Review: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #25

by Bryant Lucas
0 comment
“Joker-Luthor: World’s Vilest”, “Impossible – Prologue” 
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Dan Mora, Steve Pugh
Color Artist: Tamra Bonvillain, Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Steve Wands
Review by Bryant Lucas

Lex Luthor recruits the Joker for a heist that could alter the very fabric of reality in this week’s Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #25.

After the World’s Finest team-up to put the Joker behind bars, Lex Luthor infiltrates Arkham Asylum to extract the Clown Prince of Crime. The evil, billionaire genius has come into possession of a treasure map that points to an artifact endowed with the ability to alter reality itself. However, the map harbors a perilous catch: direct observation for prolonged periods induces madness in the beholder. Consequently, Luthor resolves to enlist someone whose sanity is already in question to interpret the map—namely, the Joker.

Fully aware of the risks inherent in collaborating with a madman such as the Joker, Lex takes the precaution of securing an explosive device around the Joker’s neck. With this measure in place, the duo embarks on a treacherous quest to uncover the enigmatic artifact.

A Nefarious Odd-Couple

In keeping with the tradition of interspersing the main narrative with interludes, Waid deviates from the central storyline to present us with a standalone tale. True to form, this interlude issue shines brightly. The dynamic between the Joker and Lex Luthor stands out as the core and pinnacle of this installment.

What elevates this issue is Waid’s masterful portrayal of these iconic villains. Beyond the expected scenes where each antagonist divulges their animosity towards their respective nemeses, Waid delves deeper. Following the Joker’s Marxist critique of Batman, he unexpectedly applies the same analysis to Lex Luthor. Intriguingly, Lex and Bruce represent two facets of the same entity: Lex is the manifestly malevolent capitalist, and Bruce is the altruistic counterpart.

Nevertheless, both individuals are capitalists at heart, leveraging their fortunes and influence to sustain the very economic framework that facilitated their immense wealth accumulation. Consequently, the notion that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” falters in this context, illustrating that these characters are not natural allies, underscoring the complexity of their motivations and ideologies.

Dynamic Art Duo

Typically, DC selects a guest artist to fill in for the series’ mainstay, Dan Mora, for each interlude issue. Yet, for the landmark 25th issue, an oversized special, DC enlisted both Steve Pugh and Dan Mora. Generally, I find the collaboration of two artists on a single title less appealing due to the abrupt and jarring stylistic shifts, which often disrupt my reading experience. However, this issue stands as an exception.

Pugh drew the “World’s Vilest” story while Dan Mora penciled the “Impossible” backup story. This type of division of labor is optimal for issues where there are multiple artists. Having each artist focus on one story allows for an internal aesthetic continuity for each tale. So when the visual style breaks from one artist to the next, it doesn’t break mid-story thereby avoiding this disruption in the reading experience.

As for the artwork itself, both artists are A-listers. Pugh’s work is wonderfully creepy at times, striking an ideal tone for Waid’s story. And even though we only saw him for a few pages, Dan Mora knocked it out of the park. Seriously, the visual of a giant copper Abe Lincoln wrestling an enormous T-Rex robot is forever burned into my memory. Few artists reach the capacity and quality that Dan Mora produces month to month.

A 5th Dimensional Backup

The issue’s backup story picks up the 5th Dimension storyline that began in Batman/Superman: World’s Finest Annual #1. The story opens at the Fortress of Solitude with Superman feeding his alien zoo. For those of you who don’t know, Superman keeps a zoo’s worth of endangered, alien animals from all over the universe in his Fortress until he can find new homes for them. Suddenly, a portal opens up, whisking away Superman and his zoo crew to an unknown location.

Meanwhile, Batman and Robin are working in the Batcave when randomly the Batcave trophies come alive. The giant T-Rex and the Abe Lincoln from the massive penny start tussling with each other. As if this wasn’t stressful enough, a portal opens as Superman and his gaggle of alien pets unintentionally crash the party. After Superman, Batman, and Robin manage to control the situation, they recognize the magic that caused all of the chaos and summon their 5th-dimensional counterparts: Batmite and Mr. Mxyzptlk. But when the two imps appear, they warn the World’s Finest of a rising threat that has killed their 5th-dimensional friends.


World’s Finest #25 is a lot of fun. Waid’s one-and-done story is both interesting and entertaining, as he allows the villains to take center stage for once. Pugh and Mora are an excellent team-up, producing some wonderfully fun and at times even terrifying visuals for this issue. Overall, the book is a win.

Final Verdict: Don’t sleep on this one. It’s a hoot.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

You may also like