THIS WEEK: Batman/Superman – World’s Finest #26 starts a new storyline featuring some of the most ridiculous corners of the DC Universe — the fifth dimensional imps.

Note: the review below contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdict.

World's Finest #26Batman/Superman – World’s Finest #26

Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Dan Mora
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Steve Wands

Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain art is back on Batman/Superman – World’s Finest #26, and all is right with the world. No, all is even better with the world than the last time the duo was illustrating this book, because this new storyline is throwing our heroes up against DC Comics’ fifth dimension. And it’s a stylistic perfect fit, both for the art style and the tone of this romp of a superhero comic.

Mark Waid’s writing on the book from the start has been a wonderful blend of playful and reverent, a great return for Waid to the publisher. It’s as if you can feel him enjoying his late-career return to the characters and universe wherein he’s told some of his best stories. And it’s all been great, but there’s something about this new storyline that just feels like the purest distillation of that enjoyment yet.

In this one, there’s now a genuine invasion of fifth dimensional imps into the DC Universe proper, all of them corresponding to a member of the Justice League. But they’re not the bad guys here, not really. The bad guys are the corresponding fifth dimensional imps to the rogues of the DCU, who are all being manipulated by a faceless mastermind villain we cannot yet see.

In other words, this comic is doing a lot of my favorite things in superhero comics. It’s finding ways to be quippy, it’s giving us fun character moments (Robin gets powers!), and it’s giving us a mystery villain. That’s all good fun.

World's Finest #26

But getting back to where we started, what really puts this issue over the top for me is the absolutely fantastic artwork, the joy with with Mora and Bonvillain relish depicting famous DC characters floating distorted imps, be it the very punchable Sinestro double or the Lex Luthor double that looks a bit like Elmer Fudd. It all looks great, and it’s also a good jumping on point for new readers, too.

Verdict: BUY

The Round-Up

  • I have been enjoying Batman Off-World well-enough, even if there’s not really much to it besides stunning artwork and a concept that’s essentially, hey you know what would be cool? Batman punching everything in space. But hey, you know what? Sometimes that’s all you need. Batman Off-World #4 is written by Jason Aaron with pencils by Doug Mahnke, inks by Jaime Mendoza, colors by David Baron, and letters by Troy Peteri.
  • There’s a really DC Animated Universe vibe to this new Superman run in my opinion, the way it’s zealously using so many of the characters from Superman continuity, mashing them together, and finding new stories from the combination. Right now we’re getting Luthor with Braniac with Lobo with the build-up in recent years of new additions to the Superman Family, and it’s good fun. This week saw the release of Superman #13, which is part two of House of Braniac. It was written by Joshua Williamson, with art by Rafa Sandoval, colors by Alejandro Sanchez, and letters by Ariana Maher.
  • Finally, I have to restrain myself every time a new issue of John Constantine – Hellblazer: Lost in America comes out from calling dibs and writing 1000 words about how great it is. This run is really tremendous, and this week’s new issue is no exception. What I admire about this run is how it uses regional issues and mythology to create such great narratives for its characters, and also delivers satisfying single issue reads. It’s just great work, and I wish we lived in a world where this run could go for dozens upon dozens of issues. This week’s new issue was written by Si Spurrier, with art by Aaron Campbell, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Aditya Bidikar.

Miss any of our earlier reviews? Check out our full archive!