T.S.S. Endurance got there or what exactly happened to the other set of characters or if Alan Scott ever got to finish one activity. The big ideas and promise are there in "Earth 2: World's End" #26, but the vision was never given a true plan to follow for positive execution.

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