Review: World’s Finest: Batman/Superman #23

“Heir to the Kingdom” – Part Four
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Dan Mora
Color Artist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Steve Wands
Review by Bryant Lucas

The drums of war resound loudly, as Gog tries to wage war against the forces of Apokolips, in this month’s World’s Finest: Batman/Superman #23.

As Gog explains his battle plans to Magog (David), he’s interrupted by the Batmen and Supermen of Earth-0 and Earth-22. The four heroes confront the deity about the insanity of his plan; however, their efforts are in vain. A battle ensues between the Gog and the Justice League of Earth-22, as a portal opens only to reveal a threat greater than any villain on Earth.

Old Villain, New God

One of the most engaging elements of this narrative is Mark Waid’s integration of the New Gods into the “Kingdom Come” saga. Waid masterfully layers an additional stratum of mythos atop the original tale’s intricate references to the Biblical Book of Revelation. This approach resonates seamlessly with the story’s Biblical motifs, enhancing its thematic depth.

The conflict in the story adds a compelling twist: Magog, the clear antagonist, aims to vanquish Darkseid, the New God of Evil. Contrary to the typical “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” adage, the situation in “Kingdom Come” starkly deviates from this norm/trope. Earth-22’s heroes exert all their efforts to thwart Magog, aware that his success in assaulting Darkseid could spell disaster for their world.

This reimagining of “Kingdom Come”, with a New God’s perspective, introduces a fascinating dynamic where evil battling evil paradoxically results in greater peril. This is a nuanced concept rarely explored in similar narratives.

Old Designs, New Artist

Dan Mora skillfully harnesses the distinctive aesthetics of “Kingdom Come,” effectively navigating the formidable legacy of Alex Ross, a legendary figure in the realm of comic art. Ross’ influence is particularly profound in any narrative referencing “Kingdom Come,” given the original series’ iconic status and its groundbreaking character designs for Earth-22.

Mora adeptly incorporates these designs, striking a harmonious balance with the artistic sensibility he’d already established in World’s Finest. Admittedly, witnessing Alex Ross’ rendition of a character like Green Lantern in a contemporary comic setting may initially seem incongruous, however, Mora’s adept adaptation not only bridges this stylistic gap but also enhances the visual experience. The result is a visually stunning book that captivates from beginning to end. This issue’s a  testament to Mora’s ability to blend classic influences with modern comic artistry.

Conclusion

World’s Finest: Batman/Superman #23 is another brilliant issue from a fantastic arc in an amazing series. Waid’s story’s coming to a crescendo, and I’m interested to see how he’ll wrap it up in the next issue. Dan Mora… I mean, he’s Dan Mora. There’s not much more that needs to be said, as his work speaks for itself.

Final Verdict: Bring on the Apokolips!

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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