Or – “Before The New 52!”

With the return of the concept of Earth-2, an alternate Earth with alternate versions of characters we know, we’ve seen a resurgence of Power Girl and the Huntress, both of whom deserve another turn in the spotlight.  But, what about the events that brought them to our world?  That’s what DC brought us Zero Month for, and your Major Spoilers review awaits!

WORLDS’ FINEST #0
Writer: Paul Levitz
Artist(s): Kevin Maguire with Wes Craig
Colorist: Rosemary Cheetham
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price:

Previously, in Worlds’ Finest: So, on an alternate world, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman existed, but were killed by Darkseid in an attack on their planet.  (One presumes that the lack of the rest of the Justice League was what made the difference for our Big Three.)  Superman’s cousin, Supergirl and Batman’s daughter, Robin, were shunted into another world, the post-Flashpoint New 52 reality, where they have forged new lives and new identities all the while seeking a way home.  This is how they got there…

IT’S WEIRD TO SEE ROBIN AS A BIOLOGICAL WAYNE…

Yes, I am aware that Damian Wayne is Robin now, but even he was retconned in as a young teen, whereas this issue shows us a Helena Wayne who was raised from childhood as the expected heir to the Batman throne.  It also explicitly introduces the Earth-2 Catwoman who, just like pre-Crisis tales, married the Batman and bore a child.  The story of Robin’s first mission is the first half of the issue, and it’s actually quite cool.  Paul Levitz may be alone among New 52 creators in that he is working with characters that he helped to shape (in the case of Power Girl) and one that he ACTUALLY CREATED back in the 70’s in the Huntress.  The young Robin story here is one that would have worked just as well in 1978 as it does now, with Levitz putting a great deal of heart in the family interactions of the Waynes, while Kevin Maguire delivers charming pictures throughout, especially when young Helena is the quintessential grossed-out teenager as her parents stage a caped makeout session.

BASICALLY SILVER AGE KARA ZOR-EL…

As for Supergirl, there are a few cosmetic differences in this reality (Lois Lane’s death, and a much more haunted Superman) but, basically we get Kara as Superman’s secret weapon, training for the day that she can become the protector of Metropolis and the world.  Maguire’s Supergirl is adorable, reminding me for some reason of Kate Hudson, and her frustration at not being allowed to work unrestricted is a nice touch.  Of course, Helena is a Wayne, and there is not such thing as a happy story involving the phrases “Wayne parents,” including this one.  Catwoman gets involved with what she thinks is a standard-issue drug ring, but ends up facing Apokaliptian technology.  I don’t want to spoiler anything, but I can speak in code:  Atwoman-Kay ets-gay urdered-may.  Robin leaps into action, and a badly wounded Batman calls Superman for help, only to have Kara come to the rescue.  (“A signal from Batman’s one of two things I’m allowed to respond to.”)  The two young women bond, and the story ends with Huntress telling Kara, “I think we’re going to be friends forever.”

THE BOTTOM LINE: UNEXPECTEDLY TOUCHING…

Paul Levitz confounds me.  Some of his work is hokey, retrograde and awful, while other stories are perfectly formed and amazing.  This issue falls into the latter category, as Levitz and Maguire drag me into the raw emotion of Robin as she charges into danger to avenge her mother.  Supergirl’s characterization is retro in a good way, reminding me of the old days of Action Comics, while Huntress becomes a little bit more like dear old dad in a way that doesn’t feel as ham-handed as many attempts to rip off recapture the magic of Batman’s origin.  This story is about the first interaction of two characters destined to become the Worlds’ Finest team, and Worlds’ Finest #0 makes it all work very well, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall.

Rating: ★★★★½

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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7 Comments

  1. LemmyCaution
    September 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm — Reply

    I agree wholeheartedly. This little book is maybe my fifth or sixth favorite of the DC books since the relaunch (and I really don’t like more than, say, a dozen of those titles). It’s been pretty entertaining and this issue was more of the same.

  2. September 7, 2012 at 4:34 am — Reply

    The phrase “unexpectedly touching” in regards to Kara and Helena gave me impure thoughts for a moment

  3. Luis Dantas
    September 7, 2012 at 7:47 am — Reply

    Kevin Maguire. Why?

  4. Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
    September 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm — Reply

    Agreed all the way around, other than that last line which was just a bit too cheesy for me. So far I’ve enjoyed precisely 1.5 of the Zero Month issues and they both took place on Earth 2…

  5. eric swanson
    September 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm — Reply

    Even with this nice review i still won’t read this new 52 its a slap in the face to Power Girl and the Huntress granted …..the Huntress is more like pre crisis…..but Power Girl was never supergirl …she was Always PG Grrrrr

  6. Dave
    September 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm — Reply

    Spot on review, man. This and Earth 2 are my only regular reads, and I haven’t been enjoying the ride as much as I would hope until this issue.

  7. September 11, 2012 at 8:49 am — Reply

    I’m still a bit confused on which Earth they are on. It seems to me they are on the mainstream Earth which means it’s not really an Earth 2 comic…

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