The Missing Element

Exclusive Preview of "Worlds' Finest #9"

by shathley Q

4 February 2013

Paul Levitz masters a new form of storytelling in the forthcoming Worlds' Finest #9--narrative conflict through absence…

The Preview you’re about to read is just great…it’s exactly the right mix of knuckles-to-the-wall action and globalist puzzlemaking intrigue. Exactly the mix you’ve come to expect over the course of the past eight issues of Worlds’ Finest. Once again Paul Levitz has managed to engage his Finest in brutal hand-to-hand combat. But this time the stakes are even higher.

Huntress, now recuperating on Starr Island in the South Pacific, is forced to take down a high-tech armored assault team. They’ve come full-bear on this infiltration, ostensibly after data that is near-impossible to hack at a distance. Data demanded by their shadowy, as-yet-unrevealed employer. The same employer who sent the nuclear-powered villain Hakkou in the first storyarc.
Bear in mind this team has been held in reserve, just in case Hakkou failed. Whoever this international mastermind behind these attacks on S.T.A.R. Labs is, he’s certainly been hedging his bets. Add in the fact that Huntress now has one arm in a sling, and that Power Girl is nowhere near.

It’s once you realize that the team isn’t complete that you also begin to realize how much you’re missing out on. Since the first issue, the action and the international intrigue has only been a fraction of the story being told in Worlds’ Finest. And perhaps, even the smaller fraction…

By now you no doubt know the story well. Power Girl and Huntress are exiles from the parallel dimension of Earth 2, they’re that dimension’s erstwhile Supergirl and Robin. In addition to dealing with the threat to S.T.A.R. Labs, the company purchased by Karen Starr (Power Girl’s alter ego), series regular writer Paul Levitz has focused Earth 2 on the heroes’ survival narrative.

Robin has been the perfect Bat-daughter. Her focus to survive and sheer willpower demonstrated on almost each page could be reduced to a kind of mantra—“the next 15 seconds, the next 15 yards.” The whole point was to get to a point of safety, and eventually, build enough resources to get back home.

Power Girl exposed a very different psychological nature, and demonstrated a very different kind of psychic survival mechanism. Why not live in the world? Instead of hiding in the shadows, embrace the light. Why not use the funds re-appropriated from this Earth’s Batman to become a millionaire herself? Why not become the media-darling owner of S.T.A.R. Labs?

If you’ve been fascinated by the broader social narrative that Paul Levitz has been wrestling with over the course of past eight issues—issue #9 only gets better. Levitz has moved from telling a story by presenting you with incidents, to crafting the art of that story by presenting you with absence.

Just like the 49ers rallying after 30-plus minutes of darkness, forcing the Ravens to dig even deeper, and pull out that victory.



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