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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

World's Finest #1 World's Finest #1

World's Finest #1 [of 4]

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 28, 2009

Cover date: December 2009

"Book One: Nightwing and Red Robin"

Writer: Sterling Gates
Penciller: Julian Lopez
Inker: Bit

Reviewed by: James Lantz

Click to enlarge

Tim Drake, better known as Red Robin, is in Amsterdam battling members of the Walewein Motorcycle Gang. He is searching for a letter sent from Gatham City to Amsterdam in October of 1809, and the Waleweins had stolen it along with other items that were meant for a shipment going to an auction house in London. Red Robin intended to buy the document as it may hold clues to the whereabouts of Bruce Wayne, the original Batman. Red Robin is about to be hit by a motorcycle when a tactile telekinetic burst saves him. However, it does not come from his friend Conner Kent, who is Superboy. It was Chris Kent in his Nightwing identity who had rescued Red Robin. Nightwing introduces himself and tells Red Robin that he needs his help. Thara, A.K.A. Flamebird has been captured.

After recounting the Kryptonian legend of Nightwing and Flamebird. Chris explains the situation to Tim. Chris and Thara had trailed one of General Zod's spies to Gotham City. Their pursuit led them to a building coated with a lead chaff that blocked Flamebird and Nightwing's X-ray vision. The pair of Kryptonian heroes discover that the structure is a club owned by the Penguin, who, along with the Kryptonite Man, attacks Flamebird and Nightwing. The next thing Chris knew, there was an explosion, and he had awakened all alone. Thara was nowhere in sight. Now, because Nightwing knows of nobody else to turn to, Red Robin has agreed to help find him find his beloved Flamebird. Hopefully, Thara can be saved from the unlikely team of the Penguin and Kryptonite Man.

In the lead coated club of the Penguin, an auction is taking place. The item up for sale is Flamebird herself. The Kryptonite Man is keeping her subdued. Red Robin suddenly interrupts the bidding, but Nightwing is nowhere to be found as Kryptonite Man attacks the former Boy Wonder. As the radioactive villain closes in on his prey, Nightwing bursts into the scene. He hurls a container of liquefied lead at the Kryptonite Man and attaches it to him with heat vision. Red Robin knocks out the Penguin, allowing Nightwing to rescue Flamebird. All is back to normal for the Kryptonian heroes.

Red Robin is back in Amsterdam, and Flamebird and Nightwing have helped him find the historic letter that he needs to find Bruce Wayne. Meanwhile, the Penguin has discovered that the Kryptonite Man is missing. The bird-like gangster refuses to pay his deadly associate. He does not realize that Toyman and Toyboy have captured the glowing, living weapon against all Kryptonians. They are studying him for whatever plans they have for their twisted crimes against their enemies.

4Story - 4: I was pleasantly surprised by the introductory issue in this new series. Sterling Gates' run on Supergirl has had good issues and bad ones. However, in the case of World's Finest #1, I would have loved to see some background story on the Penguin's association with the Kryptonite Man and what happened to the Kryptonian spy Flamebird and Nightwing were following. Aside from that, the story was fast paced fun that every comic book should be.

I was a bit on the fence about the last two pages with Toyman and Toyboy because I felt it was better if this issue was a single, self-contained book. However, if this is leading to some big payoff that will occur in the concluding installment, I'll let my reservations slide for now. We'll just have to wait and see what happens when number four comes out.

5Art - 5: I was reminded of artwork from the Robin comic book's from the 1990s. I enjoyed the visuals in those a bunch, and I loved what I saw in this book. I look forward to seeing Julian Lopez's images in more DC comics in the future.

3Cover Art - 3 (Nightwing Cover): Phil Noto is a capable artist and has potential. However, this image didn't impress me as one for the beginning of a series should. Plus, it feels like DC was attempting what they had done for the first issue of Superman/Batman with both covers.

3Cover Art - 3 (Red Robin Cover): The Red Robin cover is slightly better, but it suffers from the same problems as the Nightwing version. Both are merely average visuals.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2009

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