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.
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.