While the holidays are being enjoyed by many of us on this Earth, I believe it’s safe to say that the heroes of Earth 2 wished they would have something to celebrate. Now that three months have passed it’s becoming clear of what the direction for the remaining issues of World’s End, a bleaker direction, especially with one characters resurrection it makes sense however there are some choices to make this world edgier just a tad bit head scratching. So how exactly will the creative team choose to close out 2014 for Earth 2? Well if my preamble is any indication, it wasn’t a happy one.
Death was one of the huge components to this month’s World’s End as several (minor and two major) characters meeting their maker, but there was one death that just seemed to come out of nowhere, As we known Barbara and Dick were introduced at the start of this series, but very little characterization was given to them. So in a rather awkward ending, Barabara is killed off (the art makes it difficult to tell) leaving Dick in a state of manic.
With no investment into their relationship it feels like Barbara was only there to die and push Dick into whatever the writers have planned for him, it was a meaningless death. This comes off as an instance of the writers relying on readers who have a connection to them as a couple instead of actually building them up in this universe. You can’t expect readers to know these characters and their connection in previous works, In the end the demise of Barbara just comes off lazy.
The flip side to this being the death of Al Pratt who has been sidelined since loosing his arm, and I’ll grant that to some who only started with World’s End and didn’t read Earth 2 prior could see this as a similar situation to Barbara but given that Al Pratt was a character and readers could invest in him it makes his sacrifice actually mean something. It was a fitting end to a one of the first heroes of Earth 2.
Despite the constant death and torture of side characters, World’s End still continues to have that summer blockbuster feeling in it’s pacing, scale and action. Each issue is tailored perfectly to constantly have the reader come back each week, so while the “fun” maybe lacking in the grand scheme of things from issue, the intense drama makes up for it in spades. However if you want drama and just want the fun back, then this series going forward won’t be for you, it’s a personal preference.
The art for Earth 2 remains for the most part as consistent as you can for a weekly series but I was extremely pleased to see that one issue 12 was done by one artist to capture the return of Darkseid. Paulo Siqueira did an amazing job of rendering what makes Darkseid one of the most iconic villains in history, the gravitas that is Darkseid. So if you’ve been waiting for Darkseid to return and want a sneak peak, it’s happening over here on Earth 2.
Earth 2 World’s End #9-13 earns a 4/5
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