Book Review: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest Vol. 1: The Devil Nezha

by Davydh Tidey
0 comment
Batman/Superman: World’s Finest Vol. 1: The Devil Nezha
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Dan Mora
Colour Artist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Review by Davydh Tidey

Reading Batman/Superman: World’s Finest Vol. 1: The Devil Nezha was an absolute trip.

Mark Waid was a formative writer for me coming into comics, as his Daredevil, Flash and JLA comics confirmed for me what GOOD comics should be, and how great they can reach (I know that some people may disagree about Daredevil, but I liked the lighter tone).

Similarly, Dan Mora was a benchmark in more recent years for me on comics art, Once & Future alone giving me all the signs that this guy is something special, especially paired with Tamra Bonvillain, whose work I’ve already raved about in other reviews. 

When the news broke of all three of them creating a Silver Age focused Superman and Batman comic dropped? Well, that was an immediate sign-up from me, and I didn’t regret it in the slightest. 

Batman/Superman: World’s Finest Vol. 1: The Devil Nezha

The collection starts on a delightfully simple note; Poison Ivy’s attacking Metropolis, drawing the attention of Superman and bringing Batman (and Robin… Hello?) to the city of tomorrow. It quickly becomes becomes very clear that she’s not acting alone, and someone mysterious is pulling her strings against the two heroes. The Devil Nezha, of the title. Enlisting Supergirl, Robin and the Doom Patrol in their mission, the World’s Finest Team must face this threat head on if the world has any hope of survival…

As mentioned at the start, this book is focused on the Silver Age era of comics, meaning the events happened in the past of the DCU as it currently stands. Dick Grayson is Robin, Supergirl is still a teenager and the Doom Patrol still live in Niles Caulder’s creepy mansion. This serves as a neat way of revising DCU history without working in a traditional “retcon”, which is highly appreciated. Retcons are far too common these days, and any spin on that (especially one that isn’t changing existing lore, but adding to it) is most definitely welcome.


This book marks the first stage in a grand plan from Mark Waid, and leads directly into the Lazarus Planet event, with what happens in this volume acting as the back-story for how the whole saga came to pass. It’s an absolute joy to see this plan in action, and this book especially fits Waid’s style beautifully. The Silver Age sensibilities of the story are perfect, and are reminiscent of his work on The Flash and Kingdom Come. Somehow though, they do this without bombarding you with nostalgia. It’s its own thing, but gives you a comfortable familiar feeling as you read it. 

The real strength here, though, is the characterization. Superman is Superman, hopeful but practical, strong yet caring. Batman is Batman, guarded but gentle, brooding but optimistic. Robin and Supergirl have their first extended interaction in comics (which serves as hilarious foreshadowing for a later volume), and even the Doom Patrol are expanded on slightly as well (I can definitely see the groundwork of Dennis Culver, Chris Burnham and Brian Reber’s Unstoppable Doom Patrol being laid here). Waid understands these characters at a base level, and it’s completely unsurprising considering just how long he’s been writing for this universe.


Dan Mora & Tamra Bonvillain are doing some of the best work of their careers here. As much as I’ve gone on about how the writing of the book feels retro in all the right ways, it’s Mora and Bonvillain’s art that REALLY sells that feeling. Mora’s backgrounds and world designs all feel golden and hopeful, with Bonvillain’s bright colours bathing the City of Tomorrow in light. The costumes feel straight out of the 70s, while still somehow also being updated for modern tastes. The pre-Watchmen vibe is strong here. The hope and levity shines through every panel. 


Batman/Superman: World’s Finest Vol. 1: The Devil Nezha is the kind of fun, goofy Silver-Age book that the comics medium desperately needs right now. It asks the reader to remember a time where comics were less serious and less gritty, while still firmly grounding you with its mature themes and compelling through-line. 

This gorgeous hardcover edition collects pages from Detective Comics #1050, issues #1-#5 of Batman/Superman: World’s Finest and a gallery of covers.

Everything’s getting a bit grim and dark in modern times, and, for the most part (don’t get me wrong, it has its moments), World’s Finest is bucking this trend. Mark Waid, Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain seem to be laying the groundwork for the DCU moving forward as a whole. If it stays as high a quality as this, then the future’s looking extremely bright for DC. 

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment. ISBN: 9781779518408

You may also like