Once upon a time in the Pre-Crisis DC Universe, Superman and Batman shared a team-up book called World's Finest Comics. For over three hundred issues, DC's two leading superheroes shared adventures and had one of the definitive bromances in comics. But in this new century, in the age of "The New 52," that torch has passed and shifted to a womance between Power Girl and The Huntress.
The debut issue of Worlds' Finest (Yes, the placement of the "s" and the apostrophe is important) spins off from the events of James Robinson and Nicola Scott's Earth 2 #1 that also arrives this week. Thankfully, you don't have to read that issue to understand this one, although reading Earth 2 #1 first gives you extra backstory on how the two superheroines end up being marooned on the main DCU Earth and as the cover states, "reborn to make our world their own."
Writer and Huntress co-creator Paul Levitz wisely plays up the premise, bonding the duo over their mutual plight and showing how they rely on one another for emotional support despite their opposing personalities. While Levitz's return to the Legion of Super-Heroes has been somewhat lacking, he already seems much more comfortable here with characters that banter with one another like only close friends can. Power Girl's impulsive, outgoing nature is balanced nicely with Huntress' methodical, private persona without being harsh or annoying to the reader.
There's also some lovely art by the legendary George Pérez on the main present-day scenes and Kevin Maguire on the flashback sequences. As a longtime fan of Pérez, I may be a bit biased but I thought he produced some excellent work here. I know there are some critics out there that feel his panels can be too cluttered at times, but with just two main characters to focus on for most of the issue, the story flowed and complemented Levitz's script well. The seven pages by Maguire are also just as solid, working with the rest of the issue even with completely different artistic styles.
Right from the start with Helena Wayne setting fire to her Helena Bertinelli identity, what used to be the Post-Crisis Huntress, there's a clear statement that the world of Earth 2 has returned...only things have changed and so far, feel considerably fresher. Yes, the two superheroines will eventually cross paths with a Superman and Batman they never knew, while Power Girl will encounter this world's Supergirl, a younger version of herself. But the dynamics have definitely shifted and seem to have more story potential than in meetings from previous DCU versions.
Welcome back, Earth 2. We missed you.