Batman & Superman Adventures: World’s Finest
DC Comics (1997)
STORY: Alan Burnett & Paul Dini
TELEPLAY: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Rich Fogel, Stan Berkowitz, & Steve Gerber
ADAPTATION: Paul Dini
PENCILER: Joe Staton
INKER: Terry Beatty
COLORIST: Linda Medley
SEPARATIONS: Jamison Services
LETTERER: Albert DeGuzman
EDITOR: Scott Peterson
EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Mike Carlin
GROUP EDITOR: Dennis O’Neil
An adaptation of the three-part episode of The New Batman Superman Adventures “World’s Finest”, also released on DVD as The Batman/Superman Movie, as Batman and the rest of Gotham moved to Kids WB, with an altered art style to match WB’s Superman cartoon. Some of the changes didn’t sit well but some of them were good. The Joker’s redesign was the worst offender for many, but I didn’t like that they forced Kevin Conroy to not do the “Bruce Wayne” voice, so Batman has the same voice in either identity. I wonder if that’s why Tim Daly did the same with Clark/Superman? It’s one of those things that defines a portrayal, making the hero and “secret” identity appear to be different people and it’s loss always annoyed me. But on to the review. I didn’t watch the actual episode before writing this, opting to keep my opinions to the comic.
In Gotham City, the Joker steals a jade dragon, but it’s actually Kryptonite. With Batman disrupting Joker’s operations he need some quick cash and sees the best way to get Lex to pay for killing Superman. However, Batman follows the Joker to Metropolis, where Bruce begins a whirlwind romance with Lois. The two heroes don’t get along at first (and sadly this is another continuity where they don’t really become friends) and even learn each other’s secret identities without the other’s permission. However, they end up working together to stop the Joker and expose Lex’s part in the events. Bruce, who was working with Lex on a special robotics project, cuts ties and Lois learns Bruce is Batman (because EVERY love interest learns Bruce Wayne is Batman!) and decides to stay in Metropolis.
What they got right: While some compression takes place for space, it’s a good adaptation, hitting all the important parts and telling the story well, even getting in some of the best lines from the episode/movie. The art is spot on as they switch to the new art style, which will feature into the Batman Adventures comics titles to come. I don’t think these are screenshots and they don’t look it, but they replicate the look and changes perfectly, which is what I ask for in a tie-in comic.
What they got wrong: Another love interest (this time Lois) learning Bruce is Batman. This is a weird pattern that I would like to see stop, like have one love interest who NEVER learns this. And I’m one of those people who do not like Joker’s redesign. His pupils are black and he loses the red around the lips that is rather iconic to that Joker smile.
Recommendation: My main recommendation would be to get the DVD but barring that the comic is a nice addition, especially if you’re keeping a DCAU tie-in continuity (or trying to) like I am.