Reviews, Comics

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #14: A Murder Mystery Masterpiece

There's no team-up in comics better than Batman and Superman. Discover how Mark Waid and Dan Mora continue their incredible run in what's already a modern classic.

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #14 by Mark Waid and Dan Mora
Image: DC
By: Javier ReyesFeb 2, 2024, 9:15 PM

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #14

Review
Rating
9
Good
World's Finest #13 Cover

Writer: Mark Waid

Artist: Dan Mora

Publisher: DC

Release Date: April 17, 2023

Page Count: 32

Format: Comic

As a throwback to the style of Silver Age comics, World's Finest is undoubtedly one of the most consistently great titles coming out from DC today.

Whether you’re a diehard or passive fan of superhero comics, Batman/Super: World’s Finest is a title you must be reading. The series continues to be one of the best books DC is putting out today. Billed as a modern reimagining of Silver Age comics, this comic is completely separate from the mainline continuity. While other titles try to veer away from typical superhero tropes, this comic fully embraces what makes superhero comics so fun in the first place. Ironically, a comic that’s a throwback to old-school comic book storytelling feels like a breath of fresh air in today's landscape of modern titles. How this book is firing off on all cylinders is a testament to just how well Mark Waid and Dan Mora work together as a creative team.

Now in its third major story arc, World’s Finest has been a homerun since its first issue, delivering stories that each have a distinct flavor. The first arc was comic pulp at its finest, as it had the heroes facing off against an ancient demon with magical powers that corrupt villains and other superheroes. The comic then naturally pivoted to a story about a young dimension-displaced boy with energy powers who Superman personally takes under his wing. Now, the world’s finest heroes are embroiled in the murder mystery of billionaire Simon Stagg with Bruce Wayne being framed as a prime suspect. The comic has consistently kept itself fresh, involving an ever-changing cast of supporting characters, from the Teen Titans to even the Doom Patrol.

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #14 by Dan Mora

In this latest issue, the cards are stacked against the heroes in the case of finding the true killer of Simon Stagg. Bruce Wayne has no choice but to maintain more public appearances to help prove his innocence. On top of that, the team needs to track down Metamorpho, another prime suspect in the case due to his personal connections and vendetta against Stagg. Bruce being busy with handling his PR means Batman, the actual detective in the duo, is sidelined in the middle of a tricky case. This leads to Superman teaming up with Robin in a fun mixup of dynamics. It’s a peak moment seeing the two set out on a mission and Robin is just casually riding on Superman’s back like he’s a magical carpet.

The issue progresses as the team unravels more about the mysterious case, with the key piece being Stagg’s body itself. They discover that what’s laying inside Stagg’s casket is not a human body, but an android duplicate. When it comes to androids, it leads them to one person: Professor Anthony Ivo. This revelation drastically shifts the comic’s tone in the closing pages, as the heroes find themselves in the mad scientist’s demented shop of horrors.

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #14 by Dan Mora

Much like another esteemed creator Grant Morrison, Mark Waid is a writer who lives and breathes superheroes and comic books. This series has been a showcase of Waid’s deep grasp of both the ethos and mythos of superheroes. The revelation of Ivo as the mastermind highlights Waid’s ability to weave a compelling story and elevate it further using unique and obscure characters from DC’s universe. Where previous arcs had characters like the Doom Patrol and Key running around, this latest issue brings back Professor Ivo and even The Metal Men. Not knowing who will show up next adds a layer of excitement to this already incredible comic book series.

As great of a creator as Mark Waid is, now is the time to gush about Dan Mora’s art. Since the first issue, it was made clear that Mora was born to draw superheroes. This series is meant to be a throwback/retelling of the Silver Age of DC comics and Mora’s art mixes that era perfectly with modern aesthetics. The art even makes Batman’s and Superman’s classic costumes feel natural for a story that takes place in the modern day.

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #14 by Dan Mora

But beyond the looks of the characters, it’s Mora’s page compositions that make him stand out as an artist. Every page is brimming with action and movement that guides your eye naturally. As you can see below, from the impact of moves to the facial expressions of characters, Mora has a keen way of making the action pop and keep you glued to the page.

There’s nothing like seeing two masters in their craft do what they do best. To see the strength of one elevate the strength of the other. That makes the dynamic between Batman and Superman a joy to read. At the same time, it’s what you see from the collaboration between Waid and  Mora. Considering the creative duo already has other projects lined up, it shows how well they mesh together. I know that whatever they’ll be making, I’ll be reading.

Batman/Superman: World's Finest #14 by Dan Mora
TAGGED: DC, Batman, Superman, Reviews
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