Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #13 is here and they are on their next big case, and it’s a murder mystery sure to span into something much larger. It involves one of Gotham City’s most prominent figures and one of the founding members of the Outsiders. But the best part about this issue is all the different story tones.
The pair go worldwide with Dan Mora’s standard cover for Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #13. There’s almost a sort of 60’s Batman vibe as the theme music can be envisioned playing but replacing Robin with Superman. A bunch of different landmarks and monuments iconic to their countries of origin are silhouetted within a simple yellow background. Our person of interest is identified as Metamorpho as he runs to a more detailed wilderness setting.
Fico Ossio features the World’s Finest with our favorite supporting heroes because sidekick just doesn’t do them justice anymore. This is just simply a great character variant with the inclusion of Robin and Supergirl that showcases another artist’s unique take on them. Ossio is one of the artists that give Superman a big chest insignia that stretches from shoulder to shoulder, to me that always makes him look stronger for some reason.
Baldemar Rivas’ variant is the good vs evil matchup in its purest form – Superman and Batman facing down (or rather up) their evil Earth-3 counterparts Ultraman and Owlman. A battle-damaged Metropolis with the Crime Syndicate members on the high ground shows that our heroes have their backs to the wall. Rivas never disappoints with his Saturday morning cartoon-like aesthetic. This is one of those variants that make you wish it was the full-length issue.
Christian Ward gives us another cosmic matchup with a serious threat with his variant. Here, Superman and Batman take on Darkseid. Superman goes high while Batman goes low as the Lord of Apokolips fires off his wilding zagging Omega Beams. It’s a very colorful variant as well with its orange and blue splashed background meant to pop. Ward has a very smooth art style that just allows it to pop even more.
Gotham City billionaire Simon Stagg has been murdered in Metropolis and the Daily Planet is searching for leads while the GCPD is looking for suspects. Clark and Bruce already have both of their own with Rex Mason, the superhero Metamorpho. Mason’s superhero origin story unfortunately involves Stagg, playing the part of his tyrannical employer and disapproving girlfriend’s father. It would seem that Metamorpho would have plenty of reason to want him gone. But superheroes don’t kill. Do they?
That’s pretty much every page but the last one of this issue of Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #13 as it mainly serves as the initial hearing of this case as the readers can draw their own preliminary conclusions or guesses before any real evidence is discovered. The best part is Metamorpho’s origin story told by Clark that actually stretches over a couple of pages. It’s wild, as much as we see Metamorpho in the background or with the Justice League, his origin story often escapes us.
Writer Mark Waid, lettered by Steve Wands, continues the series tradition of using characters introduced in the Silver Age as the World’s Finest team-ups. Metamorpho is also one of Batman’s foremost allies outside of the Justice League and Batfamily. Waid perfectly manages to hook the reader with a murder mystery, origin story, and super-heroics all in one issue.
Dan Mora continues to be a fan-favorite artist at DC and his work on this series has fans wanting him to work on the next Justice League series whenever that will be. Metamorpho is a hero that fits his art style really well because his design is the perfect mix of simple based on his colors and complex based on his materials and texture. This issue also has a lot of Egyptian imagery which is always an aesthetic on its own. The colors are done by Tamra Bonvillain and continue to make the series shine.
After some laughs, it’s back to the gasps and a mystery fraught with conspiracies is the perfect way to elicit them. Batman/Superman: World Finest #13 takes the pair to the streets and away from any magical or multiversal threats or visitors in a classic whodunit. We haven’t seen much of Metamorpho in the mainstream DC comics universe, so he’s not just a welcome addition to the story but a compelling one. We can expect much more to develop with this case as it will be anything but open and shut.
Star Rating: ★★★☆☆/★★★★★