“Elementary” – Part Five
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Dan Mora
Color Artist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Steve Wands
Review by Bryant Lucas
Newmazo (a newer version of Amazo) has played his final card. Using the power of AI, the villainous android has unleashed an army of androids to conquer Earth. With few options at hand, Superman leads a team of heavy hitters to take him on; however, with the arrival of each new hero, Newmazo’s power only grows. It’s up to Batman and Will Mangus to find a scientific solution to this technological nightmare.
Sticking the Landing
Writing is hard – especially storytelling. Trust me, I’ve tried my hand at crafting narratives and it’s really difficult. I kept feeling like everything had been said, there was nothing new under the sun, and even if I did have an interesting premise for a narrative, I could never figure out how to end the story. Sticking the landing is a tricky task for comic book writers as it’s really easy to simply state that the hero punched harder, ran faster, or simply outpowered their foe. However, these types of conclusions feel hollow and trite. We all know that Superman can overpower anyone, so it’s too easy a solution.
Some of the best superhero stories are the ones that provide unique solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems. For example, how does a bunch of superheroes defeat an Android that absorbs and mimics its foes’ powers? This is the conundrum at the heart of World’s Finest #17 as there’s no easy solution for defeating Newmazo. Just as it required the creativity of Magnus and Batman to solve this problem, it took some creativity on Mark Waid’s part, too. As he’s proven repeatedly over the decades, this is a writer who seems to be an endless fount of creativity. Not only was Waid’s “Elementary” arc fresh and fun, but the ending was also creative and, at least for me, a complete surprise.
Hyperlink the GOAT
I’m running out of good things to say about Dan Mora and I’m seriously considering cutting this portion of World’s Finest reviews. As such, don’t be surprised if next month instead of a full paragraph devoted to my recapitulating the wonders of Dan Mora’s art there’ll be a simple hyperlink to a standing page where I gush over this man’s work. I could compile my thoughts and write a single treatise on the wonders of Dan Mora’s work, as I genuinely struggle to find anything new or noteworthy about this man’s art. I know my editor would never go for this, but it would save me a lot of time trying to restate what we all know is true: Dan Mora is incredible.
Nevertheless, here’s my obligatory paragraph praising Dan Mora’s art (I warn you – you’ve heard it all before): His work is always superb. His page composition is both unique and intuitive. He does an amazing job capturing fight scenes, which always crackle with kinetic energy. His art is always clear and comprehensible while also feeling distinct and unique.
There’s no concept too big or emotion too small for Mora, as he can handle bombast and subtlety. Granted, I’ve only seen his DC work, but from that alone I’m comfortable saying that he is in my estimation a GOAT-level talent (Greatest of all time). His work is so consistent in quality that I feel comfortable staking out that claim. Seriously, he can do no wrong.
World’s Finest #17 is just flat-out good. Waid’s script delivers a satisfying conclusion to a wild arc. What started as a simple murder mystery then spiraled into something much bigger, and yet, Waid still managed to bring everything full circle. Dan Mora continues to impress with the freakishly fantastic consistency in his art. I can’t think of anything to criticize about this title.
Final Verdict: I mean – this book is just a home run, there are no two ways around it.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment