“Elementary” – Part Four
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Dan Mora
Color Artist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Steve Wands
Review by Bryant Lucas
Newmazo begins his endgame, as the Justice League scrambles to prevent AI from subjugating humanity, in this month’s World’s Finest #16.
The “Elementary” World’s Finest arc has been a wild ride. What started as a simple murder mystery has become an AI apocalypse, as Newmazo (aka “Amazo 2.0”) has orchestrated a scheme to subjugate humanity. Due to his various upgrades, the villain captured both Batman and Superman. Luckily, the Dark Knight has an escape plan.
Meanwhile, Robin’s a the mercy of the Batmobile’s systems, but a surprise guest star’s on hand to help out. The two heroes must then call in the cavalry in order to prevent the extinction of the human race.
World’s Finest #16 is, as always, a fantastic issue with a funny quirk. As I mentioned in last month’s review, Mark Waid’s decided to write a story that addresses one of the most pressing issues of our day: the rise of Artificial Intelligence. Usually, this type of arc would “date” a story, which could hamper its re-readability in years to come. For example, pick up a comic book from the 80s that mentions the Cold War or Reaganomics, and it’s going to feel incredibly dated.
However, I think that Waid’s World’s Finest run is not going to have this problem. This is largely due to the setting of the series; specifically, because it’s set in the unspecified past. It could be 5 years ago. It could be 15 years ago. It’s never stated directly. This lack of specificity, coupled with the title’s tone and aesthetic, evokes the Silver/Bronze Age comics of yesteryear.
By setting the series in the past, Waid can use any character he wants in any form he chooses, often opting for their “classic” form (i.e. Dick Grayson as Robin, Barry Allen as the Flash, etc.). Therefore, World’s Finest feels timeless despite the contemporary importance of the AI conversation.
The Modern-Classic Aesthetic
Dan Mora continues to prove that he is one of DC’s most talented artists. He can literally do it all. What’s really impressed me is his ability to render each Justice League character, even those that aren’t regulars in the title, in the aforementioned classic aesthetic. Somehow this man manages to make this book feel retro, timeless, and modern all at the same time. It’s absolutely incredible. After reading World’s Finest #16, I desperately want to see Mora draw a Justice League book. He would absolutely kill it!
Also, I wanted to give a shout out Tamra Bonvillain (seriously, this woman has the perfect surname for her chosen industry). The colors in this series go a long way in establishing its tone and energy. Her work is incredibly vibrant, adding an extra “pop” to Mora’s already popping pencils. Her colors feel clean and vibrant, reinforcing the Silver Age vibe of the title. Her work brings a lot to the table in terms of the overall impact the art has on the book.
Once again, the World’s Finest team delivers another banger of an issue. Waid’s fast-paced plotting and punchy script are upbeat and fun. Mora’s art is as sharp as ever, and Bonvillain’s colors are dazzling. As the scope of the “Elementary” arc widens to the larger DCU, the creative team takes the opportunity to showcase their talent. It’s a wonder to behold.
Final Verdict: There’s not much more to say, other than World’s Finest #16 is simply fantastic.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment