Batman/Superman: World's Finest high-fiving.

Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #1 Review

Written by: Mark Waid

Art by: Dan Mora

Coloring by: Tamra Bonvillain

Lettering by: Aditya Bidikar

Batman/Superman: World’s Finest is interesting for several reasons. This marks the return of Mark Waid, a historic writer in the comic industry, especially at DC for one-off stories like Kingdom Come, and award-worthy runs like Legion of Super-heroes and Justice League. Now he’s coming back to write two characters he understands perfectly.

It’s no surprise that the strongest parts of this issue are the characterizations of the main characters and their friendship. Waid re-establishes their dynamic and the trust between them in a heart-warming manner. Seeing how well they know each other–enough that Batman can break Superman out of mind control just by talking to him–shows why I assumed Mark Waid would be perfect for a Batman/Superman: World’s Finest book.

Batman and Superman stand side by side as the World's Finest.
They’re totes besties.

But a book can’t be carried by characterization alone, especially when it’s about overexposed icons like Batman and Superman. We know these two characters like the back of our hand. We’ve read hundreds of team-ups between them so the plot has to be something special too. On that front, the first issue doesn’t make the best impression.

First off, this is a flashback book, if its even canon. Also, it’s weird to see Batman wearing blue again, what appears to be Dick Grayson as Robin, and a Lois Lane who doesn’t know Clark Kent is Superman. They all feel a bit like unnecessary regressions in terms of design, character development, and character relationships. It does match the Silver Age tone this book has, but I don’t care for the Silver Age.

Batman/Superman: World's Finest look at an offscreen danger.
Okay, looking a little nervous there.

The first issue of Batman/Superman: World’s Finest is a book where hijinks happen, and that’s it. That’s also all it builds up for the future too, at least as far as I can tell. Sure, having the Doom Patrol show up, looking better than ever under Dan Mora’s pen, is awesome. It just feels kind of meaningless.

I’m seeing a lukewarm reaction to this comic online that’s similar to my own. I think that’s on us. We all assumed Mark Waid wanted to do some of the high-brow stuff that he’s known for. Instead, he’s writing something that’s just plain fun. If you can get behind mindless fun, and you like the tone and colors of the Silver Age, this is the book for you. If not… well, Dan Mora is the regular artist, so that’s enough reason for me to keep reading.

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