Review: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #12

“Scream of the Chaos Monkey”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino, Wade Von Grawbadger, Norm Rapmund
Color Artist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Steve Wands
Review by Bryant Lucas

An escaped monkey, and a truck full of bowling balls, dampen hopes of romance, in this month’s outstanding Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #12.

After 11 wonderful issues, we finally learn the truth. Over the course of this series I’ve laughed, cried, and even heard the audible thud of my jaw hitting the floor. Yet, in all that time I’ve also never stopped wondering… what the hell happened between Supergirl and Robin?

Way back in World’s Finest #2, Mark Waid established that the two heroes did in fact go on a date. He also made it very clear that this date was an unmitigated disaster, leaving the two heroes with some unresolved issues. For the last ten months Waid has stayed silent on the matter. However, as of World’s Finest #12, the writer has finally gives us the untold story of Robin and Supergirl’s disastrous date.

Accordingly, the issue is largely told in flashbacks swapping between Robin’s and Supergirl’s perspectives. Each hero recounts the date to their respective partners/mentors, giving insight into the events of the afternoon. It turns out that Supergirl was the first one to make a move. Having been smitten by Robin’s acrobatics, Supergirl asked the Boy Wonder on a date.

Although both heroes were excited about their romantic rendezvous, Robin came in costume, shattering Supergirl’s expectations. When she arrives at the restaurant in civilian attire, Kara had to superspeed into her costume. Robin’s reasoning? He wanted to put on a show for the other patrons. Supergirl was not impressed.  Unfortunately, the heroes’ date only goes downhill as the afternoon progresses, culminating in a fiasco involving a monkey and an avalanche of bowling balls.

A Big, Heaping Gulp of a Silver Age Smoothie

I’m going to cut to the chase: I LOVED this issue. Hands down, it’s the best one of the series so far, which is the highest praise I can give. I’ve been impressed by each issue of this title so far, and this one stands head and shoulders above the rest.

From the very beginning World’s Finest has been fantastic. With its unique Silver Age style and tone, the title breaks from the run-of-the-mill DC fare. Also, the title of this book is a bit of a misnomer. Although Batman and Superman are the titular characters, World’s Finest is a DC Universe book. It’s been a showcase for a variety of B and even C-List characters, and each of these elements is on full display in Worlds Finest #12

Since it’s set in the past, this chapter showcases two nontitular characters: a young Dick Grayson and Supergirl, both of whom are reminiscent of their Silver Age counterparts. Waid’s script captures the wackiness of the era, but does so in an unusual way. Usually, Silver Age homages are zany, high concept sci-fi-stories. In fact, much of Waid’s tenure on the book has been just that; however, this book’s different. It takes the goofy tone of the Silver Age and shoves it into a blender with all the teenage angst of romancecreating a comic book concoction that’s both fun and satisfying.

A-List Substitution

Yes, this comic could be seen as a filler issue; it’s not a part of the previous arc, and it doesn’t set up the upcoming story. This means, just like the last time we had a “filler” issue, Dan Mora gets a break this month. While it’s impossible to replace Dan Mora, DC nevertheless did a great job by tapping Emanuela Lupacchino to handle the art.

Lupacchino brings a lot to the table. Her characters are expressive, her aesthetic is unique, and his action sequences are dynamic. All of this is on display in World’s Finest #12. Between Robin’s awkwardness, made palpable by his beautifully rendered facial expression and a giant avalanche of bowling balls bouncing around a restaurant, Lupacchino brings her A-game. The issue’s gorgeous.

Conclusion

World’s Finest #12 is flawless in its execution. Waid manages to pen a hilarious tale that also examines the character flaws of both Robin and Supergirl. Lupacchino manages to capture all of this energy with perfectly paced visuals. The creative team’s vision couldn’t be clearer, as this comic is as about as good as one-and-done issue can be.

Final Verdict: Perfect from start to finish.

Images Courtesy of DC


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