REVIEW: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #23

It’s all or nothing now for Batman and Superman as David finally becomes who we’ve known him to be this whole time in Batman Superman World’s Finest #23. What really has been a nonstop fight scene since the last two issues come to a boil here as Gog moves Earth-22’s heroes into place for a reckoning of his own.

After months of appearing on variants, a young Magog formerly known as David the Boy Thunder makes an appearance on a regular cover by series regular artist Dan Mora. The chains around Batman and Superman make for perfect symbolism that they were helpless to stop it. Mora doesn’t even need to draw a grand background for Magog’s rise, just the presence of the character is enough.

REVIEW: Batman/Superman: World's Finest #23

Jason Shawn Alexander’s variant deserves to be talked about because it’s also perfect in its symbolism. That is when it comes to what justice is on Earth-22 prior to when the newer heroes took over. Magog’s not arresting Joker, he’s plunging his hand through him as his executioner. For the wild subject matter, Shawn Alexander’s unique textures give it that homely colored pencil feel.

REVIEW: Batman/Superman: World's Finest #23

Sebastian Fiumara’s variant continues the story arc tradition of Alex Ross’ iconic designs for Kingdom Come Batman and Superman. Fiumara seemed like the perfect artist to take it on –the painted Normal Rockwell-like style is all there. It’s also just as detailed with attention to Batman’s cyber suit and Superman’s older felt-like suit.

REVIEW: Batman/Superman: World's Finest #23

Another great variant is available from Michael Walsh with the classic Superman and Batman juxtaposition.

REVIEW: Batman/Superman: World's Finest #23

After finding the New God Metron imprisoned by Gog, Batman, and Superman now know his true intentions – to lead the heroes of Earth against an unwinnable battle against the more powerful Darkseid and Apokolips. They, along with their Earth-22 doubles confront Gog and David, now Magog, once again. While the Batmen try to reason with David and hold him off, the Supermen take on Gog. The endless eternities have driven him insane as he just sees it all as a means to an end to get the immortal death that those once like him did when they all had their war and he missed it. Gog had also hoped to keep the existence of the multiverse a secret.

Gog teeters on the level of Crisis level villain as the two Supermen fight the giant deity. Taking a note out of Clark’s playbook, Bruce is able to get David on their side and the Earth-22 Justice League mobilizes to take down Gog. Bruce also makes a scary discovery when it comes to just where Gog’s powers, like his ability to take away free will, comes from. With that in mind, what began as an attack on Apokolips could actually become a multiversal Crisis event.

Mark Waid has essentially drawn out a big, continuous fight scene from the end of issue #20 up until this point in issue #23. It’s had twists and turns as fighters constantly make appearances and some even switch sides. This story has definitely been the most action-packed of the whole series. Bruce is in the hearty role here as he is the one who finally talks David down, but the reader can’t help but wonder if things will be different with him now as Magog and with the events of Kingdom Come in mind. Letters are by Steve Wands.

Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain give more incredible Superman panels – and to make it better, it’s two of them against an ancient god which makes it one of his heaviest battles. David is also one of few characters able to take on not one but two Batmen. The action starts right after the title page as everyone leaps into action. There are far too many good panels (and one full page) to describe massive onomatopoeias and explosive combat. All those blows thrown at Gog are satisfying.

Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #23 brings that nonstop brawl that has been the story to what feels like a penultimate point while hitting all the right notes. Simply put, you have two Supermen fighting a cosmic giant, what else could you want?

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