Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Batman / Superman: World's Finest #18 Review



Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Travis Moore
Colors by: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters by: Steve Wands
Cover art by: Dan Mora
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: August 15, 2023

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #18 recounts a different version of the origin story of the first meeting between Batman and Superman. How can Batman stop a Gotham criminal who speaks Kryptonese?
Is It Good?

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #18 is a solid-yet-alternate recounting of how Batman and Superman first teamed up. Honestly, I've lost track of the number of times the "first meeting" was told, so it's unclear why Mark Waid went for another go at the same well. On the whole, it's an okay story, but you likely won't be blown away.

We begin with Gotham, well into the first year of Batman's appearance. The Riddler has struck again, but this time, he leaves a written clue behind in a language nobody can interpret. Commissioner Gordon makes the decision to publish the message to the press in the hopes that someone can decipher the script. Gordon's plan works when a spectacled reporter at the Daily Planet recognizes the language as the native tongue of Krypton.

Superman heads to Gotham City where he seeks out Batman for help deciphering the riddle after translation. Their collaboration works, and Batman believes the connection between Riddler and the Kryptonian language has something to do with a growing string of disappearances across the city where citizens simply vanish. Ultimately, the World's fines track down Ridller, only to discover he's the puppet of a more powerful threat.

What's great about this issue? The plot is clear, and Riddler's puppet master is an intriguing twist. Honestly, the highlight of this book is the number of criminal cameos from characters (say that five times fast) we haven't seen in a while, such as Magpie and Spellbinder. Waid loves to dig into the corners of DC's catalog of characters, and it's a treat to see old names and faces again.

What's not so great about this issue? To be blunt, the first time meeting between Batman and Superman has been done to death. Is this the worst or best interpretation of that event? So far, it's neither, and that's a problem. The World's Finest's first meeting can only ever happen once. There's no need to re-imagine it again and again.

How's the art? Also, it's good but not great. Look, it's impossible to not draw comparisons to Dan Mora's work. Travis Moore has a strong style, and under any other circumstances, Moore would be lauded for his work in this issue, but Mora is a super-tough act to follow. There are no complaints about Moore's work, so you'll be generally pleased with the final result, but readers used to Mora's style will notice the difference.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #18 re-imagines the first meeting between Batman and Superman (again) with solid art, entertaining cameos, and a solid cliffhanger.


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