We first see Batman, Superman and Billy Batson in hell, thanks to the wicked wizard Felix Faust.
Across the world, the Doom Patrol follow a lead on the tomb of The Devil Nezha, who’s behind various villains – including Faust – attacking prominent heroes.
And in ancient China, Supergirl and Robin bid to learn how the recently re-emerged Nezha was once defeated by the heroes known as the Warriors of Ji.
I must say, this comic is running like clockwork. Mark Waid is doling out new pieces of plot information, such as the whereabouts of Nezha’s tomb and nature of the Warriors’ powers, making each instalment satisfying. The main point, though, is to give us thoroughly enjoyable characterisation, whether it’s familiar mixes, such as the title heroes and the Doom Patrol, or lesser-seen pairings such as Robin and Supergirl.
Kara and Dick are so much fun together that I’d love to see Waid and artist Dan Mora invited to do a special starring the two tyros. Today’s Nightwing is so assured that it’s a treat to see the younger Dick goofing up and getting yelled at by Supergirl, who’s not used to working with anyone other than, occasionally, her cousin.
I’ve mentioned six heroes, but there are more, with Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman also involved in Nezha’s schemes. Flash gets the most to do in terms of action, Wonder Woman the least (an understatement), while Green Lantern looks set to be an important player as the serial continues next time.
GL comes with a surprise; unfortunately, it’s one that echoes something in another recent DC appearance, so I correctly guessed what was coming up. I was surprised by something Negative Man does, a nice piece of logical invention on Waid’s part (Larry also had a great featured moment last time – I think he’s a fan).
Mora’s art continues to dazzle, with first-rate storytelling – the individuals frames, the transitions, the character interpretations, the action… all wonderful. Especially impressive is that Mora puts thought into how clothing works on a body – at first glance, it’s easy to think Mora can’t quite get the famed S-symbol right,
Look again, and it’s obvious he’s drawing Kara as if she’s a real person with breasts that aren’t stuck together like those of a mannequin, which affects how the clothing hangs.
And note those capes, the different way they fall. I may be overthinking, but I think that’s Mora showing us that while the invulnerable Kara’s cloak is designed to accentuate her flying, Dick’s has an element of protection, it’s heavier.
There’s a side shot of Batman’s mask that’s fascinating in its detail. A depiction of Hal Jordan’s hair from behind that’s ridiculously convincing. Mora is one to watch.
Tamra Bonvillain’s colouring choices add extra goodness, with GL’s costume looking especially fine in a showcase shot, while Aditya Bidikar’s well-chosen fonts are sharp and attractive, with interesting emphases aplenty.
Mora and Bonvillain’s cover image is a good-looking representation of the overall story, with the complementary positioned Batman and Superman terribly pleasing. Not that I’m OCD or anything….
All in all, this is another cheeringly fine issue depicting a typical day in the DC Universe. We’re told the stakes are big, but with so many great heroes on hand, why should we worry? I’m just having a great time.
5 thoughts on “Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #3 review”
This continues to be a great time for me too – it’s the first book I read when it appears. Everything about it is superlative.
Bonvillain’s colors lend a warmth to everything. I noticed it in the very first sequence of the first issue, and a lot of it is in the way she colors skies. She uses a soft blue that fades to an aquamarine and trails off into a yellow glow. And sometimes includes yellowish clouds. It’s established in that very first outdoor scene with Poison Ivy in issue #1 – in almost every panel. And you can see that sky in a lot of panels in this issue too. While there are better examples of it elsewhere in #3, you can catch a little of that blue/yellow sky in one of the panels you captured above – the one where Robin says “This isn’t mine. Take it.”
Bonvillain is also coloring Wonder Woman – and using a similar palette there.
Of course Mora and Waid are also doing exceptional work. I was upset when Mora was taken off Detective, but as great as that was, his work is even better here. The whole team is firing on all cylinders. It’s nice there’s at least a few corners in DC putting out good stuff.
It seems that this treatment of Supergirl would be more likely to get people interested in a new Supergirl title than Tom King’s version.
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And yet that Supergirl book has been nominated for an Eisner, bah!
It’s interesting to get to know the favourite tones of colourists, in the days before there were zillions of colour options I remember that Tony Tollin use to swathe the Green Lantern books.
I read favorites last but we both loved this issue. Waid has been so good for years and continues his streak here. I had problems with his books oncecupon a time and I can’t even recall what they were now.
I also wonder what additive bit to lore will stick forever here. It’s pretty much Waid’s signature. I’m hoping the disatrous one date between Dick and Kara. Maybe if Taylor’s reading this too?
Are we not calling Rita by her code name anymore?
Cliff name checks himself as Robotman, Larry as Negative Man, but Rita gets called plain old Rita Farr. Is she being Donna Troy-ed? No Elasti-Girl or Elasti-Woman for her?
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I was wondering the same thing to Paul of the Waiting For Doom podcast. Let’s keep an eye on it…