Let’s dive right in.
Picking right up where last issue left off, Helena and Karen are sifting through the wreckage of Ken’s portal to Earth 2, and tensions are kind of high. Karen is certain that that was their home, and that Clark either needed her help or was faking being evil also because he needed her help. Helena insists that there’s a very good chance that it was just yet another copy of home, but Karen accuses her of not having the ability to admit when she’s wrong.
Agents of A.R.G.U.S. show up to confiscate the remains of the device, and the girls aren’t super keen on just given up a possible ride home. Told to put their weapons on the floor, Karen rips the concrete out from under them before Helena can even get all the way through her utility belt.
The girls take out the men pretty effectively, but they’ve got back-up. A tank is sent in and surely that will prove more of a match for– .
Now it gets a little bit weird, though.
Here begins a flashback sequel, with no preamble, but which spans several pages.
This vaguely Bat-family-ish girl is obviously attempting to untie herself, having been caught while on her idea of a miniature vacation, freeing a bunch of immigrants who have found themselves forced into sexual slavery and in the hands of a bunch of drunken hunters who look awfully well put together for hill folk.
But then she says something in her inner monologue about her dad spinning in his grave, plus it sounds like her mom is still alive and kicking, so maybe not.
Either way, she manages to make her way back into the cabin where the girls are being kept and attempts to fight off the men… While still bound at the ankles and with her arms behind her back. Needless to say, it doesn’t really go particularly well for her. One of the men knocks her out.
So, dude mentions wanting to lot leave traceable anything in autopsy, yes? So they are definitely going to kill this girl. Because, if nothing else, it would be terrible easy to do so now and to dave yourselves a whole lot of trouble later on, right? Right.
Except for not.
They leave her alive, and less restrained than before, with only one arm tied to a tree. Supposedly wolves will get her, but I can’t help but wonder why they wouldn’t either kill her or just add her to their selection of women to abuse..?
I guess I’m underestimating the chivalry of the average redneck mass rapist.
The wolves don’t get her, by the way.
She makes it back to the cabin and torches the place, watching from outside as everyone makes it outside, miraculously.
She catches the men off-guard and, this time without all of the pesky rope keeping her limbs tucked to her sides and useless, is able to defeat them.
Back in the present day, and still with no explanation of what the heck that was all about, Helena is dropped of at one of her safe-houses in Chicago while Karen heads off to New York.
Actually, in addition to eating all of the amazing regional food, Helena has swiped some kind of records from Ken’s base in Gamorra, and she’s intent on proving that she was right, that that was not their Kal and so not their Earth.
She seems to get her smoking gun, too, noticing something off in the background of a surveillance tape with a significantly less Darkseid-y-influenced-looking Clark than the one that they were just exposed to. Something in the background catches her eye.
Meanwhile, in New York City, Karen has just completed the process of getting StarrWare back under her control and in her ownership.
Her legal team has made a killing and her assets are impressive still, but she gives them a surprise order, apparently giving absolutely zero fucks anymore.
Karen flies back to Chicago to meet up with Helena again, and the Huntress bluntly admits being wrong to her friend. There is no embarrassment or blame taken or thrown around, just acceptance and moving on to the planning stage.
So, since that was their Kal, though, and Karen was right, and now they’re going to have a bajillion dollars to finance their efforts?
So, I’ll admit, that wasn’t where I had initially thought that this series was going to go. I figured it was going to be about two people struggling to find their place in a world so similar to the one that they painfully lost, all while dealing with doppelgangers of their loved ones and even of their selves, and that would pretty much be it. Now, I do still think that that’s the overall direction of the series. I think that their efforts to get back to Earth 2 will fail… After a point.
I think that they will make it back home. Briefly, but I think that they will. And then some shit will happen that results in them having to be expelled from Earth 2 or just having to come back to Earth Prime.
Or maybe they’ll end up doing a kind of a Sliders thing, and the Multi-Verse could open back up because of all of their efforts.
Ooh… That would actually be really awesome.
Either way, I do want them to get back home, at least for a bit, and if for no other reason than the fact that it’d be interesting to see how Karen deals with an evil Kal and a dead Lois reconstituted in the body of a fembot Red Tornado.
Of course, Helena kind of gets shafted in this deal…
But it should be an interesting read if I’m right.
And then there’s that whole flashback sequence there and its subject. Perhaps that’s a Huntress from a different world? A Bizzaro Helena?
Either way, we’ll be checking back in with the World’s Finest.
What are your thoughts on the direction of the series? Where will the girls’ efforts finally take them? Be sure to leave your ideas in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
Picking up where last issue left off, this Earth’s evil Ken has opened a portal which supposedly leads to Earth 2, home for Karen and Helena.
Karen is none too pleased with the idea that this Ken is kind of a douchebag, and physically attacks him while sprouting… I wanna say bad poetry, maybe?
Welcome to the second chapter of the Batman/Superman and World’s Finest crossover.
After a very strong first chapter in Batman/Superman #8, let’s check in on how the characters and the story are progressing in the girls’ own book.
Picking up from right where the previous chapter left off, Karen wakes up mid-plummet, but feeling a hell of a lot better than Superman does, apparently.
Not willing to take the chance that their invulnerability has been compromised by the hit and Power Girl’s recent power fluctuations, Batman and Huntress move to intercept them in the jet.
As Karen is struggling to right herself, she and Clark are caught in a net and lowered safely to the ground by the Bat Jet, while Huntress once again marvels at the similarities between this Batman and her father.
While Karen has been really adamant this entire run about not ever meeting Superman and keeping interactions with Supergirl to an absolute minimum (although, I really think that, if anyone were a good idea to try and talk Kara down a la the Red Daughter arc going on right now, it’d be Karen motherfucking Starr), Helena looks to be conversely kind of latching onto Batman, earnestly looking for a reason to build an attachment with this Batman. Maybe with this Earth.
Upon landing, Batman and Huntress rush to Power Girl and Superman to look them over.
Power Girl recognizes the glowy business as a bad sign and tells them to back away.
Karen is about to call him out on his douchebaggery, and the display snaps Helena out of her attempted hero worship/daddy issues. His Bat Manners are severely lacking. But he does have a plan, having brought the Kryptonite ring. He hooks it around Clark’s neck, hoping that the ring will counteract the power overload and just render him, basically, a normal human.
When asked about whether he’s concerned about the fact that the ring could kill him, Batman shrugs the girls off and tells Power Girl that she’s been promoted to Kryptonian PowerHouse/pack mule, and that Huntress should stow Superman in the jet for now.Still irritated with his antics, Power Girl asks him whether he trusts her or if he’s taking her because he does happen to have another Kryptonite ring on himself as insurance.
Is he smirking because he has another ring? Because he’s fucking with her? Or is he just happy to be by her titties?
Huntress can’t believe how her not-dad treats her not-Godfather here. Shortly after they leave, Clark begins to come to and, apparently, being a normal human being is the WORST.
An unknown metahuman appears in the sky nearby and Huntress tells Clark to take cover. He asks if she’s kidding.
This dude with a target on his head and over his solar plexus appears and pretty much tells them all what they did and how to cause Power Girl’s powers to go all wonky.
Dude is tough, still stronger than normal even after Helena hits him with an exploding crossbow bolt. The fact surprises Helena for some reason, in this world where every fifth person is a super villain and this particular dude flew to you to start wailing on y’all.
Luckily, she’s able to use his awkward combination of super strength and poor combat skills and bad balance to her advantage, and is able to knock his bitch ass out with a kick to the face.
Over with Batman and Power Girl in the villain’s country of New Gamorra, because biblical references to town destroyed for their wickedness aren’t a red flag AT ALL, Batman tries to tell PG how she’s gonna roll in there as Karen Starr, since they know her secret ID anyways and that somehow won’t be a giveaway. She, however, is still not having it or his attitude in general.
Batman just let’s her go like a dude who knows EXACTLY how his pals are going to act after their fifth Jaeger Bomb and has no control over the night or their ensuing mug shots and criminal records. Instead, he heads for the sewers, to tap directly into their systems via pipes and wires and shit, since PG will act as a distraction no matter what she does topside.
Topside, Karen is still pissed.
But, as she approaches the boss-man, she’s shocked to find out his identity. The man behind this whole scheme is the Earth Prime of her briefly-boyfriend from Earth 2, Ken Somethingeoranother, son of a diplomat and young would-be hero who done got blowed up on Earth 2, as seen in the World’s Finest Annual #01.
He tells her that he’s really sorry about the whole mess of her powers, that her haywire abilities were the unfortunate side effect of a series of experiments being performed by the people of New Gamorra which, once again, doesn’t ring any bells or set off any alarms.
Meanwhile, unwilling to stay on the sidelines, Clark and Helena are using terrible pseudonyms and costumes which they apparently had already had stowed in the Bat Jet, plus to advantage of being WHITE in an Asian country and so totally sticking right the fuck out (but then, I’m still not sure about Ken because he’s white in WF and Asian in BS) to operate as civilians to solve some shit right under the noses of the general populace of New Gamorra.
So, as Batman is looking around underground and in secret rooms and shit, Karen is allowing herself to be led around by her feelings of puppy love for this dude who they pretty much know to be the villain, and who’s double she only knew for the span of a couple of hours back on Earth 2 anyways!
As Karen is amazed at the appearance of her home planet, at the fact that the big rock is still floating there in space, Batman makes a supremely creepy discovery.
Finally, Karen’s brain kicks in as Ken starts to wax on about the miracles he’s been able to make since reading her genetics, etc.
Karen scoffs at his threats, saying that there’s no way that he would stop her. He, of course, isn’t concerned about that. Like every villain in plan one of evil plan revelation, he’s got his surprise ready to go.
Batman rushes to her aid, hopefully actually sporting that Kryptonite ring that he was vaguely threatening her with earlier.
Meanwhile, this might be the most ridiculous closing panel ever. While Karen and Bruce are WAY the fuck outmatched by dozens of beings who would individually at least give Karen a hard time to wrangle in, Clark and Helena’s big dilemma is… Illegal immigration.
So… I mean, they’re not in Arizona. Helena’s gonna punch this bro out and toss his unconscious body into a shrub while Clark gently chastises her and they continue to take photos, probably ending up with them either caught by a small cadre of armed guards and detained or uncovering yet another disturbing discovery. I mean, I’m guessing, but I’m sure it has to be getting weirder as the crossover continues.
Actually… It’s gotta be something about Earth 2.
It’s mentioned in the May solicits and everything that Earth 2 is still a thing.
So… Unfortunately, we actually do have to wait for the next chapter, now, but we’ve gotten a pretty solid start. This nano bot shit came out of nowhere, and it’s probably bad news that Clark has contracted robo-crabs from his parallel Earth cousin, since they can still probably read his whole life even while his own powers are being suppressed.
Hopefully this won’t just be “Karen’s Got A Problem, Now Clark’s Got a Problem, Now It’s Back Over To Karen, And So On!” But I will say that this issue and it’s preceding chapter in “Batman/Superman” are by far superiour to the usual stuff we’ve been seeing from “World’s Finest” on it’s own, at least for the past several months.
Let’s hope it gets even better.
Until next chapter!
Since both of these issues were released this week, and since they are a much anticipated crossover event, I’m going to review them both today. Look out for World’s Finest #20 in a couple of hours.
This is the first issue of Batman/Superman that I’ve picked up since it’s New 52 relaunch. The writing so far is pretty damn good, and I’m kind of in love with the artwork. Plus the dynamic between Superman and Batman is kind of fun in an odd-couple kind of way. Given the distrustful nature of the New 52 in general, and the relative newness of these characters and their relationships in this universe, I can definitely appreciate this. Plus the writing for Helena and Karen is fucking spot on for two twenty-something besties.
On to the comic.
We pick up with Huntress trapped in the Batcave by Batman. He surmises that she’s only about seventeen (<–WHAT?!) and is surprised because she moves like a Robin, which I guess is a thing. She tells him her story, that she’s his daughter from an alternate universe.
She tells him that everything was groovy until Darksaid appeared and rent shit asunder. She tells him that she’s certain that everyone has died.
Batman being Batman, he’s not particularly willing to believe her story right away, but then some cosmic type shit happens and he’s hit with an image of himself facing alternate versions of himself.
Not able to deal with feeling feelings, he does the only logical thing outside of eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and/or downing a fifth of scotch.
I imagine that daddy Bruce must have won a lot of teenaged arguments and gotten her to stick to a pretty regular bedtime that way.
He starts to look through his system and tries to make sense of her story in the context of his world and his experience, and she soon joins him because, let’s face it, she’s probably built up a hell of an immunity to all kinds of sedatives based on my assumptions of Batman’s parenting skills, particularly combined with Catwoman’s certain efforts to playfully undermine him at every turn.
She shows him surveillance and satellite footage of Power Girl and they aim to intercept her as her powers continue to go wonky. She asks if they’re going to call in Superman, since he and Batman are the World’s Finest drinking buddies.
He says that Superman is too reckless and that they shouldn’t tell him Jack shit. Huntress isn’t so fond of the mentality.
Karen overhears their whole conversation, even mid overpowered rampage and offers her friend some sage advice.
So, usually giving advice gleaned from movies isn’t the best idea, but it’s a totally legitimate genre to quote when your whole life is within the pages of a comic book. Either way, though, Helena’s not listening and Karen’s going ladyballs out crazy.
And just as disaster strikes and all seems lost, entre Superman to save a little brown boy and his dog from being turned to ashes… But not to provide food or shelter or water or medicine or to help provide any kind of economic support, of course. I mean, Batman could totally make that shit happen, but that’d make for a totally different comic and a for some reason less compelling hero.
But I digress.
Batman starts telling Superman what he needs to do and Helena gives Karen some directions as well, and both fucking Kryptonians flat out fucking ignore their Bat-Family counterparts.
The disaster averted, the crew sits Karen down and tries to figure out what to do next. Superman takes the lead here and once again dismisses Batman since he is, after all, a little bit of a douchebag.
After quoting Aladdin, he whisks her away to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where there is an inexplicable outcropping of rock for them to sit on, and he urges her to relax. She lets out a massive ejection of energy and says that it felt like a huge sneeze or a really good cry.
While the Super-People explore their emotions, the Bat-People get their shit done. Huntress and Batman are able to nail down a place and a dude from which the stuff that’s causing PG’s meltdown is coming.
They head to this Asian country to infiltrate a fancy shindig being conveniently held at that exact moment and in the home and apparent lair of the evil Asian es-boyfriend. Enter Bruce Wayne, jet-setting billionaire playboy.
She causes a scene and slips away when their host tends to Bruce’s lightly dinged ego. She hacks into their computers and uncovers… Something. Basically, shit isn’t going to end well Karen the way that things are going. Superman overhears them.
They see that Karen is, apparently, going to detonate! Batman urges Superman to get away from her, that he shouldn’t be in her proximity when she blows. But he’s not about to let her go through this by herself because he’s Superman, and he’s actually acting like it in a New 52 book for once!
The Bat-People are helpless to watch as Superman once again dismisses their orders, and Karen is at risk of ‘sploding.
And this is how the issue ends! The both of them going kaflooey. A potentially TERRIBLE occurrence. What will our heroes do?! How will they get out of this one?!
Well… Just pick up the next issue, World’s Finest #20, since it also came out this week.
SPOILER ALERT: They’re fine. Solicits continue on through May, guys. Even if they die… This is comics.
Check back this evening for our review of World’s Finest #20 and the second chapter in the crossover event!
In this Annual, we get a glimpse into Karen and Helena’s lives back on Earth 2!
The issue opens up with Batman and Robin (remember, it’s Helena here) crashing through a ginormous window of a brothel operating in the heart of downtown Gotham. How this is a surprise when the window is literally an entire wall of the room and the room is full of prostitutes, I have no idea, but I guess they needed to have something for the heroes to leap through. The two of them make short work of the… Everyone in the room.
Helena calls Batman “Dad” and he scolds her for her inexperienced mistake, even as he leaves her alone to further investigate the brothel alone. Probably trolling, because, let’s be for realsies here. While alone in the main hall, Robin spots and stops a last woman as she flees, telling her that it’ll be alright. But this girl is in cahoots with one of the thugs who runs the joint, and the two make off after knocking Robin out, briefly.
Turns out, Batman didn’t actually leave her completely alone, and is instead observing her at a distance as she stalks through the brothel to bust whoremongers in different rooms, thus further proving that Batman is a super creepster. Helena takes out these goons more easily this time as she startles them and uses the element of surprise to disarm them via… Throwing knives RIGHT through the fucking hands. But, she does make short work of them, even as Batman internally criticizes her for a possible carelessness while simultaneously praising her mercilessness.
This part of the comic ends with Batman spotting Robin trying to force a girl to accept her help, and Batman says that that’s a job for the police and their future caseworkers, and that her next lesson is going to be about “The Stockholm Syndrom.”
A quick note to the writers: This kind of thing doesn’t usually happen because of “The Stockholm Syndrome,” if this was a sex trafficking operation. It’s usually because their captors get them hooked on drugs, so these bitches physically can’t leave. So… Keep that in mind for next time.
The next “Chapter” of this annual centres on Karen, as she writes in her diary about a huge mistake that she’s made. She recently snuck away to go to a bar in New York City, specifically, to be able to blend in so that she could practice flirting with guys.
She finally meets the right guy and they hit it off. Their conversation flows perfectly, they’re mutually attracted to each other, and they feel like they can open up to each other. The guy, “Ken,” reveals that he’s only in town for the duration of a “Worldgov” conference and will be going home the next day. She in turn, is about to tell him some big secret (gee, I wonder what it could be), when– .
She suits up, Kal’s “Secret Weapon” policy be damned, and rushes off to help. She saves who she can, she catches giant chunks of rubble from mid-air, she sees a woman fleeing the scene, but it too busy rescuing bitches to catch her, but shit keeps exploding, even as she accelerates. Ken rushes into the bathroom where he had told her to hide, but another explosion rocks the building. She calls out to him, saying that he shouldn’t go in, she’s not inside, but she is too late.
So, the thing that Karen is writing about in her diary is the fact that her disobeying Kal’s orders resulted in this boy dying. Hardly seems trivial. So, her current attitude of rowdiness and recklessness means… That she doesn’t learn lessons. Huh.
End Chapter Two.
Chapter Three is the final part, called “Three of a Kind?” with the Question Mark and everything. It looks like Karen went immediately over to her bestie, Helena, after Ken’s death. Karen laments his death, but the wording is kind of awful. More like she got dumped by a douchebag than a person losing his life.
So, Karen mentions the escapee and Helena latches right on to it, shifting into detective mode. Apparently, the culprit stood out… Because she was a Super. The two of them head back towards the scene, this time in costume. And even though Karen’s still supposed to be keeping it on the down low.
On the next page, we see Batman and Superman discussing the girls’ attitudes, and the impending arrival and subsequent attack of Apokolips. AND They have this fucking conversation is front of a large, open window, because, apparently, windows aren’t actually see-through on Earth 2. I mean, really, first the brothel, now fucking BATMAN?
Back at the scene of the blast, Karen uses her microscopic and different frequencies of vision to examine bits of tech and trace amounts of energy left in the area. They deduce that it’s not native to Earth, and that bits of it may very well be Apokolips technology in origin but, before they can reach any sort of conclusion, they are attacked.
The two battle and they seem to be a pretty even match, but the collateral damage of their fight leaves Robin under some rubble, and so Karen goes to save her. The mystery bitch escapes in the meantime.
We go back to the Batcave for a moment. Basically, Batman knows who the bomber was and was worried about her complicating matters.
So, the kids go on ahead and trace the villain by a radioactive signature, which is probably not a good idea for Robin, both because of her vulnerability and her VULNERABILITY.
Karen takes a swing at the exact moment that Robin chucks an anti-Parademon grenade at the villain, now called “Fury” (hello, again, ties to Apokolips?) but the former is stopped from finishing her off by the appearance of Wonder Woman.
While they fight, Fury escapes via poorly rendered BOOM Tube.
Also, there’s no real reason to include this next panel except that it really and truly bothers me.
Robin comes back to the still squared-off Supergirl and Wonder Woman, saying that Fury escaped through a portal, like a hole in the universe. Wonder Woman immediately asks if the killer is alright. When Robin asks why she should care, Wonder Woman reveals…
So… Okay. Looks like we get a little bit of a look into the characters before the events of the Earth 2 comic book series, but I don’t think that it really amounted to much. I mean, we didn’t really learn anything new about the girls or their relationships to their father figures. Mostly, it seemed like a set-up to bring in another villain (Fury) down the road.
And, ultimately, I suppose that this issue is supposed to lead us further into the next story arc, the one that I’ve been looking forward to, where the girls finally meet face to face with the Superman and Batman of Earth Prime.
Let’s hope it comes out awesome.
Because I’m dropping some books. But, more on that next time.
Okay, you guys.
I have really high hopes going into this issue.
Let’s just jump right in.
PG is deep in the waters off the coast of Namibia, mining the ocean floor for diamonds and antagonizing local animal life. As she flings an overly familiar giant squid out of the water and over a fishing boat full of awfully light-skinned folks, she muses that she can sell the diamonds to get some quick cash.
She shoots out of the water when she’s collecting a few thousand karats, giving the fishermen a pretty good look at her as she goes.
The next scene is New York, where, Karen and Helena are discussing their legal troubles over breakfast in their hotel room, and Karen assures her that, if nothing else, at least her powers aren’t still on the fritz!
She plans to fly Hel around the park, but, of course, her powers decide to take that moment to cut out on her, sending both of them, now powerless, crashing to the ground through tree limbs and shit.
Naturally, they both survive unscathed, aside from some testy remarks by Helena. In the next shot, Karen is having a board meeting and getting cheesed off. This sets off her heat vision, setting fire to random shit but, luckily again, not injuring or killing anybody.
While Karen’s face explodes all over her company, Helena thinks that she’ll have to take her friend’s well-being into her own hands and go to her not-dad for help.
Karen, meanwhile, realizes that shit is not getting any better, and we can infer that she’s resigned herself to asking Superman for help.
Helena creeps around stately Wayne Manor, thinking about the best way to get in to talk to her pseudo-pops. She resigns herself to going in through the Batcave.
Batman, meanwhile, is being a creepster and stalking her right back, even making it easier on her to break in.
Helena scopes out the cave, finding it different than her home, and remembering the difference in age between her dad and this Batman, calling him a near Rookie. He sneaks up on her, y’know, like ya do, and she trains her crossbow on him, because of reasons. She immediately lowers it, apologizing for the break-in, saying that she needs his help. He promptly traps her in some kind of scifi light-construct cage thing, demanding answers, and she very calmly responds…
Sooo… Between giant squids, board meetings, and croissants… THIS ISSUE WAS ANOTHER FILLER ISSUE.
SON OF A BITCH.
I guess, if I want to see anything interesting happen in this comic, I have to buy Batman/Superman, too!
Which means that nothing interesting is still happening in this actual fucking comic book series.
I feel like I’m being trolled by DC Comics.
See you all in another series…
Alright, bitches, let’s try to do this thing more often…
Picking up from where last issue left off, Karen’s powers have gone haywire after an attempt to recharge her powers by chillin’ in front of the sun results in her being too charged up when her powers kick back in (because that’s what’s been happening this whole time and HOW COULD SHE THINK THIS WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA I THOUGHT YOUR WERE SUPPOSED TO BE SMART KAREN), and Helena’s solution is to tie PG’s ankles to a tug boat because her lack of leverage during flight (<- How do they catch airplanes when flying and shit, then?) will enable to boat to be strong enough to drag her down AND NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE.
The Tattooed Lady, who is referred to as “Tats” because, y’know, bad writing, is begging a servant of a demon statue guy named Xazdi to remove her powers so that she can become normal again, but he basically says, “Naw, bitch,” and it’s all the pep talk she needs!
Back in some apartment in Manhattan, Helena and Karen muse on whether the people they lost on Earth 2 still live on as doppelgangers on this planet. Helena is dismissive of the notion, not too keen on opening herself up for fear of losing them again (and also because that’s why EVERYONE is closed off in fiction, nowadays) and Karen is still enamoured of the idea of not just their loved ones but also colleagues, teachers, even ex-boyfriends just living their lives, untouched by the horrors of Apokalips. Helena derails that train of through by reminding her that they still have to find the murderous
Tits Tats. The friends place a friendly wager on who can find their villain first. Karen figures that super-speed and x-ray vision will do the trick, but Helena’s too lazy to put on pant and resorts to the Interwebs.
Hel finds her first and apparently fucking teleports to Brooklyn to catch Tats. She takes her down, ties her up, and then seems to forget that she’s dealing with a Meta-Human here as Tats is able to activate her, well, her Tats. She frees herself and runs to her demon statue and, when Helena rushes in after her, the statue comes to life (like ya do) and strangles Huntress. Luckily, Power Girl bursts in to save her, claiming that she never actually went to look for Tats, opting instead to follow Helena and cheat off of her work like the slow kid in middle school.
Karen ties the inky tattoos up but her powers fade right after she talks some shit. Her brilliant solution? Take Huntress’s crossbow and fire it at the creature’s heart which she assumes is going to be in the same place as a human’s… And… The demon blows up?!
The issue closes on the two of them eating a meal that Helena bought, despite the fact that she one their earlier wager, because… I dunno, because Karen is kind of a brat? The two discuss Karen’s powers situation and what they can do about it…
When “World’s Finest” first released, it was one of my favourite books. I really enjoyed how the two friends played off of each other, how we got to see glimpses of their lives back on Earth 2 (and their first Annual is coming out next month, featuring Supergirl and Robin of Earth 2, so that should be cool), how they’re acclimating to life on Earth Prime… But the excitement quickly fizzled as the storyline following Desaad kind of went nowhere, the Darkseid connection left hanging, and then spending issues following uninteresting and ultimately not terribly formidable adversaries. This “Tats” chick and her arc?
I just don’t care. Like, at all.
So, since next month starts the crossover between World’s Finest and Batman/Superman, I’m hoping to finally give a fuck again.
See you next week, True Believers.
Hello, Fangirls, and Happy Holidays!
Let’s get down to business…
…Excuse me. As always, Some reviews may be more expansive than others (because sometimes I just don’t care). Anywho, jumping right in:
Batgirl #25 – This issue was a “Zero Year” story, following Barbara dealing with a natural disaster in Gotham and all of it’s complications. Rather than this being a Batgirl story, we simply see a younger, pre-Bat Babs trying to protect her brother.
CopDad Jim Gordon orders them to stay in the house as he goes out to help and, like, five minutes later, another officer bangs on the door and orders them to evacuate. So, Barbara throws her whole life into a backpack and straps on a MOLLE/tactical vest because of reasons and she and James Jr. head to a local community centre/refugee camp. At this second location, while James Jr. bemoans the water leaking from the ceiling and Babs meets a behemoth of a man who assures her he’s but a humble gentle giant, the building collapses into a massive sinkhole and Barbara proves that climbing the rope in gym class really does have real-world applications and she climbs to safety, even occasionally diving back into the water to save people in what is an obvious and desperate cry for help, herself.
She almost slips and the Giant saves her. The group begins to hop along across rooftops, keeping moving because building inspectors don’t exist in Gotham City and every-fucking-thing’s about to collapse. Of course, inevitably, the group is separated when Giant Guy is crossing and the steel ladder they’ve been using as a bridge inexplicably collapses (because that happens). He urges the others to throw their belongings across the gap so that they themselves will be lighter and he can catch them when they jump… Then he promptly apologizes for his impending douchebaggery and makes to abscond with their treasures. Barbara sees him hoist the bag which has her most treasured shit she threw into a sack on her way out of the door and it leads her to leap across the gap between roofs and tackle a man she admittedly couldn’t possibly take on. She promptly defeats him by throwing him off of a roof after, of course, letting go of the material possessions she tackled him for in the first place.
The issue ends with the group of survivors on this last rooftop (don’t ask me how they all got across). That’s right. It ends. Just like that. So, we learn that Barbara is insanely lucky, kind of stupid RE: self-preservation, and anti-materialistic at the flip of a hypocritical switch.
Not the finest issue and I have no idea why there needed to be a break between issues of a single arc.
Batwoman #25 – “Zero Year” continues. Kate Kane travels home from West Point to Gotham to attend the funeral of her murdered uncle Phil. Cameos by Alfred and Bruce ensue, the latter speaking with an old-timey formality about justice and criminals and all that jazz. As a storm is rolling in, she decides to sneak out and take on some burglars and would-be murderers. She does so, saving a young boy in the process, and catching the eye of a fresh-faced Sawyer when the police arrive. Aaaand that’s pretty much it. So far, all of the Zero Year stories have been pretty mediocre…
Birds of Prey #26 – Another “Zero Year” story, this time following a young Black Canary before the fishnets. She was homeless, abandoned, dumpster diving, until a martial arts instructor found her and trained her. She eventually took over his dojo, but a disaster in Gotham (not sure if it’s the same one from Batgirl) ends with the building burning to the ground. She isn’t there until it’s too late to salvage, instead fighting off looters and ninjas, but she is saved from a return to life on the streets when some dude from the government who she’s just met up and offers her a job. Another issue with very little in the way of substance.
Catwoman #25 – Fuck me. “Zero Year.” HO-kay… Selina Kyle is a petty thief who snatches some douchebag’s backpack, only to find it full of rock-climbing equipment (including a grappling gun, somehow). The stuff is valuable, but she can’t sell it because a bad storm is rolling in and bitches only wanna buy food, water, fuel, etc. Her local grocery store is run by a good man named Mr. Archuleta who Selina actually consciously refuses stealing from, since he’s up at the front of the store, imposing a ration so that everyone will at least get something. Of course, an insanely wealthy man named Arnett Crocker shows up in person with two goons to load up everything in the store into a single black van so that he can throw an end-of-the-world party for his rich buddies. Selina tries to stop him by scratching one of the goons in the face, but end up being socked in the face.
As would we all in this situation, a completely green Selina uses the rock-climbing equipment to infiltrate Crocker’s party from the rooftop. She arrives and changes into a long black dress with an impressive slit and her hair done up and introduces herself to the shindig’s host. On the way, we pass familiar faces like Oswald Cobblepot (the Penguin) and Basil Karlo (Clayface).
Crocker tkes her towards one of his “back rooms (blech),” passing throw a masquerade of escorts in various costumes, a casino room, a circus room for some reason… But their walk is interrupted by the goon Selina scratched earlier telling the boss that “that guy” he’s expecting is here. He doesn’t recognize Selina, and she watches through the peephole to see exactly what kind of exchange is happening behind that closed door. Crocker presents an unknown buyer with a selection of prototype batteries, stolen by Black Mask the previous week. They are what is powering his entire building at the moment… But Selina’s eavesdropping is interrupted by the reappearing of the goon (not wearing the bandage he sported in the previous shot and also having no scabs in a moment of lazy colouring).
Crocker orders her death, and Selina teases that the dress isn’t the only thing she found in the back room…
She disarms the goon with the knife and the buyer with a gun and catches Crocker around the neck with her new toy. She inventories herself as she ties the men up and swipes the batteries, turning to find– .
She uses the batteries to power her own block (including Archie’s Grocery), and muses on her own lack of mad skillz, but looks towards practicing her craft of master thievery. Of all of the “Zero Year” stories, this is probably the best, and that’s really something considering how much I don’t enjoy the regular Catwoman series issues. There was an origin, a conflict, and a resolution. Y’know, like there really should be in a one-shot. Of course, just because something is entertaining doesn’t mean it’s necessarilly good, as Selina’s inner monologue constantly noting the fact that she’s inexperienced, winging it, and generally a poor decision-maker is pretty awkward. Like, why are you doing this, then?!
Next month’s episode is teased with the tagline “Catwoman at ROCK BOTTOM!” See you, Selina.
Earth 2 #17 – This being the Fangirl Perspective, we are focusing on the character of Lois Lane in this series, even as her consciousness has been downloaded into the Red Tornado. Soooooo brief recap: Superman is brainwashed and evil. He is tearing shit APART, and the only thing stopping him from drilling into the army base like wet TP is the Flash. The speedster’s brilliant plan?
Below ground, Major Sato faces off against Batman OR DOES SHE? It turns out, this cowled man isn’t Bruce! He is, however, super strong and apparently invulnerable and, just as we’re about to find out who he is, RedTornado! Lois shows up to pry him away from Sato.
Sato shoots Batman in the head, he survives, and goes to free Aquawoman from one of many shady-ass stasis pods used to detain criminals and enemies of the state (more on that later). Half-way around the world, the Flash is leading Superman on a foot chase, but evil Supes uses Darkseid-style unnecessarily-bendy-heat-vision to knock him over, then swoops in to grab and crush his ankle, and then return to the Arkham Command rubble to capture Mr. Terrific and Co-Commander Sloan for Apokolips.
Back underground, Batman is freeing his second of three targets from a blacked-out canister, telling Lois that it’s been blacked out to hide the atrocities of the world army. It turns out to be a young Jimmy Olsen, the solitary force behind a hacker group called “Accountable” that systematically released classified government records. Hooray for social commentary! Jimmy takes it pretty well in stride that he’s waking up from stasis, seemingly actually relieved that it’s not the year 3000, hello Futurama reference. He asks if any of them has a phone.
Jimmy sees that Parademons are invading from fire pits all over the world, and Batman veers off from the group towards his third target, even as Aquawoman (who hates that name, BTW) urges them to leave. Batman moves purposefully towards the Joker, suspended in his own tubey chamber thing, and Sato moves to intercept; she will not let him release such a monster. But Batman has another idea and reaches for a GUN on his utility belt.
Now, with a bloodied and SUPER dead Joker left behind, Batman is ready to lead an independently capable group of strong women to battle an unstoppable force, even though nobody knows who the fuck he is behind that cowl (although I’m betting Jason Todd, somehow, ’cause of guns and stuff).
I actually mildly enjoyed the issue. This series is promising, although I have to wonder how long this ongoing series is going to be, as well as whether we’re going to see any interaction in the Batman/Superman/World’s Finest crossover next month… It really helps that this is an alternate universe; I don’t care quite as much about discrepancies since it’s not the main universe… Come to think of it, they should just go ahead and reveal that the New 52 is just an alternate universe and the old universe is still out there! You’re welcome, DC.
Harley Quinn #0 – I have NO fucking idea what I just read. Panel after panel of breaking the fourth wall, wherein Harley realises she’s in a comic, wants to pick the artist herself, and writers Palmiotti and Conner talk to her all along the way. The comedy fell flat, the name-dropping intolerable, and Conner’s complete Mary Sue moment really ruined this for me…
Let’s hope the first actual issue is worth my time.
Supergirl #025 – This is part 3 of the “Krypton Returns”
trainwreck storyline. Supergirl is in the clutches of H’El, her evil ex-boyfriend (gag) who is still fucking trying to resurrect Krypton at the expense of Earth/the Universe/whatever it is this time. She bemoans his betrayals and bitches about the Kryptonite poisoning, then hits him in the face and picks up a spear, and through these couple of pages, we see three awkward shots of her ass.
Also, in this issue, Superman muses on the bittersweet moment he got to meet and speak to his biological mother (but his thoughts are interrupted by his uniform changing due to time-travely hijinks and the appearance of some unseen character mocking the change), and Superboy battles a weird-ass version of the Eradicator* as a slightly younger (and much more lively/much less angsty) Kara Zor-El is kind of useless, but at least she doesn’t hate Kon yet. Superboy can’t kill him, so, instead, he punts the Eradicator into a portal and the creature thunks straight into Smallville, Kansas.
H’El shows up at that moment, trying to kill Kon, even as he is simultaneously fighting Supergirl in another timeline. Both heroes are able to figure that out, and the two try to take advantage of that fact. BUT! Before Supergirl can prove that she isn’t totally useless, an alternate timeline version of Kon tackles H’El and Supergirl makes the giant-but-apparently-accurate leap in logic: “When I defeated Kon, did I become their leader– And now it’s the tribal instinct of the clones to protect me?” H’El, who already has gone on about how he’s not Kryptonian and how he’s a singularity, is outraged at the clones’ behaviour, so… I guess H’El is a clone?
In the very last panel, Supergirl has hoisted a spear (and is holding it backwards) and is about to engage H’El as her randomly devoted, face-tattooed clone army cheers her on. The suspense is killing me! Will Kon survive? Who was talking to Clark? Just how useless is Kara? What of H’El or the Eradicator? Will I care?!
*(SIDE-NOTE: He refers to himself as the embodiment of entropy, but he also maintains that he is going to ensure that everyone who is going to die on Krypton is going to die on Krypton. HOWEVER, entropy is a decline into disorder. Death is not disorder. Death is perfect order. So, basically, bad writing strikes again.)
Superman/Wonder Woman #2 – *Swallows the vomit* Okay, let’s get this over with… The issue picks up where last left off, with Diana and Clark saving a ship or something (who remembers?) but the former being sidelined by a punch to the face from (drumroll, please) — DOOMSDAY! For those who maybe weren’t aware, Superman never died in the New 52. He and Doomsday have never met let alone come to blows. So, the first to meet the monster is Diana, who is promptly suckerpunched and has both of her arms broken.
There is a moment here where the Amazon thinks to herself, “Okay, your arms aren’t your only weapons, you can fly, etc.” But we never get to see that pan out because the issue takes an awkward jump to Superman placing the ship he’d previously lifted out of the water back into the water. He asks her if she’s alright, and she responds with something along the lines of, “Oh, yeah, totes. I mean, my broken arms are already healed because I’m a bastard child of Zeus and stuff.” But she does remark about never having been hit that hard. Superman takes her to the Fortress of Solitude (TM) and a page and a half of exposition later, we find that the Kryptonians had imprisoned Doomsday in the Phantom Zone, but that the barrier between ours and that dimension must be weakening. What that would make Doomsday appear on Earth instead of Krypton, I do not know. Clark worries, but Diana places a reassuring hand on his giant pectorals and tells him that he is going to win because he’s not just mighty but also a good ol’ Kansas farm boy… With a fucking demi-goddess for a girlfriend.
In the next scene, Diana has taken Clark to see Hephaestus about weapons, and their conversation alludes to him possibly constructing a suit of divine armour. Their scheming is interrupted by Apollo and Strife, who then proceed to belittle Superman just like
my family at Thanksgiving the Greek gods are known to. Apollo calls Superman (due to his Alien heritage) an inhuman “thing” and says it doesn’t even bother him who Diana chooses to “slut around with.” Superman asks Apollo to clarify their definition of “god” and, satisfied, tells Apollo that he’s glad that he won’t have to hold back if the new ruler of Olympus disses his boo-tay like that again.
Then we see a brief moment of Cat Grant from the Daily Planet leaving him an angry voicemail… So, I guess Lois and Clark can’t even be partners in journalism.
Ahem. So, Diana freaks out with a massive “NO!” because Clark’s been slapped into one of the vats of molten something-or-another in Hephaestus’ forge, and Strife delightfully says that she’ll never see Superman the same, strong way again after that TKO. In a moment which I’m sure is meant to be much more impressive, Clark emerges from the fire pit and socks Apollo on the jaw. The god of the sun is knocked back and down… But not ACROSS THE FUCKING ROOM like a certain bro from Krypton. Apollo then blasts Clark with, I dunno, a ray form his face (like ya do), but Clark emerges all glowy because, y’know, sunlight.
Apollo takes himself a pounding and Clark returns to politely thank Hephaestus for his help. Strife, in the background, gushes. Meanwhile, in Wonder Woman, she’s sworn to kill Diana and stuff, but let’s ignore that for comedy that is misogynistic and falls utterly flat. After all, this is New 52 DC.
The issue wraps with a bunch of guys on camelback in the desert being ripped apart by something unseen… And the apparent return of General Zod. And me snoring.
Wonder Woman #025 – Strife commissions a weapon to defeat Wonder Woman and Hephaestus provides her with what looks like a single, red-hot nail. Hephaestus, even though he made the thing, is skeptical, but Strife looks super psyched. Meanwhile, Cassandra is on flying metal cockroach of a plane and using Ol’ What’s-His-Name to find baby Zeke (because, obviously, he’s a child of prophecy and destined to be ultra powerful).
Hermes and his weird-ass chicken feet are creeping all over Diana (dressed in a burlap sack but still wearing her tiara in public), Hera, and Zeke’s-Mom-Whose-Name- I-Also-Forget as they eat lunch and discuss how mortality made Hera a shit ton less crazy. Suddenly, Orion zooms overhead and announces that they’re under attack. He fries the tree that Hermes is leaning against and the two fight TO THE DEATH– Except for that they don’t because Strife shows up to giver her condolences to her brother, mother, and “baby sister” Diana amongst all of the fucking oblivious mortals just eating their sammiches and shit. Diana apologizes for Ares’ death, and Strife’s pretty much like, “Psh. Yeah, sure you are, skank.”
In a quick scene, we see Dio serving bits of a still living and conscious First Born to Apollo for dinner, because why not? We then return to Diana’s apartment (where that severed head is still on the mantle) and Strife is giving out presents AND THERE ARE BALLOONS! She has brought Hera the peacock feathered cloak she wore as queen of the gods, making her mother sort of sadly nostalgic, and has brought War’s horned helmet to Diana. Diana calls her a bitch and it rolls off of Strife’s shoulders as she gives the last gift, a magic spider-silk blanket for baby Zeke.
Back on the airship with Cassandra, she reveals that she, too, is a demigod, and then What’s-His-Face goes nuts and talks to no one as warthog- or dog-men chill out underground with video screens in a single, unexplained panel.
Back in the apartment, Orion has a temper tantrum because Diana won’t let him fight Hermes in her living room and Strife watches on with an amused smile.
Sriracha Siracca blows in through the window and warns Diana that Milan (HA! That’s What’s-His-Name’s fucking name!) is being held captive by Cassandra, that he loves her, but that she’s torturing him, etc… Orion and all of his testosterone use the distraction to open up a BOOM Tube and Diana asks Strife to keep watch as she, Siracca, and Hermes travel to Chernobyl to save Milan from Cassandra. Strife is confused by the notion of Diana’s trust in her, but when Zeke’s mom re-entres the room, we see that their journey to Chernobyl apparently falls right into Strife’s plan.
World’s Finest #17 – This issue felt very much like filler. I’m still holding out for the crossover with Batman/Superman in January, but the past few issue shave fallen very flat. In this issue, Karen’s trying to find the silver lining of her still-fluctuating power levels by… Getting a tattoo?
Right, because she’s a tremendously successful business woman and getting another distinguishing characteristic is gonna be great for the maintenance of her secret identity.
Speaking of which… While Helena is off trying to track down a coincidentally heavily tattooed murderess avec les pouvoirs super, Karen has decided that now would be a good time to go for the ultimate sunbath, hitching a $10 million ride on a shuttle to Right-In-Fucking-Front-Of-The-Sun, where she promptly strips down in front of the shocked pilot and goes for a little space walk.
So, Helena’s trying to tackle this tattooed chick who, by the way, has tattoo-related super powers… And Karen’s sunbathing takes a bad turn when she apparently overloads. This, for some reason, sends her falling back towards Earth.
Karen conveniently lands in the water that runs under the bridge that Helena is also conveniently fighting a low-grade supervillain atop… And the impact distracts Helena so that she can go to her friend and comrade’s aid and so that Tattooed Chick can run away to fight in another issue. Whoo…
I actually had lots of pictures to attach to this review, but so little happened in this issue that I had to go back through and make sure that it was a full issue! This series opened a lot stronger, I feel, and I need them not to coast. The crossover needs to be amazing, because I’m considering dropping a lot of books and, until now, World’s Finest wasn’t among them.
What happened to you, DC? You used to be cool.
That’s it for the reviews this month! See you next time, Nerds!