Friday, November 18, 2022

Review: Batman/Superman World's Finest #9

Batman/Superman World's Finest #9 came out this week and was once again a near perfect comic book. Writer Mark Waid and artist Dan Mora have been hitting it out of the park month in and month out. 

Waid writes the perfect voices for DC characters and this issue there is no shortage of them. From The Flash to the Teen Titans to even the villains, everything sounds perfect. The actions of the characters feel right. But most importantly, he knows how to give us the perfect Superman and the perfect Batman. We see how the two differ in their lessons for Boy Thunder. Given the roles of Robin and Supergirl in the earlier arc, this story about mentoring has some extra juice to it. 

Heck, he even gives me a Joker I'd read. And I have been tired of the Joker for years.

Meanwhile, Dan Mora is revelation. As I say each issue, whenever I see Mora focus on a new character I say 'I hope he does that character's book some day'. From the Doom Patrol to Green Lantern to old school Titans, everyone looks great. That said, I hope he stays here for a long long time.

Everyone should be reading this book. Everyone. 

On to the details.

We start with Batman showing Boy Thunder the ropes. But when the two confront The Ratcatcher in the sewers, Boy Thunder illuminates the pipes. It nearly gets the Dark Knight killed. 

And so we get a lesson about Gotham. It's darker there and things are murkier. Boy Thunder needs to know that and be prepared. He needs to use the shadows when appropriate.

I like how Batman talks about the cheering crowds of Metropolis. A brighter place for sure.

Meanwhile, the Joker has teamed up with the Key.

And for this plan, the Key needs the Angle Man's Angler. 

It looks the only way to get it is to cut off the hand of the Angle Man.

It is funny. For a while, it seemed like you couldn't read a DC comic without a hand or arm being torn off. I was sick of it. 

But somehow Waid's dialogue for the Joker is a mix of lunacy and menace such that it isn't tiresome. I love Mora's take on the scene, especially the impossible angle weapon. 

Meanwhile Superman is racing the Flash and picking the speedster's brain about mentoring someone with super powers.  The sight of Superman running on the water with Barry was a hoot.

But I loved this line. Superman asks about Barry dealing with a sidekick. And Barry responds how Superman did it with Supergirl!

I don't usually think of Kara as a sidekick. More like family.

But the point is that Waid has the rest of the heroes think of her in that way. It somehow gives her some legitimacy! It is well known how much Waid loves Kara and he continues to show that love here.

While Superman and Batman deal with this oceanic rescue of men in the ocean, the Titans and Boy Thunder deal with the pirates who put the men there.

Boy Thunder is definitely on the wilder side of things. He burns one of the pirates arms using his power. And then when another pirate fires on the Titans, he loses control and releases his energy in an uncontrolled way.

David seems angry and impulsive. Donna remains cautious. Roy loves the viciousness of David's attacks. 

But this is a lethal discharge. 

Well, almost lethal.

Superman flies in to block the attack.

And then a primer that everyone who wants to write Superman and Supergirl needs to read. A sort of credo if you will.

You never punch down.
You always use nonlethal ways to handle a threat.
You use force to save people. 
You never cause the loss of a single life.

I love the stern look on Superman's face. This is real. This isn't a joke. Great work by Mora.

Finally David confesses.

At first I thought he was going to be behind the destruction of his whole world.

Instead he tells how he accidentally wrecked the family sized rocket his father built.

Now this is a little interesting. At least he (for now) isn't villainous. And feeling responsible for the death of his parents adds an wrinkle to the story. He can feel a very personal survivor's guilt.

But before we get some old-fashioned Kent wisdom, the Key launches his attack. He puts a giant door in the middle of Gotham and using the warping capability of the Angler, he dumps the Gotham reservoir into the streets.

Our World's Finest heroes storm into action, saving people. Superman even strikes a rather famous pose. 

The Man of Steel even gets to save the day in an ingenious way. 
And we end on a venomous cliffhanger. 

It is all just perfect. From Boy Thunder's temper to Barry's Supergirl comment to Superman's speech, it all works. From Flash running with Superman to Donna's concerns to the Joker's mania, it all sings. 

I'll end this review like I seem to end all the World's Finest reviews. Everyone should be reading this. Everyone.

Overall grade: A


Anonymous said...

Why do I suspect the accidental “sabotage” of the family sized escape ship is a repressed memory or something even darker…?monkeying around with Dad’s space camper seems reminiscent of Kara’s inane initial explanations back in “Cosmic Adventures”! admittedly I could be wrong but I am fully engaged with this book in a way I can’t say about DCeased or DC v.Vampires etc.
So THAT is why Supergirl never cracked the JLA the membership thought of her as a sidekick, that explains the entire silver and bronze ages neatly, kudos to Mark Waid :)
Geez and here I thought I was the only one who recalled The Angle Man (basically a B List Wonder Woman foe back in the day) and his clumsy power upgrade via “The Angler”…a grim off panel end for end for him as well. Although it’d be funny if he turned ip alive and determined to recover his gimmick and avenge himself on The Joker.
But thats the sign of a good series with good righting, I start riffing on it :)


William Ashley Vaughan said...

Love how Robin hadles Speedy's jerkiness. "SPLSSHHH."

Steve said...

Angle Man, for all the silliness of his revamp, was my favorite Wonder Woman villain pre-Crisis. That scene bothers me more than it should!