Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #5 – Mark Waid, Writer; Dan Mora, Artist; Tamra Bonvillain, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: It’s the conclusion of the first arc of the battle with the Devil Nezha, and things have gone from bad to worse. The demon can possess any member of the heroes at will, Robin has been lost in time due to a time-storm, and worst of all, there is a way to seal away the villain for good—but only if one of the heroes enters the chamber with him, locking it from the inside and likely dooming themselves. It quickly becomes a battle among the heroes to determine who would make the sacrifice, with several of the Doom Patrol volunteering because they’re more expendable, and Kara’s self-loathing and self-sacrificial streak coming into play in a compelling fashion. But there’s no time to reflect on that—because Nezha quickly re-enters the fray and captures his biggest hero yet. I’m enjoying how Waid is making this dark magical villain truly unpredictable, with fast-shifting rules that keep the heroes off balance.
This is definitely one of the most frenetic issues of the series yet, as the battle shifts and the balance of power tilts several times within a few pages. Robotman gets a surprisingly meaty role in this issue, with an unexpected edge over Nezha. The eventual resolution to the battle pulls in surprising elements including Kryptonian technology, and concludes with one of the craziest, most unpredictable gambits I’ve seen in a while. Waid continues to perfectly get the tone of DC Comics, with countless unusual mechanics grounded by an excellent human core. Superman, Batman, and Supergirl all get great moments here, but the absence of Robin is hanging over everything. Next up is a one-off issue where the heroes search time to find the missing hero, but the ending hints at ties to the next big DC event—Batman vs. Robin, as Nezha’s curse comes back to haunt Batman in the present day. Can’t wait.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.