Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Batman and Superman: World's Finest #3

Scheduled to arrive in stores: April 26, 1999

Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Dave Taylor
Inker: Robert Campanella

"Light in the Darkness"

Michael (George) O'Connor Reviewed by: Michael O'Connor

Eight years ago...

In Gotham City, an explosion causes civilians to flee as a super villainess named Illuminata makes her debut with her two stooges. She sets thousands of dollars of cash on fire for the simple reason that she believes the money will only benefit the global conspiracy being run by the military.

All of a sudden, however, Superman arrives on the scene, taking several minutes to get undressed and in his super outfit. As the police arrive, the rather clumsy Superman acts like a human and adds his corny dialogue, demanding that the criminals surrender. Fortunately for the police, the clumsy Superman has diverted the criminals' attention and the police are able to wrap up the villains, right after a shot hits Superman in the chest and sends him to the ground.

An officer inspects Supes and finds that the Man of Steel is actually the Man or Armor, as he finds bullet proof armor protecting Supes' chest. The criminals are hauled off as they send "Superman" to Arkham Asylum to get checked out.

Bruce Wayne, on the scene of the disaster, becomes curious and wonders if Superman has just gone nuts, or if he's dealing with a pretender.

Later, in Arkham Asylum, Superman is admitted in, only to find himself questioned by Jeremiah Arkham as to his powers. He regrets to inform Jeremiah that he doesn't "perform at parties" and thus will not fly around the room. Arkham, figuring Supey to be a complete lunatic, sends him to a cell.

Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne calls the Daily Planet, interested in talking to Clark Kent. White informs him that Kent is not present and as he hangs up the phone is amazed that Clark, who has dressed up as Superman, has made it inside of Arkham Asylum, which will allow a breakthrough story at the Planet as to how Arkham treats its inmates.

Superman, in his cell, finds himself creeped-out while listening to madmen rant and rave. He is about to figure a way out so that he may get a breath of fresh air, when Illuminata appears at his doorway, speaking complete nonsense about government conspiracies and at the same time revealing that she has released everyone from their cell.

Superman immediately springs to action and finds himself confronting the Scarecrow, who he brushes aside to find the Penguin who attempts to gun him down. After wrapping the two villains up, he finds the Riddler, Two-Face, Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze, who have two hostages. Two-Face brags that not even Superman could save both of the hostages in time, but Batman appears on the scene and swoops up Poison Ivy, preventing her from giving a hostage a lethal kiss, at the same time that Superman uses his heat vision to disable Freeze's gun. Supes and Bats quickly wrap the criminals up as Batman realizes that the Joker is still around.

In the kitchen, the Joker springs out at Batman, only to be smashed against the opposite wall with a choking grip. When Batman asks where Illuminata is, the Joker tells her the he put her in the pantry and that he removed her eyelids!

Superman opens the pantry to see a bound Illuminata, who screams when the light hits her eyes. Superman turns away, completely repulsed.

Outside, Batman accuses Superman of expecting the Dark Knight to be there, claiming that if he hadn't shown up, the hostages may have been killed. He also doesn't appreciate the fact that Superman attempted to prove Batman's dare wrong about Supes surviving a night in Arkham. Superman denies that he was attempting to prove himself, while claiming that he was assigned to do the job by the Planet.

As usual, they separate, going their different ways, this time on less than friendly terms...

5Story - 5: Completely entertaining and spooky at times as well. Although I think this could have been pushed a little farther and Superman seemed to take out Batman's array of villains fairly easily, I loved the scene with the Joker and Illuminata. It was positively chilling! Ugh! Cutting off her eyelids... Something only a sicko like the Jokester would do. I also loved the opening sequence where Superman is acting corny and tripping over himself in order to pretend like he's a lunatic. I have to admit, I didn't think he was really Superman at first.

4Art - 4: A little lacking this time around. There are several faces, for instance, that don't look at all like Superman... and I hate Taylor's Riddler. The Riddler is supposed to be tall and lanky, yet here he is short and potbellied... Other than that, though, an excellent Batman and some pretty intriguing action sequences.

4Cover - 4: It's artistic and it's interesting with the red colors and all, but it doesn't grab attention very well... at least not mine. Nevertheless, a wonderful use of space, composition and color.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.

June 1999

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