“Elementary” – Part Two
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Dan Mora
Color Artist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Steve Wands
Review by Bryant Lucas
After being arrested, Bruce Wayne must clear his name. The hunt for Simon Stagg’s murderer continues in this week’s Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #14.
The wealthy Businessman was found murdered last issue, and thanks to a report by Jimmy Olsen, Bruce Wayne was arrested for the crime. Luckily, the World’s Greatest Detective also happens to be incredibly wealthy, which means that he was able to post bail. Nevertheless, Batman’s upset that Superman’s pal published this false story thereby garnering scrutiny of Bruce Wayne’s movements. Such unwanted attention hampers Wayne’s night job as the Dark Knight.
However, the Caped Crusader’s luck changes for the better after he has an unusual conversation with none other than Oliver Queen. This leads Batman, Superman, and Robin to discover the truth about Simon Stagg’s murder.
Silver Age Cluedo
One of the more charming aspects of Waid’s writing for this series is his pacing. World’s Finest often reads like an ADHD child playing with their massive collection of action figures. The tone is whimsical and the threats are reminiscent of Silver Age wackiness. Usually, this works well for the writer, however, the pacing feels a bit clunky for this particular arc. Last month’s issue set the stage for a murder mystery, which is a very cool idea, but for this mash-up to work, Waid needed to slow things down a bit.
Detective stories benefit from a slower burn allowing tension to build around a number of plausible suspects. World’s Finest #14 gives us the second installment in the story, and Waid has already revealed the culprit. I would’ve liked to have seen a longer arc that was slightly slower in pace, allowing for the mystery to grow. Alas, after reviewing the next few month’s spoilers, it seems that this arc is going to take a hard shift into a more traditional comic book narrative.
I love Dan Mora. Seriously, his work is fantastic. It has been from the beginning of this series, and, once again this issue does not disappoint. For this arc, Dan’s rendering of Metamorpho has been incredible. Specifically, Mora has a knack for drawing this character while transforming. This showcases the artist’s talent for imaginative takes on complex characters. I can’t imagine it’s easy drawing a shapeshifting body as it moves through forms. The perspective alone could drive the average artist mad, but somehow Mora makes it look easy. The guy’s a powerhouse of an artist.
World’s Finest #14 is a bit of a strange bird. It wants to be two different things at the same time: a Silver Age sci-fi adventure and a who-done-it murder mystery. Unfortunately, the issue doesn’t exactly strike an even balance, as the arc transitions away from a detective story into a superhero romp. That being said – the book is still a boatload of fun and visually stunning.
Final Verdict: It’s still very good, but not as well executed as previous issues.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment