‘Earth 2: World’s End’ #10
Written by Daniel H. Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, & Mike Johnson
Art by Scott McDaniel, Jack Herbert & Vincente Cifuentes, Jorges Jimenez, Eddy Barrows & Eber Ferreira, and Jan Duursema & Drew Geraci
Published by DC Comics
With two and a half months under its belt, the real flaws of ‘Earth 2’ have been made apparent. By far one of the series’ greatest crimes has been how it handles its art duties. With so many issues coming out at a rapid fire pace, a creative team should have a perfectly clear plan for pencillers, inkers, and colorists to follow. Previous weeklies have done this successfully like the excellent ‘52’, where the prolific Keith Giffen did rough break downs for every issue. ‘Batman Eternal’ and ‘Futures End’ are two current weekly titles that have a team of four rotating artists. One of the things that has done the greatest disservice to ‘Earth 2: World’s End’ is that instead of splitting up art duties, the penciling and inking teams are all given specific characters and story arcs to follow consisting of only a few pages each issue. It makes this week and many beforehand, difficult to read as styles keep changing every four to six pages. It’s impossible to say whose art is good or whose art is bad since no one is given specific page credits for their own work. Division of labor has been the death knell of this series, and it only becomes more frustrating every week. Most of the art comes off as sloppy, loose, and ill defined, so bad that as a reader, seeing specific plotlines pop up is terrifying as it means ugly pencils and inks are due to follow.
All of these issues could be redeemed with a strong and compelling plot, but that is absent. That is not to say there is not great potential in ‘World’s End’s’ story. Far from it. One thing this series has is a sprawling mythology of rich and complex characters and there are times when the story is genuinely surprising and moving. However, similar to the division in artwork, plot lines are divided up poorly. A good weekly features dramatic arcs, even within a single issue. ‘World’s End’ lacks that. Fight scenes are needlessly split across several weeks, taking away any tension they could have had. Too much is spent on characters who achieve nothing in the grander scheme of their stories. The greatest offender by far is all things concerning Dick and Barbara Grayson. Whatever is the initiating action for their journey has yet to be determined. One would think whatever story was planned for them has been long abandoned and what is on the page is little more than a slow trainwreck. The series is tangled in tie-in material that is paradoxically both relevant and superfluous. That is also to overlook how confused the writing is on how various magical and technological devices function. Characters suddenly have abilities they never had before. The short version is that ‘Earth 2: World’s End’ #10, marks the point where any interesting things that could have been done with this series have long departed, leaving behind a confused rushed and disjoined title. Unless one is a diehard ‘Earth 2’ fan who requires all of the series’ related reading material, it is best to avoid at all costs.