Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #1
Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 15, 2022
Cover date: May 2022
“The Devil Nezha” – Chapter One: “Doomed”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Dan Mora
Cover: Dan Mora
Variant Covers: Dan Mora, Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair, Stanley “Artgerm” Lau, Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson, Chip Zdarsky, Doc Shaner and Lee Weeks and Brad Anderson
Reviewed by: Tony Parker
In the not too distant past, Metropolis is invaded by Poison Ivy. Superman, Batman and Robin rush to stop her, but are taken by surprise by Metallo, who manages to inject the Man of Steel with a red kryptonite blend syringe, causing his powers to go crazy, and his mind to hallucinate. Two shadowy figures in the background enjoy the opening moves of their master plan.
Years before the attack, it is revealed that Batman truly began to trust Superman after he helped save Robin from an attack by The Penguin, who had managed to obtain some interdimensional warriors from Luthor for his operations.
Back in the not too distant past, Batman calls the Doom Patrol (Robotman, Elasti-Girl, Negative Man) to help him stop Superman so they can take him to Dr. Niles Caulder, the Doom Patrol Chief, who might be able to heal Superman. Superman hallucinates the Patrol as Zod, Ursa and Non, and Batman as Lex Luthor, and a fight ensues. Batman, with help from Negative Man’s radiation powers, creates the effects of a Red Sun, and manages to snap Superman out of his illusions for a moment, and stabilize him… for the time being.
At the Caulder Mansion in Midway City, Batman and Robin wait to see if Dr. Caulder can save their friend.
To be continued…
Story – 4: I was really excited when I got the chance to review this book, for it’s my first non mini-series that I got assigned to from Issue 1! It feels like a milestone, right on my second anniversary here too!
So how nice it is to say that yes, this is a great issue! A light (but not in a bad way) yet also serious story with some insanely good stakes, I mean, Superman is out of commission in a way rarely seen, and actually unique! Red Kryptonite feels missing these days, and seeing such an interesting use of it is, well, really cool, for lack of a better phrase!
A lot of things in this story feel a bit like a throwback, to be honest! Batman with a blue cowl and yellow emblem, Robin by his side (and not Damian Wayne), a more touching portrayal of Batman and Superman’s friendship, and a classic DC team up idea, Poison Ivy and Metallo, arguably two of the best villains to combat the World’s Finest (Ivy has been known for her ability to incapacitate Superman, and Batman can realistically fight Metallo). It feels like the kind of story you’d find on a library shelf, or in a yard sale, or in a bargain bin, one of the first comics in your collection, when you only really know a few characters at best, but you get caught up by the magic that is superhero storytelling.
And for all the good humor, fun action set pieces, and that hard to describe, wonderful sensation of seeing a lot of characters interact (I didn’t even know we’d see Doom Patrol, and while I am still lacking in knowledge with them, they felt quite fun), it was the drama that really caught my attention.
While I am obviously a Superman fan (I mean, look where we are, readers), I am also a big Batman fan. And I think we all know that Batman and Superman stories have relied for years now on a difference in philosophies. The best Batman and Superman stories, however, understand that the differences are pretty pointless at best. Sure, Batman is moodier, and Superman is more optimistic, but they share a strong sense of justice, determination, kindness, and compassion. They are both incredibly smart and strong. They both prove they can fight anyone for what’s right. They are both heroes, and the world’s finest.
And it’s wonderful to see a story where they’re not at each other’s throats (or at the very least, Batman is at Superman’s throat). As Jeph Loeb’s absolutely brilliant run back in the early 2000s showed (seriously, I highly recommend it, especially the first two volumes), Batman and Superman have their differences, but they respect and, yes, care for each other greatly, and see each other as friends. They trust each other, even though in their occupations, it is hard to do that, and it’s shown excellently here. I truly believed in their friendship here, and for that alone I recommend this issue, if not for everything else. Not a 5, but a STRONG 4!
Art – 3: I liked it! Nothing sensational, but it’s got good lighting and warm colors, and the costumes look really good, Robin’s was cool, Batman has some great shadows on his cowl at times, and Superman looks as amazing as ever! Also liked Metallo’s design (perhaps my favorite look for him so far) and the Doom Patrol looking wonderfully out of place in the best way!
Cover Art – 4: One of my favorite kind of covers, where it tries to really express the history of the characters in question. Really cool to see, especially love all the different colors used!
Jim Lee Variant Cover Art – 2: Jim Lee’s done way better. This doesn’t even look like his usual style, it’s kinda disappointing, and a boring, generic cover.
Jason Fabok Variant Cover Art – 2: Also very generic. Nothing to say. Competent in the art, but that’s it.
Dan Mora Seinfeld Variant Cover Art – 3: The reference is kind of funny (I loved those Seinfeld and Superman commercials back in the day). Neat!
Check out the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.
I read and enjoyed the first issue of this brand-new miniseries. I’ll be sticking with it to see where it goes.
I enjoyed the artwork of Superman and Batman through time, playing with Silver and Bronze Age versions of their respective costumes. I consider it money pretty well spent.