Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #2 is here and the pair haven’t been this fun since Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness. Characters from all around the DC Universe pop in and out of the story as the World’s Finest continues on their journey.
However, if the story of “The Devil Nezha” isn’t a reason to buy this month’s Batman/Superman: World’s Finest, then the covers are. Mora’s regular covers the duo to a backdrop of this issue’s guest stars and allies from the previous issue – The Doom Patrol.
This month’s variant artists are Tim Sale, Pete Woods, and Jorge Jimenez. Sale brings back his Superman design from his and Loeb’s four-issue special “For All Seasons” and puts him in a yin yang composition with the Dark Knight with their respective cities behind them. The coloring here was done by Dave Stewart. Sale is always great at making Superman look like a mix of Timm of Fleischer – very classic looking.
Speaking of classic, Pete Woods goes with the World’s Finest’s debut appearances. Superman has his old arrowhead insignia and Batman has the purple gloves. Woods’ more contemporary art style gives these Golden Age relics a modern makeover. Comic collectors would favor this one out of the set.
Jimenez, who has become a modern DC legend with his work in Justice League, brings back his Superman and Batman designs that rocked the pages of Scott Snyder’s epic. He gets Kal-El’s face right every time. Both his and Mora’s art style is similar in how they handle faces. Coloring for this one was done by Alejandro Sanchez and it really makes the piece standout.
The last time we left Superman and Batman; the circumstances were actually quite similar to “Public Enemies.” After a battle with Metallo, Superman is once again injured with kryptonite and a special dose of red ones known to have strange effects on Kryptonians. Fortunately, there are heroes who specialize in the strange as Niles Caulder and the Doom Patrol came to their rescue. We get moments from Robot Man, Negative Man, and Elasti-Girl as they race against the clock to save the Man of Steel.
Later, the Doom Patrol gives us a little exposition on our antagonist the Devil Nezha. Basically, the son of an ancient Chinese warlord was resurrected through his distraught father. The Doom Patrol had come across his sword recently and they have reason to believe that is making a move on the world yet again after escaping ancient imprisonment. This shines some light on who or what is using Superman and Batman’s rogue galleries to get to them.
Unfortunately, they aren’t the only ones! The Justice League is being attacked with one hero being overwhelmed in the city he operates in. It’s up to Superman and Batman to dispel him (pun intended). Meanwhile, Robin works with an ally of Superman’s that he appears to have a history to locate the Devil Nezha.
I know the story is called “The Devil Nezha,” but the whole origin and full scoop on the new character hit the reader like a ton of bricks. Usually, new villains’ introductions are paced and built up. Interestingly enough, there was also no indication of Eastern influence in the previous issue.
Superman and Batman’s exploits and confrontations in this issue are definitely a highlight and possibly an all-time Superman power moment, but some readers may not help but wish that it was set against a more memorable conflict and rising action. This is shaping up to be a Superman vs. the forces of magic-type story and those always have the potential to be crafty. Waid is no stranger to practically applying the Man of Steel’s many abilities. Mora’s art fits the magical powers and mystic atmosphere quite well. I bet his Power Rangers books are really colorful in that regard.
Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #2 continues to be a fun carefree series that has yet to take Clark and Bruce anywhere but promises Superman and Batman to go places from start to finish. You have plenty of heroes and a classic Justice League villain to make up for the rather standard way we have been given revelations about what our heroes are dealing with. What themes Waid will use this villain to explore, if any, remain to be seen.