Superman/Batman: World’s Finest

original edition: World’s Finest nos. 1 to 3 USA (DC Comics, 1989)
National edition/Spain: Marvel Young Adults. Hawkeye 1 (ECC Comics, 2016)
Script: Dave Gibbons.
He drew:Steve Rude.
inked:Steve Rude.
Color: Steve Oliff.
Translation: Felip Tobar Astor
Format: Hardcover, 176 pages. In color. €17.95.

The best of the world?

The idea of ​​uniting Superman and Batman under the same heading is not something new in DC Comics. The first series to do so was World’s Finest Comics, which hit the market in 1941 and was published until 1986 (after 323 issues). This header had it from its second installment, since the number one reached the stores under the title of World’s Best Comics.

DC Comics soon understood that uniting its two biggest characters in a single comic was a master move and very profitable from an editorial point of view. However, this was not the initial premise of the series, which published quarterly 96-page anthologies of various DC characters, including Superman and Batman. It was not until the arrival of the 50s, when superheroes stopped being fashionable, that the collection reduced the number of pages and stories of Superman and Batman began to be published together in the same story. The first number in the series to do so was World’s Finest Comics #71 (1954).

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This header ended up being mythical within the publishing house, not only had Superman and Batman passed through it, but countless characters from the publishing house teaming up with the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight. The result of this is that since the series ended in January 1986, other projects and series have been appearing that have proudly worn the title of World’s Finest, the Best in the World. A long list of works that covered the entire decade of the 90s and that have survived to this day, the last to be published being the one written by Mark Waid on his return to DC Comics.

Just like we did last week, we are going to rescue a work published in 2016, abandoned in the midst of the storm of news that devastates specialized stores every month. We are referring to the first work that emerged after the cancellation of the original series, published in 1990, with a script by Dave Gibbons and drawings by Steve Rude, two legends of the ninth art, who came together to shape three specials in which Batman and Superman once again join forces to face the evil machinations of Lex Luthor and Joker.

The first time this work was published in our country was in 1991, and it was zinc (at the time due to budget issues I could not buy it), in three specials in prestige format, the one that put this work up for sale. Later, already in 2009, it was Planet the one that published it in a single volume, adding extras such as designs of rudeparts of the script and various annotations by the authors.

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E.C.C.C.for its part, published it in 2016, in a single volume again, which came to be an edition very similar to the one that Planeta launched at the time, but changing the cover illustration.

This work has been in our country for three editions in 31 years and it is time to see what is special about this work within the production of DC.

Let’s start first by saying that in this edition the introduction that is included, written by dave gibbons, is a declaration of intent by the author. An elegant plea to the figure of some characters that transcend the medium, but above all it is a manifesto of pure and sincere love for the ninth art in general. The text clearly marks the tone and style that the reader will be able to find in this work and that is undoubtedly inspired by the first years of existence of the two characters. A work with a clear flavor of the Golden Age of comics that begins by marking the differences that separate these two heroes, while highlighting all those points in common that they have and that they are not very willing to acknowledge.

Everything revolves around the figure of Lex Luthor and Joker, in a plot that involves the purchase and sale of real estate, specifically various orphanages, and which sets in motion an adventure in which Superman and Batman collaborate in order to avoid the consequences of a open confrontation between his two main nemeses.

SupermanBatman Worlds Finest

In reality, what triggers the conflict hardly has any value in the plot because what is behind the fireworks that Lex and Joker set up is what matters. The story of the two orphanages, their sinister past and how everything comes together in the present, colliding with the figure of the day, embodied by Superman, and that of the night, transfigured into the image of Batman.

gibbons he fights with himself to achieve the aforementioned golden tone of the decade of the 40s. The rhythm that marks the story, the dialogues, everything points in that direction, but what he produces ends up being cumbersome and redundant, with serious problems of pacing, in which he seems more concerned with staging the main supporting roles of Clark and Bruce, than with telling the story.

The proposal strives to put Batman and Superman face to face, both through their alter egos and with their costumes, in order to explore those differences and those commonalities that both have. The problem is that gibbons he doesn’t manage to make this organic and fluid, that feels natural, but at every turn minimizes each of them to a couple of defining factors and settles for that. Therefore, that idea that he sells at the beginning of the work, of having the best of an era, while exploring what each one embodies, ends up being lame, as if there were a lack of points of view to qualify and develop. You could say that Gibbons is playing with the characters in their seminal moment, but don’t forget that it’s one thing to capture the essence of a historical moment and another to write a work for readers of the early ’90s.

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All this stops the development of the story dead, which, beware, you may want to look at the past, but it is totally attached to the moment in which it was written at the level of continuity of the DC Universe. Not in vain Lex shows off his robotic hand due to its amputation for wearing a kryptonite ring for too long. So we have this dichotomy between the past and the present with which gibbons he barely knows how to play. There are Luthor and Joker as an example of this. The 90s looking tycoon, while behaving like the one of yesteryear, while Joker reminds us more of a clown buffoon, hardly to be feared. An alliance that does not feel terrible or problematic, due to the characterization that is made of both villains who do not know at what time they are moving.

On the other hand, in the graphic aspect of the work, we have Steve Rude, who displays all his talent and dazzles so much for his drawing, his page composition, narrative construction and design in general, contributing everything that Gibbons does not achieve with the script. Is it enough for the work to stand on its own? In the opinion of a server, no, it is not.

The work of rude is especially lucid at all levels (especially when the color of Oliff it is overwhelming due to the play of light and shadows to which it submits the whole). He enters through the eyes and fully convinces the reader that he sees how the story unfolds visually in the best of ways. However, there are also times when Rude gets lost in his narration, we fear that because of Rude’s own script gibbons, confusing some compositions that hinder reading. This means that we are dealing with a work in two stages, a drawing with a fluid control of the human anatomy, with a fine and detailed line, which cares about contextualization and the environment, as well as expressing through non-verbal language, many of the emotions that are pursued with a clumsy script, simple at times, although a certain complexity is pursued that only denote the shortcomings of the Watchmen cartoonist on the keyboard.

A work with more than three decades behind it, which does not quite work as a whole, with an outstanding visual finish and a poor and obtuse script, which diminishes the shine of the team that Batman and Superman are supposed to form.

The best

• Rude’s visual display is wonderful.
• The tone of the work.

Worst

• The problems of rhythm and narration that the work entails

Original edition: World’s Finest nos. 1 to 3 USA (DCComics, 1989) National/Spain Edition: Marvel Young Adults. Hawkeye 1 (ECC Comics, 2016) Script: Dave Gibbons. Drawing: Steve Rude. Inking: Steve Rude. Colour: Steve Oliver. Translation: Felip Tobar astor Format: Hardcover, 176 pages. In color. €17.95. The best of the…

Superman/Batman: World’s Finest

Superman/Batman: World’s Finest

2022-10-22

Gustavo Higuero

Dash – 6

Drawing – 9

Interest – 7




7.3

unbalanced.

A script work that is not up to the work done in the drawing. An outstanding visual finish and a clumsy script that makes reading an effort.

you rate: 7.54 ( 7 votes)

We wish to say thanks to the author of this short article for this amazing content

Superman/Batman: World’s Finest


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