REVIEW: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #22

The battle for a pre-Kingdom Come Earth continues in Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #22. Superheroes flood the pages for this one as the villain that set the events in motion, Gog, is revealed and David goes full circle as he becomes Magog. To say things have hit the fan would be an understatement.

Dan Mora lets us know that David is still on anything but speaking terms with Batman and Superman with his cover. Since his debut, purple has always been David’s color and this cover uses it as the main color motif, even in the headings and titles. Mora has been on a cover hot streak lately with all the holiday-orientated ones he has been doing, some of which also feature Batman and Superman.

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #22 Review

The Kingdom Come Justice League pieces just keep coming with this series. Jerome Opena features the six of Earth-22 once again using Alex Ross’ timeless designs. The textures make it feel like it was painted on a canvas, especially with the handling of the background.

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #22 Review

Gerald Parel’s variant also gives off canvas painting vibes with his unique style. This one especially looks like it’s from the panels of Kingdom Come because of it. Magog was a problem for the first half of the story and was what got Superman to come out of retirement. This series also sees him getting a lot of good art pieces.

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #22 Review

Another great Kingdom Come variant is available from Travis Charest.

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #22 Review

Batman and Superman continue their battle with David on Earth-22, but this time he has the Justice Battalion backing him up this time around. Wonder Woman, Shazam, Firestorm, Supergirl, Etrigan, Zatanna, and even Peacemaker and Judomaster are here!  The old god Gog has also arrived and he appeared to have the whole planet and all its heroes at his whim. He speaks of some way of bringing all of Earth’s heroes to ascension in some sort of coming battle of good vs. evil.

The World’s Finest are apprehended and taken to the prison known as the catacombs where literally all villains are kept for an indefinite period of time. The whole time, they are trying to prove that they are multiversal visitors, but the Batman and Superman of Earth-22 who have never experienced such continue to shun them. It’s here where they learn from Metron that Gog has stolen his chair and is an ancient god of Urgrund, similar to New Genesis and Apokolips. That place was destroyed by the other gods who kept fighting while Gog stood aside. In fact, Gog had a play in forming the human morals of right and wrong we see today. However, he seems to have a plan for all the other heroes to join him, and David is the first one to do so as Magog.

Mark Waid, lettered by Steve Wands encompasses Jeph Loeb here with Batman and Superman against what feels like the whole DC Universe. At this point, that’s what it is. Since they arrived, there was absolutely something different in the air as superheroes moved away from the traditional sense of justice. What’s more, is that Clark and Bruce really feel like they have lost David to it and are beginning to realize they may not get him back. Gog’s origin story also adds another layer of power to the DC Universe. He’s almost biblical much like the line of Kingdom Come.

Mora and colourist Tamra Bonvillain put on an absolute show with the first seven pages with Superman and Batman facing off against several heroes, kind of like how this series started. There’s so much action and characters squeezed into panels that sometimes they have to be glossed over twice to make sure you get everything. Honestly, the last issues have been just non-stop action with the inhabitants of Earth-22 giving Batman and Superman a hard time everywhere they go. This may be the most characters that Mora has drawn in a single issue.

Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #22 completes the rise of Magog with everything that makes superhero comics good – a mythological villain origin story, tons of heroes squeezed into single panels, and that question of good vs. evil. 

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