Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Review: World's Finest #2

World's Finest #2, written by Sterling Gates and drawn by Ramon Bachs, came out last week. The concept of this miniseries is interesting, pairing members of the Superman family with the Batman family.

This issue's pairing was the Damien Wayne as Robin and The Guardian. In some ways this is an intriguing pairing. The Guardian is a no-nonsense law and order type character. Robin is a loose cannon chaotic character. They would not easily team up. So there is some substance to this team up, some conflict between the characters that can be dissected.

The downside to this pairing is that each of these characters represents the person I am least interested in in their respective families. As a result, I went into this issue realizing that the creators would have an uphill battle for me to enjoy it.

The issue starts out with a hook that will bring the two heroes together. The Parasite has stolen some Wayne Tech technology. Initially, we don't know exactly what this apparatus does. But you don't steal from Wayne Tech without getting the attention of the Bat-family.

Later we see the Science Police led by The Guardian in a battle with the super villain Riot. Riot has the ability to replicate himself secondary to kinetic energy. However if the original Riot is knocked unconscious, the duplicate versions dissipate.

When the Guardian heads to the rooftop to try to stop the villain, he sees that Robin has already skirmished with him. In fact, Robin has left him dangling from a rooftop rail.

Damien doesn't want to initially interact with The Guardian and so scampers off. Damien wants to track down the Parasite and doesn't want to be interfered with. Unfortunately for him, The Guardian won't allow it. The Guardian doesn't want vigilantes running around his town.

Surprisingly, The Guardian is able to capture Robin and was him into the same police van with Riot.

I'm sort of surprised by this. Maybe it is the respect I have for the way Robin is portrayed in Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin title. I was sort of shocked that The Guardian was able to subdue him.

In the meantime, we see the melding of villains from the Superman and Batman families as well.

It turns out that the Parasite and Mr. Freeze have teamed up. It is clear what the Parasite is going to get out of this partnership. Freeze has used some of the Wayne technology to create a cryogenic pod for the Parasite. The Parasite hopes to trap Mon-El in this device keeping the Daxamite frozen and able to be drained at any point.

We don't know exactly what Mr. Freeze is hoping to get in return. That question is left unanswered.

While it was surprising that the Guardian was able to capture Robin, it is not surprising that Robin is able to escape so easily.

The Boy Wonder easily picks the police handcuffs and jumps from the back of the van.

The two heroes go on a several page "cat and mouse" chase through Metropolis. Robin seems to get the better of the Guardian in this interaction. It appears that Robin could have escaped at any point. However, Damien is still motivated to find that Wayne Tech device. As a result he doesn't melt into the shadows. He continues his investigation. This allows the Guardian to stay with him.

I do like Robin's banter throughout this chase. It is clear he thinks he is superior to the Guardian and the police. In fact he has some open disdain for the force.

Robin is able to pick up the trail of the two villains and the two heroes find the two villains' hideout deep in the Metropolis sewer system.

A standard brawl breaks out.

Unfortunately, during the fight, Robin overloads the cryogenic chamber.

Even Mr. Freeze is concerned. Should the chamber explodes, the city will be encased in ice.

In what is his shining moment of the issue, the Guardian realizes that he needs something or someone who can absorb the excess energy of the device before it reaches critical. And what better energy absorber is there than Parasite.

The Guardian flings the Parasite into the overloading device. As a result, it does not explode dramatically; instead, it only encases the two villains in ice.

I thought that was a pretty good climax to this fight.

So, I suppose, all's well that ends well.

The Guardian is able to bring the two super villains to justice. Robin reclaims the Wayne Tech device. And the two part ways perhaps with a new coaching respect for each other.

But remember, there is an overlying story to these episodes. It seems the Toyman is putting together the Superman/Batman robot and has need of Mr. Freeze. Toyboy intercepts the police transport and bringing the super villains to jail and is now bringing Mr. Freeze to the Toyman's lair.

I just couldn't get excited about this issue. Part of it was that I don't like the characters. Part of it was that I thought the artwork was rather pedestrian. And I'm looking forward to the Supergirl/Batgirl issue which is next.

As a result, I thought this was only average.

Overall grade: C


Adam Smasher said...

I wasn't looking forward to this one, but I thought it was a heck of a lot of fun. Many laughs, loved the interplay between characters. And it was my impression that Robin was caught so easily because he wanted to be caught. So he'd have time to question his fellow prisoner

TalOs said...

The last bit is what gave me that impression also upon reading it, Adam Smasher. :)

Anj said...

And it was my impression that Robin was caught so easily because he wanted to be caught. So he'd have time to question his fellow prisoner

Thanks for the post.

After rereading the issue, I think you are right and can't believe I missed it the first time!

Saranga said...

I thought this turned out pretty good - the art was rather cartoony but it worked for the portrayal Damian and Riot.
We've seen the Batman/Superman robot before, in the Superman/Batman title, but that time a Japanese kid made it, and I believe that Captain Atom piloted it.
Although I loved that robot, I'm a little dissapointed they are using the same thing again.

Generic Cialis said...

An unlikely team did a good job in this issue and i am wondering what will come from the Toyman's Superman/Batman robot, which makes me wonder why would someone ever do a robot that way?