Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Batman and Superman: World's Finest #7

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 25, 1999

Cover date: October 1999

Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Peter Doherty
Inker: Robert Campanella

"A Better World"

Reviewed by: Gareth Baker (

Four Years Ago...

A weary Batman arrives in his only sanctuary, the Batcave. As Alfred helps the Caped Crusader outside of the Batmobile, the trusty servant informs Batman of his visitor.

Superman stands waiting.

It has been a difficult year for both heroes. Superman has killed three Phantom Zone criminals and exiled himself from the Earth while Batman has lost not only a Robin, but also Barbara Gordon to the Joker's insanity.

Superman reveals that the reason he has come to Batman is to apologize for the way that things were left between the two heroes after Jason Todd, the second Robin, died.

Batman does not seem interested in speaking to the Man of Steel, however, especially after he learns that Superman took three lives.

Superman insists that it would be good to find a place to talk and straighten things out and despite Batman's objections, picks the Caped Crusader up and flies off to Smallville, where Superman introduces Batman to small town life and shows off the beauty of the countryside.

Batman is not impressed but agrees to talk to Superman, as they set up different circumstances, questioning each other what they would do if certain events happened. They follow up talking about where to draw the line when it comes to killing and then discussing their friends and family.

The two are distracted from their talk, however, when they learn that a doctor has fallen unconscious while attempting to give birth to the child of a pregnant woman. Batman helps revive and save the doctor as Superman delivers the baby.

After the incident is over, Superman invites Batman to the Kent household where they indulge in a large breakfast and prepare for not only the future journeys, but the detours as well.

4Story - 4: I apologize for a shabby job of summarizing the story, but I feel that the story did not rely necessarily on any actual strong plot, but on some fantastic dialogue and some wonderful interaction between these two heroes. Capturing dialogue and interaction is always difficult when writing a plot summary.

Although I would like to see the World's Finest team more in action, this maxi-series has done a wonderful job of exploring the relationship between these two characters and delving into very realistic dialogue between the two completely different heroes. I suppose my one gripe for the issue doesn't even affect the issue so much as the actual series. I'm disappointed that we've had so little time to really get a feeling for everything else that is going on. For instance, we got one issue of Batgirl, but that was obstructed by a completely useless cameo by the Thorn. Also, we've only seen one issue with Robin and that was only after he was pretty much done being Robin. We never saw Jason Todd and the Phantom Zone criminals were never brought up.

What the series relies too heavily on is a complete understanding of the history of both Superman and Batman. Although I'm quite aware of all the stuff that's happened, the story seems to come out of nowhere unless you just finished reading the back issues that explain them. What really weakens the series is this dependency, which is a problem when the stories each take place a year after each other. What would have made this story more powerful is if the reader could feel Batman's and Superman's sorrow and undecisiveness and understood what had happened to trigger these feelings. Those that are new readers may not have any idea what the Phantom Zone and/or the death of Robin II is all about and that means that this issue is a lot less significant for them.

4Art - 4: For this issue, the art was incredibly important to the story. The issue was more visual than plot oriented and the strong inking of Campanella and the pencilling of Doherty really helped to pull the reader into the story and keep them interested amidst all the dialogue. Although not as visually attractive as some of Taylor's work, this art duo did a really good job here.

5Cover - 5: Gorgeous! I think that this is, without a doubt, the best looking cover of the maxi-series. Superman floating in the air as Batman hunches over, hidden behind a tractor is not only original but terrifically well-done.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

June 1999

July 1999 August 1999 September 1999 October 1999 November 1999 December 1999 Annuals Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index.