Creating Silver Age feeling comics in the modern age is a tough task to pull off, with some of the more comical and mind-bending aspects of that era of comic book storytelling often coming into conflict with the current comic book universes, which will often tend to sway far more into more realistic and serious ventures. I'm happy to report that the creative team behind Batman/Superman: World's Finest #1 has managed to find the perfect balance between the two eras, creating a story that not just pays homage to the more light-hearted stories of yesteryear, but manages to create one of the best single issues that DC Comics has released in years.
The issue itself begins by taking us to the past of the Dark Knight and Man of Tomorrow, without making it feel outdated mind you, exploring an adventure that Batman, Superman, and Robin share taking on both Poison Ivy and Metallo. Though the story definitely feels light-hearted, Waid does a fantastic job of making sure that the stakes remain dire, as Kal-El struggles with being effected with a mysterious vial of Red Kryptonite, making him a danger to both himself and others. This issue has a LOT of different plot points and action beats happening all at once, and it's something that might have been a tad too much for most writers to balance so many spinning plates, but Waid is able to do so expertly here.
This new series is clearly a love letter to all things DC Comics, with the story taking the opportunity to not just feature the World's Finest and their supporting cast, it also acts as a perfect vehicle to include various characters from the company, adeptly including characters like the Doom Patrol, the villainous Weaponers of Qward, and your standard villains hiding in the shadows. While this might be a Batman/Superman title, it's one that strongly benefits from the inclusion of Robin, adding some extra levity with a young Dick Grayson joining the Dark Knight's side as he is also able to take on the role of "everyman" in the story.
The dynamic between the protectors of Gotham City and Metropolis can often be a tricky one to convey, with the easy way out being them coming to blows based on their unique ideologies when it comes to fighting crime, but Waid is able to really show off the differences between the two characters while also not falling into the trap of making Batman "too dark" and Superman "too bright." There's one scene in particular where Bruce is trying to talk Clark down while using some key knowledge that only the two would know which really shows the strength of their relationship without necessarily overselling it.
Dan Mora's artwork simply cannot be ignored in this premiere issue, having really made a name for himself as a part of Boom Studios' Once & Future with writer Kieron Gillen. Mora's art feels like an energetic combination of some of DC's biggest names, taking dashes of Greg Capullo, Jim Lee, and Ivan Reis to name a few. This book absolutely demands your attention for its artwork, and I definitely wouldn't be surprised if Mora continues to skyrocket within the company based on this initial outing.
Batman/Superman: World's Finest is an absolute smorgasbord of all things DC Comics and works as a stellar introduction to a series that certainly isn't original in concept but goes the extra mile in building a story that fires on all cylinders through the strengths of these two legendary heroes and the worlds they call home.
Published by DC Comics
On March 15, 2022
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Dan Mora
Colors by Tamra Bonvillain
Letters by Aditya Bidikar
Cover by Dan Mora