Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #8 review

Interdimensional orphan David Sikela, newly discovered by Superman, Batman and Robin, has been taken under the wing of the latter’s team of tyros, the Teen Titans. They’re training him in his new super powers, and while things are going well…

… one Titan has concerns.

Later, David is deposited with Superman, who feels an affinity with the boy because both were rocketed from a dying planet. Their bonding is interrupted when Batman reveals what a longtime JLA villain is up to in Gotham.

The Key is holding the city to ransom, and with even Batman and Robin under his fiendish spell it’s up to Superman, the newly named Boy Thunder – the heat from his power causes a great big Krakooom! – and Supergirl to help the citizens survive the night.

World’s Finest gets better by the issue. Writer Mark Waid sets up a classic villain plan, with action and intrigue aplenty, but more than that, we get first-rate characterisation.

There’s Superman talking about why he doesn’t wear a mask, a terrific attempt by Batman to help David find his confidence, and best of all there’s a moment that fulfils a dream for this fan of classic Supergirl, as Superman asks his cousin for ideas as to how to set up a life for David.

Ouch!

I love that Waid sets his stories on a world that can have elements of different continuities. Here we have Supergirl, looking very Earth 0 but implying she had Earth 1 experiences, namely being dumped in an orphanage by her only living relative instead of being invited into his home.

Kara is understandably irked for a moment, but she pulls through, taking David aside and helping him feel less alone. And if you’ve been enjoying the Supergirl/Robin dating subplot, you’ll be glad that we get a little more on that here. Do you get the feeling Waid wants to write a Supergirl strip?

All this and a cameo from one of my favourite DC B-list heroes.

Dan Mora’s marvellous visuals continue to be as big an asset as Waid’s script, there’s a real meeting of minds in these pages. The confused innocence of David’s expressions sells his actions this time, the Teen Titans look like the best kid gang of heroes ever and the Key has never looked creepier. As for our title heroes, Batman and Superman exude charisma.

Add in the sympathetic colouring of Tamra Bonvillain and it’s hard to pick a favourite panel. But I do really, really love this quiet moment.

What a gloriously serene, sad image.

Mora also provides the glorious cover, complete with colours. As for the edits, they’re the realm of Dave Wielgosz and Paul Kaminski.

Regular letterer Steve Wands delineates dialogue with his usual style, adding the finishing touch to another wonderful chapter in the current arc. I don’t know how long the story is running for, but it’s proving my favourite read every week it comes out.

14 thoughts on “Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #8 review

  1. A great issue… but man, the Key’s scheme could have been cribbed from the Scarecrow’s wishbook. I guess having the Scarecrow be in Gotham isn’t special enough for this book.

    I loved how Supergirl was used in this issue, and really liked how her trauma from the destruction of Argo City was touched on, but not lingered on too much. I think those mental difficulties ebb and flow for people in different circumstances, but I’m glad to see Supergirl at a moment when she’s got it under control.

    I also appreciated her offer of being a sympathetic ear, but also suggesting a professional to help if he wanted that.

    So… are we thinking David was the *cause* of his planet’s destruction? Because it sure looks to me like that’s a possibility.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right about this being a Scarecrow scheme, I wonder if they were going to use him at one point but didn’t want to go for two Bat villains. Which you pretty much said!

      I read it that he was feeling guilty about being too frightened and help people, but you’re usually correct! Talk about the ultimate survivor’s guilty.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, it can definitely be read that he was just unable to help people… but between his worries, and Wonder Girl’s feeling that he’s hiding something, I think he might have (probably unintentionally) lit the fuse on his former home.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a great comic.
    Really!
    Supergirl comes off so perfect. The burn on her cousin about the orphanage is perfect. But her discussion of the sadness in her history and how she has grown and become a hero is a complete rebuke of what Tom King did! Such a healing balm!

    Mora’s art is fantastic. That panel of Boy Thunder at the tree invokes such sadness. Perfect.

    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kara’s portrayal here is both welcome and spot on. It’s nice to see her being used as something more than a plot point, mind-controlled lackey, or willing simp for a story’s Luthor/Darkseid/JokerWhoLaughed/H’El expy.

    Donna, of COURSE you’re suspicious, as well you should be. That uniform’s purple and green color scheme screams silver age villain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Surely their blood relation would keep the Wertham faction at bay. It’s not like Supergirl would ever disguise herself as an adult woman and make out with her cousin.

      Like

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