BATMAN/SUPERMAN: WORLD’S FINEST #1/ Story by MARK WAID/ Art by DAN MORA/ Color Art by TAMRA BONVILLAIN/ Letters by ADITYA BIDHIKAR/ Variant Covers by JIM LEE, SCOTT WILLIAMS, ALEX SINCLAIR, STANLEY “ARTGERM” LAU, JASON FABOK, BRAD ANDERSON, CHIP ZDARKSKY, DOC SHANER & LEE WEEKS/ Published by DC COMICS
First published in 1941, the original World’s Finest Comics series was an anthology featuring the most popular heroes of DC Comics. Superman, Batman and Robin graced most of the covers, but they didn’t start teaming up in actual stories until World’s Finest Comics #71 in July 1954. The new World’s Finest series is cut from the same cloth, telling classic tales of Superman, Batman (and Robin!) working with some of DC Comics’ other heroes.
The nine page preview above sets the tone for the book quite well. Mark Waid is in his element here, drawing upon his encyclopedic knowledge of DC Comics’ history to throw a number of interesting wrinkles into the action. Yet it is his love of the characters and gift for bringing out their personalities through little touches in the dialogue that make this issue memorable.
Dan Mora’s artwork is equally powerful and detailed. The fight scenes are dynamic and well-blocked, but it is the little details that sell the story. For instance, I love how even in the middle of a sunny day in Metropolis, Batman is continually moving in ways that keep his face concealed in shadow, if only momentarily by the billowing of his cape. The colors by Tamra Bonvillain are eye-catching throughout, as are the letters of Aditya Bidikar. Again, the little details are the key, from the emphasis of certain words in the otherwise static font used for Metallo’s voice, to the thin green line around Poison Ivy’s word balloons.
World Finest is the best new title to come out of DC Comics in some time, yet I hesitate to call it a new title. This is a timeless work of Americana, which feels like the sort of comic one might find in an old attic or garage at a family gathering, before passing it among the kids to keep them quiet while the adults talk. Whatever you call it, it’s a great read.
Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #1 releases on March 15, 2022.