Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Batman / Superman: World's Finest #2 Review

The Template

Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Dan Mora
Colors by: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters by: Aditya Bidikar
Cover art by: Dan Mora (cover A)
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: April 19, 2022

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #2 partners Batman and Superman with the Doom Patrol to track down an ancient, magical villain who escaped an eternal prison to take over the world.

 Was It Good?
Yes, this is better than issue #1. Waid and Mora's first issue in this series had plenty of good things to like - fantastic art, LOTS of fan service, and good old-fashioned super-heroics. However, I was lukewarm on the first issue because it was too overstuffed with flashbacks, side stops, and irrelevant fan service. In short, the meal of the first issue had too much cotton candy and not enough meat.

Thankfully, Batman/Superman: World's Finest #2 turns down the noise to focus more closely on the plot. We get a straightforward setup that points to an ancient Chinese demon lord who escaped his magical prison to resume his goal of taking over the world. Assorted DC villains are tasked with keeping the heroes out of the way while the immortal Chinese warlord, Nezha, sets his plan in motion.

The now-clarified central conflict makes perfect sense, the history and motivations of the main villain are made clear, and the heroes' response is all geared toward getting help and stopping the villain. 

At its core, this is as simple a superhero story as you can get, but what elevates the story is Waid's skill in giving each scene personality. The Doom Patrol act as eccentric as they should in relaying what their research uncovered about Nezha. Batman and Superman are pitch-perfect. And the small amount of fun, executed effectively, comes from an awkward reunion between Supergirl and Robin, where we learn a previous meeting (date?) went badly.
In writing alone, this was a fun, energetic, well-paced story. Of course, a few nitpicks crop up here and there (How was the Doom Patrol able to operate on Superman to cure him of his Red Kryptonite infection?), but the whole issue works.
Regarding the art from Mora, Bonvillain, and Bidikar...it's fantastic. The pencils/inks, the shading, light sources, panel composition, facial expressions, and everything in between are nearly perfect. If you're looking for a great-looking comic, you can't get much better than this.
Bits and Pieces
Batman/Superman: World's Finest #2 takes everything that worked about the first issue and builds on it. Then, it takes everything that wasn't right in the first issue and corrects it. This is a perfect example of classic superhero storytelling and a highly recommended pick for anyone that wants to remember why they liked reading superhero comics.


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