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World's Finest #2 World's Finest #2

World's Finest #2 [of 4]

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 25, 2009

Cover date: January 2010

"Book Two: The Guardian and Robin"

Writer: Sterling Gates
Penciller: Ramon F. Bachs
Inker: Rodney Ramos
Covers: Phil Noto

Reviewed by: James Lantz

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A few nights ago, the Parasite had stolen WayneTech's Zero Degree Cryonic Stasis Engine, nicknamed "Mister Zero", for Mister Freeze. Freeze intends to use the machine to freeze Mon-El so the Parasite can feed off the Daxamite endlessly. Now, Guardian and the Metropolis Science Police are battling Riot, whom Damian Wayne, the new Robin, is questioning about Mister Zero's whereabouts. Guardian eventually arrests both Robin and Riot. However, the Boy Wonder manages to free himself from his handcuffs. He interrogates Riot further before evading Guardian's men.

Guardian is clearly irritated with Robin, whom he does not feel is worthy of the Boy Wonder's legacy. However, the lad has found the trail of Parasite thanks to a WayneTech van, a driver who was the Parasite's victim and a hole leading to the Metropolis sewers. His following Robin leads Guardian into the Parasite's clutches. Their fight inadvertently takes them to Mister Freeze's lair, where Mister Zero has been placed. Robin is battling the extremely cold villain. A Batarang hits the machine, causing it to overload. The excess energy must be absorbed before Metropolis becomes an icy wasteland. Guardian hurls the Parasite into the path of Mister Zero. The resulting chain reaction halts Mister Zero and turns the Parasite and Mister Freeze into frozen prisoners.

As Robin takes Mister Zero to Gotham City, Guardian hopes never to see the young partner of Batman ever again. A science police van has just taken Mister Freeze and the Parasite away. However, the vehicle is being driven by Toyboy, who has been ordered by the Toyman to throw the Parasite in the river. The maniacal toy maker only needs Mister Freeze for his plans, which involve a giant composite Superman-Batman robot that he is in the middle of assembling.

4Story - 4: It's the DC Universe's answer to the Burt Reynolds film Cop and a Half. (Anyone out there remember that one?)

All joking aside, I must confess that I haven't read the Batman books since Infinite Crisis ended. This isn't really necessary to enjoy the new World's Finest, as a blurb about the central heroes is provided on the credits page. This makes the book very reader friendly so far, which is definitely a good thing. Both chapters work well as single issue stories in spite of Toyman's enigmatic appearances in the last pages of #1 and #2.

I'll admit that I wasn't honestly expecting much from the new World's Finest when I heard that it was going to be centering around the Superman and Batman families without their mentors, but it's surprisingly good so far. Granted, I'd like to know what is bringing members of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight's rogues galleries together. However, perhaps my questions will be answered in the series' conclusion along with Toyman's reasons for needing Kryptonite Man, Mister Freeze and the composite Superman-Batman robot. We'll just have to wait and see as the stories progress.

5Art - 5: Robin looks like he could be nine or ten years-old. Still, the interior visuals have pretty much the same retro-1990s atmosphere of the first issue. In fact, Bachs and Ramos seem to be mirroring the previous art team's style. I really couldn't see much of a difference from this and number one. I really enjoyed what I saw in this one.

4Cover Art - 4 (Robin Cover): It's slightly better than the previous issue's covers, but I'm asking myself, "What's with all the %&$#ing dots all over Robin's face?" They distract readers too much from the Parasite. Plus, Robin looks older than he does in the interior art.

4Cover Art - 4 (Guardian Cover): The reflection of Guardian has too many dots like Robin's in the other cover. They are way too distracting from what could be a great Guardian versus Mister Freeze image.

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2010

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