Written by Daniel H. Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, Mike Johnson, Cullen Bunn
Art by Scott McDaniel, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, R. B. Silva, Walden Wong, Eduardo Pansica, Marc Deering, Jorge Jimenez, & Tyler Kirkham
Colors by Andrew Dalhouse
Published by DC Comics
So, another week means another issue churned out by DC to ruin what was once their greatest new title and single justification for the New 52’s existence. While this slow slog through the wasteland that has become Earth 2 is reaching its apex, there is one reason to be cautiously optimistic for what’s to come. This issue marks the arrival of writer Cullen Bunn, of the current Sinestro and Magneto runs. If there’s one thing to be said about Cullen Bunn, it’s that he is rarely boring. He has offbeat sensibilities that make him stand out from other lesser known talents. He’s written the campy self-aware ride that was The Fearless Defenders and is set up for a new series called Hellbreak from Oni Press that involves black-ops team of exorcists leading a raid on the realm of the damned. It remains doubtful that Bunn has the ability to pull Earth 2: World’s End out of the fire as Daniel H. Wilson is the series’ showrunner, but if this issue is any sign, perhaps watching this train wreck will be a bit less grating.
Oddly enough, this issue shows drastic improvement from previous issues. The artist team that could populate their own micro-nation is still lurking about, and there’s the expected trite dialogue exchanges and pulling powers out of nowhere, but there are some sparse moments of clarity where this series starts to resemble what Earth 2 used to be. The highlights of this issue remain mostly within the first twelve or so pages, most of them are simple dialogue exchanges between members of the Batman and Superman families. There’s actually a semblance of character development, something that’s been missing for most of this series, for Huntress as she finally accepts her grandfather that tug at a few heart strings. The, to be honest, hackneyed story of Lois Lane coming to terms with her new android form manages to have some semblance of weight behind it, helped by her connection to Power Girl. The artwork even improves with a style featuring rounder faces with clearer expressions which brings out the human qualities of the cast. Of course, as no one on World’s End gets proper page credits, the artist is denied their due. It’s moments like this where the characters aren’t being sucked into Dragon Ball Z fight scenes that this series has at least the semblance of a meaningful story. This brief moment of salvation is quick to be undercut as the plot continues on to waste time with Darkseid and the life Avatars. To go an issue without the entirely skippable Dick Grayson storyline is also a plus.
The sink into the void that is Earth 2: World’s End is slowed by the first half of an issue with some good character moment and decent artwork. Whether or not Cullen Bunn can make this journey less painful is up in the air, but this issue is a good argument for the case.