Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #17 sees an adventure fully escalated into a Justice League crisis as it brings the Newmazo A.I. feud to its final chapter with a mega cast of heroes and robotkind of the DC Universe.
Dan Mora makes what the synopsis calls “World War A.I.” truly look like a crisis event with his cover. No background necessary, all that’s needed is a slew of characters. Superman and Batman are charged by some of the most prominent and lesser-known robot heroes and villains of DC. 17 issues in, all of our praises of Mora have been sung. This series couldn’t have become a fan favorite without him.
Cliff Chiang takes a timeless and classical approach to his variant by combining the World’s Finest with the Green Team. Both get a tribute with this variant with some Americana elements like the stars and the red, white, and blue tones in the background like a Silver Age comic would. Chiang’s handling of the characters also seems akin to that old Super-Friends style.
Dike Ruan’s variant is the usual Batman and Superman juxta positioned by Metropolis and Gotham day and night. Cover collectors can put together a collection of them, but what always makes them unique isn’t the image itself but how different artists execute it in their own respective styles. Ruan’s style is all about colors and textures rather than linework.
Jamie McKelvie reimagines the design of the supervillain Roulette as the World’s Finest is about to confront her. Everything here is just so smooth on the eyes like reading a Clayton Henry book. No background here either as the characters are the focus. Roulette really has a fun design here; her hair is absolutely wild.
Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #17 is an action fest right from page one as Newmazo is more than a match for the Justice League. Even heavy hitters like Supergirl and Martian Manhunter are having trouble keeping him down. He’s doing what Amazo does but amplified, and that is being able to take on the whole Justice League with their own powers. While Newmazo is kept busy, Batman and Robin try to find a way with Dr. Magnus and T.O. Morrow to stop this new A.I. threat that is driving all the robot heroes and villains’ haywire (pun not intended). It really isn’t just Newmazo, all around the world heroes are trying to contain damage and attacks by mechanical life.
Newmazo continues to be a devasting villain and could be the first villain the whole Justice League had to contend with in recent books. When Mark Waid was writing this series he had to have had some plans to include the Justice League. Seeing them again take on one of their classic villains is a real treat. What’s more, Waid, lettered by Steve Wands does not let you forget that his story all began with Metamorpho in the most satisfying way.
Mora and Tamra Bonvillain illustrate and color this battle-heavy issue with all the right elements to make it exciting. Air quaking and supersonic blows and tons more superpower action are in nearly every panel. The only crime here is that they didn’t have more pages because the Newmazo fight scenes could really leave some fans wanting more. The crumbling and exploding are crisp like Mora’s art style and the colors by Bonvillain complement it all. Of course, they also get to tackle lots and lots of characters in this issue.
It’s so wild to imagine that all this began as a murder mystery in Gotham City, then the whole Justice League was on the scene and the world was facing a robot takeover. It really is another day in the life of Superman and Batman which is why we love this series so much. The only thing that gets better about Batman/Superman:World’s Finest #17 is that it teases what could be a pretty monumental story coming soon.