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DCU Spotlight Review: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #18

Overview: In Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #18, the secret origin of Batman and Superman’s first team-up is revealed. 

 

Title: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #18
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Travis Moore
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99/$4.99
Release Date: August 15, 2023

 

Please Note: This comic book review may contain spoilers

Years ago, a cruise ship in Gotham City harbor was robbed of $6 million. Commissioner James Gordon and Harvey Bullock suspect it’s the work of the Riddler (Edward Nygma), judging by the weird clue left behind. A few hours later, in Metropolis, Jimmy Olsen sees the news report, noting that the riddle is written in some strange alien language. Superman, in disguise as Clark Kent, sees the language that’s puzzling Jimmy and is surprised to see that it’s Kryptonian.   

Shortly after, Superman pays a visit to Gordon in his office, who, without looking, assumes it’s Batman. Jim tells the hero that he’s getting sloppy, as this time, Gordon can hear the cape billowing in the wind. In a nod to the original Superman (1978) film tagline, Gordon says in disbelief, “I don’t believe a man could fly…” 

It’s a delightful opener to Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #18, one that thrusts readers into an enticing mystery while simultaneously teasing the first meeting between Superman and Batman, as well as referencing the first time Superman graced the silver screen. Artist Travis Moore clearly models his Superman design after Christopher Reeves’ iconic appearance, and Colorist Tamra Bonvillain adds just the right lightness to Superman’s blue to capture that screen look perfectly. While cute, this reference works on a whole other level. Not only will this issue deliver the first meeting between the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel (as promised on the cover), but the 1978 film reference harkens back to the first time many long-time comic fans may have seen Superman in action. It’s a reference that tugs at nostalgia in just the right way, cleverly playing on the idea of “first meetings” both for the world’s finest and for fans. 

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